For the vast majority of small businesses, being able to access cash at the right time is critical to keep your business going and growing.
A small business loan is one way to access that cash. Follow these tips to ensure you’re putting your best business foot forward when it comes to getting the most out of your small business loan.
Manage your cash flow carefully
Cash flow is important to the success of any small business – this you know. So it pays to keep it front of mind in the good times, and the bad, especially when you have loan repayments to consider. Keep a close eye on it by:
- Issuing invoices on time – the earlier you invoice, the earlier you’ll get paid.
- Regularly updating all other accounting and reporting – this will ensure you’ll notice any issues sooner and have them fixed faster.
- Building a cash reserve, if possible – it’s always good to have something to fall back on should the unexpected happen. It will also stand you in good stead during seasonal slumps.
- Projecting your cash flow well in advance – a cash flow calculator tool will be your best friend in this.
Get ahead of the game at peak times
So, business is booming? Great news. And while it may be tempting to celebrate, now’s the ideal time to consider paying more towards your loan. After all, it’s a move that will save you a significant sum of money down the track.
Let’s take Alison, for example. She’s a restaurant owner, has a $50,000 small business loan that she’s paying off at a rate of $600/week over 1 year and 9 months. Her business is doing well and she could pay more, but she’s just cruising at the agreed rate.
Alex, a mobile handyman, has a $50,000 business loan that he’s paying off at a rate of $600/week over 1 year and 9 months. His business is booming and he decides to add $200 to his repayments. This saves him $1,000 and he pays the loan off 5 months early.
Note: These are examples only and general in nature.
Keep a strong credit score
Good credit makes life much easier for a small business owner. Having a great credit report will open up more options when it comes to accessing finance, and has the potential to save you money in repayments.
Build and maintain a good credit score by:
- Scheduling reminders to ensure bills are paid on time.
- Limiting repayments by consolidating your credit cards.
- Keeping a close eye on your credit cards by not hitting the limit.
- Going over credit card bills with a fine-tooth comb so you can address any errors.
If your business is ready to take the next step, talk to Prospa today on 0800 005 797 or apply online for a small business loan.
The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisers. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.
Four quick hacks for business owners when applying for a small business loan
Obtaining finance can be challenging for small business owners, especially as cash flow challenges are common when the business is in its early stages. If you’re a NZ small business owner and you need to access business finance, these four tips could get you closer to being approved, not declined.
1. Dig up your documents
Traditional lenders in New Zealand will demand all paperwork relevant to your business’s prospects of success and won’t begin to assess your application without it. These may include a business plan, competitor analysis and financial statements like P&L, cash flow forecast, revenue projections and much more.
Online NZ lenders like Prospa, however, go out of their way to make it easier for small businesses. Unlike traditional lenders, the entire loan application process is much simpler, and depending on the amount you want to borrow, fewer documents are required. And that means you can spend more time focusing on growth opportunities.
2. Check your credit score
Credit history is usually one of the most important factors for a traditional lender. NZ banks will obtain a copy of your credit report, so it’s crucial you examine yours before applying. Otherwise you may not understand what sort of negotiating platform you’re starting from.
Even if you think your record is clean, double-check it to ensure there are no inaccuracies or nasty surprises. You may not be aware that every time you apply for credit and a credit provider obtains a copy of your report, an enquiry is logged. Credit providers may take a negative view of multiple inquiries made in a short space of time, which may affect your ability to obtain credit (and indeed the interest rates you are offered).
You have the right to obtain your credit score and request a copy of your credit report to correct any wrong information. There are three credit reporting companies in New Zealand:
3. Master your business pitch
Obtaining business finance from a bank is essentially a pitch. You’ll probably need to sell yourself, your business and your plans for the future, while being both professional and passionate.
This can be daunting for those with little experience presenting or selling. It’s a good idea to rehearse and think of any possible questions or shortcomings that might be brought up. It also pays to be ready with evidence that can back up how you will overcome specific business finance issues. One way to do this is to prove your ROI or showcase your business growth in easy-to-read graphs and charts.
Fortunately, getting a small business loan from Prospa doesn’t require a pitch. Once you explain the intended use of funds, Prospa will see if you meet its lending criteria by determining if your business has the cash flow to support repayments.
4. Know your security
Traditional lenders often require the borrower to offer an asset as security upfront against the loan. This could be a property asset, or another asset like a vehicle or piece of equipment.
Before locking your home in as upfront security for a small business loan, you should always consult with those who will be most affected, like your family or business partner.
And if you aren’t comfortable locking your house in as upfront security under a business loan contract, then there are trusted online lenders that offer small business loans that don’t require upfront security to access the funds. This option may be more appropriate for you.
When opportunity knocks for NZ small businesses, there’s a range of new choices for raising funds. Prospa can help you access the funds to manage cash flow or take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Talk to our NZ small business lending team on 0800 005 797.
The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.