Inc Well | Small Business Advice for Chicago Entrepreneurs
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How to Impress Your Bank

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    When it comes to running your own business, you can never have enough money. If you're unlucky enough to not be the recipient of a Bruce Wayne-sized fortune before entering the working world, chances are sooner or later you're going to want to take out a loan.

    A recent post from chiefexecutive.net lays out some great ways to make this process a little less frustrating.

    First off, the post recommends one key way to help you stand out: "Not all banks require a business plan to issue a loan. But you can calculate your cash needs more precisely if you know your operation inside out and you maintain accurate financial statements."

    You'd be surprised how few people actually know their own books so closely. According to the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Small Business Finances, about 25 percent of businesses with fewer than 500 employees even bother to keep financial statements. If you don't know your own finances, how the heck are you going to possibly arrive at a figure you'll be asking for other than "um... a lot? Please?"

    You can further help your bank out by hopping over to the Risk Management Association's database to determine how your company is doing compared to other, similar companies. The bank's gonna do this anyway, so it just arms you with that much more information and makes you appear that much more on the ball -- and this is stuff you'd want to know anyway, right?

    One last big way to help yourself out is researching the bank you go after. Don't just walk into the bank closest to your favorite doughnut shot just because it's convenient. Do your homework. Find a bank that's supportive and encouraging of entrepreneurs. Ask around. After all, this is your livelihood -- and your eventual and hopefully short-lived debt -- you're talking about.

    Read the full post over at chiefexecutive.net -- and make sure to check out the super-helpful list of tools and resources they recommend.