Although the suggested actions in this article might be seen as a last resort to be undertaken only when all else fails, in reality these suggestions should probably be considered by most commercial borrowers in the early stages of their commercial financing search due to the growing failure of banks to provide a normal level of business funding. The necessity of resorting to guerrilla loan tactics has been accelerated by the decreased performance of commercial banks in providing effective small business finance programs. Hopefully this report will serve as a short survival guide for business owners when they are seeking small business loans.
Business Consulting as a First Line of Defense
To put it succinctly and candidly, the current commercial lending climate is no place for amateurs when dealing with more complicated small business finance programs and banks which predominantly are not functioning in a normal manner. The use of business consulting and a commercial finance expert should be considered as one way for business owners to overcome a substantial information gap. A business consultant experienced in the ways of overcoming small business loan problems is a pragmatic solution to a situation that most commercial borrowers would admittedly prefer did not exist in the first place. A business consultant with an appropriate level of expertise will normally require a business owner to pay a reasonable fee for their specialized services. This professional cost will typically be justified when compared to the potential financial damages if specialized help is not acquired.
Determine Whether Your Bank is a Good Bank or a Bad Bank
We have published a separate report about the growing need to determine if a commercial bank is a good bank or a bad bank. The most practical gauge for defining whether a bank is good from a small business owner perspective will often be guided by whether the needed commercial financing can be provided or not. Although banks have been broadly proclaiming that they are providing a normal level of commercial funding, in reality there are multiple reports indicating otherwise. An experienced business finance consultant can serve as a valuable resource based on their advanced knowledge of which lenders are truly active in making working capital loans and commercial mortgage loans. If a particular bank is in fact not providing commercial loans as usual, it certainly might be because they do not have sufficient resources to do so. While this bank might not feel they deserve the bad bank label, our perspective is that results count. On the only scorecard that matters to most commercial borrowers, the small number of good banks will gradually become obvious based on their healthy business lending habits. In the meantime, business owners should expect to need some professional help in finding these few remaining good banks.
Be Prepared to Fire Your Bank and Your Banker
For small business owners, the idea of firing their banker has perhaps not occurred to them yet. The average business owner often thinks of their banker as one of the family or at least a close business partner. But with a guerrilla business loan perspective that is appropriate in the midst of banking chaos currently seen almost everywhere, small business owners must increasingly look out for their own best interests because it is unlikely that their banker is up to the task anymore (even if their commercial banker is their best friend). An escalating number of times when their commercial banker is unable to achieve the results which were originally offered or discussed will ultimately serve as one of the most predictive signs that a commercial borrower might need to fire their banker.
Business Cash Advances and Other Options for Working Capital
For small businesses to survive in an erratic economy, the use of guerrilla loan tactics means that some small business finance options which borrowers previously ruled out because they were considered too complicated (or too expensive) might deserve a second look. A key example of a commercial financing strategy which has frequently been a Plan B for many merchants but often not utilized in their final choice for acquiring more working capital is a business cash advance program (often referred to as credit card factoring). The use of credit card processing to obtain working capital cash now has more practical appeal for the typical small business owner who needs more cash for their daily operations, particularly if they have been subjected to an increased requirement for collateral and a sudden reduction in business lines of credit by their commercial lenders.
More Guerrilla Tactics for the Small Business Survival Guide
This brief discussion was intended to illustrate the importance for small business owners doing whatever it takes to survive in a tough business climate. The guerrilla loan tactics noted above will be a good starting point for most business owners. But there are more commercial loan options which should also be considered by commercial borrowers before finalizing their commercial mortgages, small business loans or SBA loan financing.