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For a lot of small businesses, the start of a new calendar year is spelled S-L-O-W. Retailers are trying to clear out the last of their holiday merchandise. And most everyone else is dealing with the fact that shoppers are burned out and spent-out. Unless your business is winter-related, you’re just trying to weather the usual winter slump without getting too far behind. But that’s merely reacting – not a good business plan.

Small business loans allow you to be proactive. Instead of hunkering down to “get through” the first couple of months, you’ll have the working capital you need till sales pick up. But getting off to a stellar start is just the beginning.

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS HELP YOU GET THINGS DONE

They are a versatile cash management tool. As a small business owner, you want to use every tool available to sharpen your business performance. You have to, if you expect to succeed and grow. Competition is tough, in every industry. Customers are more demanding than ever. You simply must be on top of your game to attract new business and build customer loyalty.

All that takes money – sometimes in the form of small business loans. Strategic borrowing allows you to fund the expected. And handle the unexpected. You can:

  1. Fix a problem
  2. Avoid a problem
  3. Step into the future

WHY MIGHT YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEED MONEY?

Things are going great. Now is the perfect time to expand, remodel, add that second location, or add to your merchandise lines or menu of services. According to The BalanceIf a firm is expanding, then the bank knows the firm is successful and it wants the firm to keep on doing what it’s doing. Expansion generally only happens if the firm is turning a profit and a positive cash flow and has positive forecasting numbers for the future. That is a scenario that makes a bank likely to approve a loan.”

Is this the year for new equipment? It’s better to replace aging units before they break down. And planning a purchase in advance avoids costly emergencies. If your business is tech-dependent, you cannot remain competitive without frequently updating equipment. And if you’re in construction, you’ll need more machines to take on more or bigger jobs.

Inventory is the lifeblood of many small businesses. Without it, you have nothing to sell. But timing is often a problem. The time when you need to buy more inventory is not always when you have extra cash on hand.

No business can grow without marketing. Even if you’re well-established with a big name brand. You won’t grow in the new year unless you make an appropriate splash. And keep customers engaged. That takes money.

No business can grow without the right people, either. It takes money to hire the best, even more to expand your team.

Earlier I mentioned that small business loans could help you avoid or handle problems. I’m sure you have great plans for the new year. But you can’t predict everything. Bad things happen. And good things present themselves without warning. Will you be prepared to act fast?

Cash flow is an issue for every small business. In seasonal industries such as hospitality, you expect significant fluctuations. Retailers, wholesalers, and medical practices suffer from big gaps. You have to buy inventory now, but sales revenue is months away. Or you sell goods or perform services now, but payment is weeks or months away. Cash flow problems can also sneak up on you.

THERE ARE SMALL BUSINESS LOANS FOR EVERY NEED

Sometimes a conventional business loan is the best option. You’ll get this from your bank or similar financial institution. For instance, if you’re planning a major expansion or remodel. Or you want to finally purchase your building. These things take substantial investment. And banks like to make big, long-term loans. But you’ll need great credit.

SBA backing could boost your eligibility. But you’ll still need pretty good credit. The most common SBA program is their 7(a) loans. These provide working capital you can use for almost anything. But there are five other SBA small business loans you can investigate. Each is aimed at a specific purpose.

All that said, a bank loan may not be right for you. Or you may not qualify. Alternative business lenders like United Capital Source offer several other options. You can still get the money you need to make 2017 a banner year. Plus, alternative financing is much faster and easier. For example, here at UCS, you can fill out a short online application and be approved within 24 hours. And you can get your money within 72 hours or so. Speed is often the advantage you need to make game-changing business decisions.

YOU DON’T NEED PERFECT CREDIT

Alternative small business loans are not based on your business credit score. They are based on your current and future ability to repay. You can qualify if you have:

  • Strong, consistent bank deposits
  • Sizable accounts receivables
  • Regular credit card sales

The right small business loan can actually help improve your credit. So can a debt consolidation loan. You could make 2017 the year of your business credit turnaround. That will set you up for greater opportunities in the future.

Cash flow problems are not merely frustrating. In an article a while back, I noted that as many as 60% of small businesses go under due to cash flow issues. Small business loans help you address every one of the situations I’ve described here. In ways that keep your business moving forward. You can grow and be more profitable. With fewer worries and sleepless nights.

But remember this: just because you want to buy something doesn’t mean your business needs it. When you plan ahead for small business loans, you can stay on track. And avoid costly distractions. You’re investing your cash – and the money you borrow – most profitably.

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