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By Molly Klein • August 31, 2016

Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Funding for a Small Business or Franchise Opportunity

Are you ready to become a small business or franchise owner? If you’re like most prospective entrepreneurs, you’ll need to finance part or all of your business purchase. Ensuring you have an appropriately structured funding plan is often the key to long-term success and profitability.

You can start off on the right foot by following these key Do’s and Don’ts:

Do’s

  • Do consider all your funding options. Some of the more popular options include SBA loans, traditional loans, alternative lending, home equity financing, franchisor-specific financing programs – and you can even utilize your retirement funds without penalties through a ROBS (Rollover as Business Startup) structure!
  • Do your homework and get your financial house in order. Lenders (and franchisors) have certain minimum criteria when it comes to approving franchisee candidates. For example, some may require a minimum net worth and a certain amount in liquid assets. It would benefit you to do your financial homework in advance. For example, find out your credit score, calculate your net worth, and even update your resume.
  • Do get pre-qualified. Why wouldn’t you want to find out how much funding you might pre-qualify for in advance? You do this with a home. Why not a business? By getting pre-qualified through a funding provider, you can better identify what you can afford. Some pre-qualification programs are even offered free of charge!

Don’ts

  • Don’t give up if you were rejected by a bank. Many candidates go to their local bank assuming they would be the best place to start for securing a loan. Then they get turned down once or multiple times and give up. In reality, it could just be the bank wasn’t interested in the concept you were pursuing. By utilizing a funding partner who works with multiple lenders (and knows which lenders prefer which concepts), you increase your chances of securing multiple loan offers and can choose the one with the best terms.
  • Don’t underestimate how much funding you’ll need. One of the leading causes of small business failure is undercapitalization or insufficient funding. Most new business owners need more working capital than they anticipate, so making sure you have enough of a buffer to help with any unexpected operating costs is critical.
  • Don’t assume all funding providers are the same. Not all funding partners are created equal, so do your homework to determine which one might be the best fit for you. Some things you may want to take into consideration include: how many years of experience they, if they offer a variety of different funding options vs. just one, and if they have a 95% or greater loan approval success rating.

Original article produced for International Franchise Association

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