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Savvy small business owners are always on the lookout for the best deal. You want to stretch your revenue as far as possible. Sometimes you need more cash than your revenue provides. That’s when it’s time for small business loans. But, here too, you want to find the best possible financing. You’ve heard online business loans offer benefits your bank can’t provide. But what does that mean?

You may be an expert at searching online for goods and services your business needs. But, truth is, few small business owners are experts when it comes to financing. Where should you turn? Who can you trust? What’s even available when it comes to online small business loans? Why should you even consider borrowing? Too many small business owners don’t realize the power of working capital.

As the founder of United Capital Source, I know first-hand what you’re going through. UCS started as a small business. And, though we’ve grown tremendously, our goal is still to help other small business grow and thrive. With that in mind, I recommend you follow these steps to find the best online business loan.

STEP 1: EXPLORE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

Not every lender offers all types of small business loans. And not every type of financing is “best” for every purpose. Or every business. You need to understand all the options available. That way you can determine what you want in the way of an online business loan.

Everyone is familiar with the traditional bank loan. You borrow a lot of money, and make fixed monthly payments over several years. But small businesses rarely need to borrow huge sums. And small businesses often don’t qualify for bank loans. You have to have very good credit as well as an established business history. And there’s another issue: timing. When small businesses need to borrow money, they usually need the cash now. It takes weeks or even months to obtain a conventional bank loan. Or an SBA-backed bank loan.

That said, United Capital Source offers an SBA Marketplace alternative. If your business has good credit, you may qualify. It’s a quick, online process. You can borrow up to $350,000, and get funded within a week.

Online business loans give you the money you need, right away. They’re versatile. And the application process is fast and relatively easy. The best choice for you might be:

  • Merchant cash advance, or MCA
  • Accounts receivable factoring
  • Business line of credit
  • Short term business loans

Alternative small business loans put working capital at your fingertips when you need it. You can purchase inventory and supplies, expand marketing, hire more people, pay your bills, upgrade office or production equipment, expand your facilities, take on more work. You can weather a downturn, handle an emergency, or dig your way out of a true disaster. All of these are solid reasons to apply for small business loans.

STEP 2: LOOK FOR THE BEST LENDER

The right business loan from the wrong lender is not a good deal. And online lenders can vary considerably. Look for one with:

  • A top-flight reputation
  • Experience in your industry
  • Willingness to really understand your business
  • Fast approvals and funding
  • No collateral or personal guarantee requirement

Compare loan amounts, eligibility requirements, rates and other terms. Look for hidden fees.

STEP 3: GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER

You want to find the best online business loan. You’ll get the best deal if your business looks strong and capable to a lender. That said, you can get alternative small business loans even with bad credit. But the better your business looks financially, the more choices you’ll have. You’ll be able to negotiate better terms, too. Good financial standing benefits your business in many ways. Not only when you want small business loans.

At some point, you may want to get a conventional or SBA bank loan. The US Small Business Administration says, “Many budding entrepreneurs find the task daunting and don’t even know where to begin.” So they’ve created a “simple yet practical guide on how to go about preparing to apply for a small business loan.”

I recommend you study this information. Even if you aren’t interested in a bank loan right now. It’s important to understand what a bank will require when you do apply. (Hint: there’s a lot of paperwork involved.)

The financial and other documentation required for a traditional loan may seem onerous. But here’s the thing: all this information shows the bank that your business is stable. Able to repay whatever money you borrow. You’re a good bet, so to speak. It’s something to strive for.

Meanwhile, you can use online business loans to support and grow your business. To fill in gaps. And grab unforeseen opportunities. And build up your business credit.

The Simple Dollar says, “Most businesses fail for one simple reason: They run out of money … Do you have sufficient cash reserves for your business? Understanding basic financial statements, including cash flow, is essential to making sure you’re keeping up with fixed and variable expenses.”

STEP 4: CALL UNITED CAPITAL SOURCE

I really should have listed this first. You’ll be a better business owner if you follow all the above steps. But you’ll have fewer headaches if you call one of our UCS lending experts. You’ll get the best deal, too. Lending is our business. We’ll get to know your business goals and unique challenges. We’ll match you with the type of business loan that best fits your current need. And we’ll stick with you. Because what I said at the beginning of this article is true. Our main interest is your long-term business success. Not today’s deal.

Think of all this as insider advice that will help you find the best online business loan. Follow these steps, and you’ll save time and frustration. You’ll also get a better loan result.

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