Before we get to the ends and outs of loans, let’s assume that you are an entrepreneur looking to set forth the Next Big Thing Inc. You’ve got big dreams, big dedication, and possibly big talk… but you know in your heart-of-hearts that you’ll succeed.
First, a reality check. Every heard of Sturgeon’s Law? It states, quite bluntly, that 90% of everything is crap. It makes no exception for business ideas or plans.
Remember Kramer from Seinfeld? He seemed to have a foolproof business idea every other week, from bras-for-men to books about coffee tables. Notice how the series never showed any concept taking off—just as in the real world.
Getting a small business loan is an uphill battle, since financiers are aware of Sturgeon’s Law as you now are.
So what about your hopes and dreams?
Think doable. This might mean starting small, or changing plans completely. Even if you receive a loan for your pipe dreams, you don’t want to go bankrupt if it defaults. And neither do banks.
Be prepared. A winning smile and a groovy concept might land you an interview, but no one lands a loan with an unprepared presentation. Bring thought-out business plans, marketing plans, and fiscal statements if you have a pre-existing company. Court banks that finance other groups in the same industry—they understand what it takes to succeed.
In fact, your relationship with the bank is crucial for success. Treat your banker like a semi-partner in your venture by keeping them informed; they’re much more willing to hand over money if they know the nitty gritty of what’s happening.
Just like a personal account, make payments for your business account on time. Why should a bank tolerate a sloppy debtor when there are dozens of punctual ones waiting for a turn?
And don’t delay: the Obama Administration just passed the ARRA legislation, allowing small business loans for no extra fee.
Despite all this negativity: don’t be discouraged. Don’t let rejection convince you to give up on sweat equity. 90% of everything may be crap, but if you try ten times, one will statistically be a winner.
Anyway: my name is Alexander Carl. I am a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I spent four blissful years earning a degree in Communication Studies. Now I face the real world of economic downturns, student loans, and the absence of “academic” camaraderie.
Yet I refuse to be bummed. My economic philosophy is to live simply, save, and maximize whatever I can. Consumer culture is undeniably pervasive, but you don’t have to sell your soul to co-exist with it— there is great power from using your economic resources wisely.
I started writing when I figured out how to hold a pencil. Since then I’ve written short stories, poetry, screenplays, and have blogged. In fact, three of my screenplays have been produced into short films, two of which I directed. I’m no stranger to the media, having served as a DJ at a freeform radio station and worked as a crew member for live TV.
Pastimes include traveling (I’ll visit virtually anywhere), swimming, jogging, hiking, and hunkering down with a good movie.
Overall I’m a peaceful person, though not in a creepy New Agey way. I get my energy from music, good conversation, and the outdoors (I was an active Boy Scout, earning my Eagle). I consider myself “inquisitive” and “wry”, and for the sake of autobiography I’ll assume that I am.