Commercial Currents: Top 5 Things to Do to Get that Loan or Grant

Stephenie MacLagan
Posted 2017-06-01

Are you looking for funds to try out a new idea or expand your business, or would you like to improve your chances of getting that loan or grant?

Island Institute’s Economic Development Program provides small business support services, and we sometimes hear how difficult it is find the right financing. Even when you know the loan you’re seeking or the grant opportunity you’re pursuing, are you ready? Are you an attractive recipient for that loan or grant?

Whether you’re currently in need of financing or not, these top five actions will help strengthen your business as well as present it as financially ready for investment:

5.  Set one- and five-year goals. Where do you want your business to be? Your goals should be driving your actions, including any financial decisions.

4.  Understand your market or what you don’t know about your market. It’s ok not to know exactly who would buy your products or services, but by knowing what you don’t know you can ask good questions to explore your market with a small business support advisor. Financial institutions and grantors want to see your confidence in the potential growth or stability of your business.

3.  Determine how much of your time will be dedicated to the project for which you’re seeking a loan or grant. Time is money, and financial institutions and grantors want to know that you’re being realistic about accomplishing your goals. It also shows that you have skin in the game, you’re committed to the hard work that goes into benefiting from the loan or grant.

2.  Know how much cash you have or can create on short notice, and articulate how much money you need. While this seems obvious for someone seeking a loan or grant, it’s not often done. Be prepared to answer the loan officer or grantor’s questions before they have to ask. Be specific about the amount you are requesting and how it would be used.

1.  Share your passion! The number one thing you can do to attract investment is telling your story. Your motivations for starting or operating your business are what keep you going through a grueling process of finding the right financing. Keep your energy up by remembering what motivates you.

Resources for small businesses

Learn how to approach a loan officer or grantor:

Find more financial resources:

What We Do

The Island Institute’s Economic Development program helps entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. To learn more about our business and financial planning services, feel free to contact Bri Warner.