This post is by Carlos Sanchez. Carlos is a BlueVine account executive. When he’s not advising business owners on their cash flow needs, he enjoys playing and watching soccer and spending time with friends and family.
When you’re looking for business financing, you want to do it right. Comparing lenders, financing types, and terms can be a time-consuming task. But understanding your options, rather than jumping on the first opportunity that comes your way, can pay off.
Today, many business owners start their search online. After filling out a request for more information, or applying for pre-approval, the phone may begin to ring as finance advisers follow up on your application. If you used a broker or aggregator that forwarded your request to several lenders, you could start to get overwhelmed by the calls.
You’re busy, of course, but you may want to take advantage of the opportunity to speak with someone who’s knowledgeable about business financing. Even a quick conversation with a financing adviser could help you save money and time. Here’s why.
You may want to start the conversation by explaining what you’re looking for and why, and then asking, “Am I a good fit?” Advisers learn the ins and outs of the financial products they offer, and they can quickly determine if you’re qualified by asking you a few general questions.
If it looks like you might be a good fit, ask about the company’s background to get a sense of the types of businesses they help. If you’re not, you can end the call right there, or you could continue the conversation and ask for advice and guidance.
No matter how much time you spend on research, you may still have questions about small business financing. Advisers can give you a quick rundown of how a line of credit compares to invoice factoring, for example, or translate financial jargon into plain English. They are also knowledgeable about the space in general, and can help you compare the pros and cons of different types of financing.
Ideally, the first lender you speak with will be a good fit and you can secure the financing you need right away. But that’s not always the case.
In addition to learning about their products and services, advisers have to learn about the competition and what it offers. If you’re speaking to a representative from a company that puts customers first, the finance adviser will be able to recommend competitors that may be a better fit.
Rather than applying on your own and scrambling to find documents as needed, ask the adviser what you can do to expedite the process. The adviser can tell you what the company expects, what documents you’ll need, and how to prepare.
Knowing what to do from the start can help you avoid surprises and save you time.
Many lenders use automated underwriting software to review applications. But speaking to financing advisers could still give you a leg up.
Knowing what the company looks for lets you prepare a more complete application, which could increase your chances of securing a higher line of credit or lower interest rate. And you’ll have an internal advocate at the company, someone who you can work with to find success.