5 smart ways to make the most of your business loan in 2018

Five smart ways to make the most of your small business loan

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Getting approved for a small business loan is only half the battle. Here’s what you need to do next.

Business loans are different from personal loans in a lot of ways, but the key difference is that the funds are essentially an investment. The way you use your business loan funds may be the difference between you increasing your profits and you defaulting on the loan.

So, how should you make the most of your business loan?

LoanBuilder, A PayPal Service Business Loans

Our top pick: LoanBuilder, A PayPal Service

Customizable business loans with no hidden fees.

  • Min. Amount: $5,000
  • Max. Amount: $500,000
  • One-time fixed fee charged over the life of the loan
  • Acclaimed customer service
  • Requirements: $100,000+ annual revenue, 1+ years in business, 600+ personal credit score

    How would you like to improve your business?

    1. New equipment
    2. Website and social media
    3. Marketing
    4. More locations
    5. Cash flow

    1. Buy new equipment

    construction equipmentPurchasing equipment can take your operations to a new level, whether it’s industrial equipment or a new point-of-sale (POS) system. If you’re currently leasing equipment it can also assist your cash flow as you won’t have to make regular lease payments.

    When considering whether or not to purchase equipment with your loan funds, look at how much you’ve been approved for and consider how much you really need the new equipment. There’s no need to spend your funds just because you have them.

    2. Boost your online presence

    conducting business onlineHaving an online presence, whether it’s a website or a social media page, is invaluable these days. By establishing and maintaining a website and social media accounts, you can increase your customer base and also your marketing capabilities. However, you may need outside help to do this.

    Consider the costs of getting yourself set up as well as the ongoing costs of maintaining a website and social media accounts.

    3. Market your products or services

    marketersMarketing can make or break many businesses, and ignoring marketing due to costs can end up being a costly mistake in itself.

    Whether it’s online marketing, an ad campaign or getting some PR expertise, you’ll need money to get started. Make sure you choose the right type of marketing for your business to ensure you get the best return.

    4. Expand your operations

    opening a shopIf your business is doing well it might be wise to use your loan funds to expand. You could consider opening up a new retail location, a second warehouse, a new office space or even start selling online products overseas. Restaurants are a great example of businesses that could benefit from having multiple locations.

    Expanding your customer base is always a win, just ensure you’ve done your research so the investment is worth it.

    5. Cover cash flow fluctuations

    business cash flowCash flow is an issue for many small- to medium-sized businesses. Delayed payments can mean your business is left without vital cash flow for up to 90 or even 120 days. Depending on what type of business loan you have, you might be considering using it to cover gaps in cash flow.

    For example, a business line of credit is ideal for covering cash flow fluctuations, but a lump sum loan may not be. Using your funds to cover cash flow means you can continue operating as normal and repay the funds once you get paid. Another example is invoice financing, which is best for businesses who rely heavily on accounts receivables.

    Compare business loans you can apply for today

    Rates last updated August 17th, 2018
    Unfortunately, none of the business loan providers currently offer loans for these criteria.
    Name Product Product Description Min Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Requirements
    Kabbage Small Business Line of Credit
    A simple, convenient online application could securely get the funds you need to grow your business.
    $500
    $250,000
    Must have been in business for at least 1 year. Revenue minimum is $50,000 annually or $4,200 per month over the last 3 months.
    LoanBuilder, A PayPal Service Business Loans
    Customizable loans with no origination fee for business owners in a hurry.
    $5,000
    $500,000
    Annual business revenue of at least $42,000, at least 9 months in business, personal credit score of 550+.
    Lending Express Business Loan Marketplace
    $5,000
    $500,000
    At least 3 months in business and $10,000+ in monthly revenue. Your business might also qualify if it's been in business at least 6 months with $3,000+ in monthly revenue.
    Excel Capital Management Small Business Loans
    Get personalized financing options that suit your unique business needs in just a few simple steps.
    Varies by loan type
    Varies by loan type
    Your business must operate in the US, be at least 1 year old and have monthly revenue of $15,000+.
    LendingTree Business Loans
    Multiple business financing options in one place including: small business loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, equipment financing and more.
    Varies by lender and type of financing
    Varies by lender and type of financing
    Varies by lender, but you many require good personal credit, a minimum business age and minimum annual revenue.
    LendingClub Business Loans
    With loan terms that vary from 1 to 5 years, enjoy fixed monthly payments and no prepayment penalties through this award-winning lender.
    $5,000
    $300,000
    2+ years in business; $50,000+ in yearly sales; No bankruptcies or tax liens; At least 20% ownership of your business; Fair or better personal credit
    Fora Financial Business Loans
    No minimum credit score requirement and early repayment discounts for qualifying borrowers.
    $5,000
    $500,000
    Business age 6+ months. Monthly revenue $12,000+. No open bankruptcies.
    OnDeck Small Business Loans
    A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
    $5,000
    $500,000
    Must have been in business for at least one year with annual revenue of $100K+. Must have a personal credit score of 500+.
    National Business Capital Business Loans
    Get a large business loan to cover your financing needs, no matter what the purpose is. Startups welcome with 680+ credit score.
    $10,000
    $5,000,000
    Your company must have been in business for at least 6 months and have an annual revenue of at least $180,000.
    Seek Business Capital Funding Solutions
    Startups and newer businesses could qualify for loans and credit cards with a custom financing package.
    $5,000
    $150,000
    Personal credit of 680+, no bankruptcies in the last 4 years.
    BizLoans.io Business Loan Marketplace
    Get connected with wide range of loan amounts and multiple loan types from reputable lenders.
    $20,000
    $500,000
    Must have good credit and at least 6 months in business.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    Before using your business loan funds, consider how you’ll spend it and work out what will be best for your business. You can consider getting expert advice before deciding and even work out some cash flow projections to ensure you’re making the most of the loan.

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