The small guy seems to always get the short straw. Nowhere is that more true than with the small business owner on Main Street who needs some basic financing to start, build, or grow his or her small business. Of course I cannot wave a symbolic magic wand and make the otherwise daunting task of obtaining small business financing an easy one. However, some basic education and a simple commitment can certainly sway the odds in your favor. Tip #1 - Learn & Know Your Financing Options For many small business owners they think that financing mainly consists of either a bank loan or an SBA loan. But that’s only one channel. There are 10-12 primary options if you want to finance your business through a loan or a line of credit (debt). There are only a few primary options if you want to find a partner and fund your business through bringing on an equity partner. This is one of the reasons why sites like Lendio can be so valuable. You can learn about your options and get assistance by working with a trusted lender who can offer you the right kind of financing. Tip #2 – Treat your Credit as an Asset It’s really awesome that there are so many “alternative” lending options for small business owners. It is a pretty well-known fact that your personal and business credit history is a huge aspect of qualifying for bank financing. It’s probably the #1 reason why business owners are denied for their loan requests from the bank. These “alternative” lenders make it possible to get financing when your credit isn’t up to par. As much as we love the non-bank, alternative lending options the fact does remain that when you have excellent credit that you will have more borrowing options and lower-cost financing. So if we have more financing options and those options are less expensive, why aren’t we learning how to protect, preserve, and improve our credit profiles as we borrow money and grow our companies? The bottom line is that your credit is either an asset or a liability. If it’s an asset then be strategic about keeping it that way. Most business owners are busy and they don’t pay attention to their personal credit. What ends up happening is their personal credit gets worse as they grow their businesses. It could be a late payment or two or it could be that they use their credit cards the wrong way but most business owners allow their credit profiles to get worse as they build their businesses. So if your credit is a liability then do something about it. Create a strategy for how to improve it. Credit can only be improved by adding some good stuff or removing some bad stuff. That’s not very technical but it’s true. Either get it done or find someone who is an expert to help you get it done. You’ll save thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of dollars over time if you make the decision to treat your credit as an asset. Conclusion: There’s not a single silver bullet out there that will guarantee everyone that you’ll be able to get your financing fast and cheap. Regardless of your current situation these 2 tips will assure you that you are doing the right things to get the right financing – or that you are heading in the right direction. You’ll have your financing sooner if you commit to learning your options and protecting, preserving, and improving your personal credit as you grow!