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Small business owners face unnecessary financial risks unless they’re careful in looking for a loan. This, as the result of high interest rates and onerous fees.

It’s possible to get the lowest-cost small business loan. If you want to apply for a business loan from a bank or credit union, plan to handle the loan the right way.

Whether it’s a business loan, a cash advance against your credit-card income, equipment lease or purchase or commercial mortgage loan, don’t have stars in your eyes.

Be pragmatic. The trick, of course, is to make certain you use the funds to grow your business. You’ll want to achieve your objectives, fine-tune as necessary and keep growing.

Here are six tips to capitalize on the loan:

1. Set up a separate account

You shouldn’t deposit the loan funds in your primary business account. In essence, act as if you don’t have the loan funds.

Don’t over-spend. Use the funds only when needed.

2. Establish automatic loan debits

Not only will you save time, you’ll get better terms. Moreover, you’ll avoid problems. Late or missed loan payments will hurt your credit score and your standing with lender.

Naturally, this means it will be difficult to get loans in the future.

3. Forecast and plan your budget

Many young entrepreneurs are so excited about having a lot more money they often make the mistake of treating a loan like income. It isn’t.

A good financial system is vital for your business. The most difficult part for many entrepreneurs is preparing and understanding financial projections.

Not only will a properly prepared financial statement tell you what’s transpired in your business, it will give you a snapshot regarding your future.

Forecast your income and expenses. Use best practices in preparing financial statements.

Manage your cash flow. Don’t spend any of the extra money just because you have it. Spend slowly as possible.

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

-Mark Twain

Install good operational controls like checks and balances to monitor your cash flow and to spend the money.

Maximize performance with effective budget planning.

Consider opportunities to cut costs.

For instance, inquire about vendor discounts, refinance other loans, use the right strategies for energy management of your facilities or put your utility expenses on an equal monthly-payment plan.

Save wherever you can.

And if you buy and sell products, manage your inventory costs.

4. Continue to monitor your financials

To alleviate uncertainty in planning and monitoring your money, you must have the right information. Don’t overlook one important tool – you must determine your break-even point.

Maintain your focus: Intensely watch your spending, minimize expenses so you can grow your revenue.

Pay as much or more attention to your finances as you do to operate and market your company.

On a regular basis, schedule time to review your cash flow – expenses and revenue – to grow profits. Never deviate.

Yes, you’re a busy person. You might even consider on passing on new business. Give it a lot of thought before walking away from new business.

5. Evaluate your pricing

In the event you learn you’re not optimizing your pricing, review your pricing strategy and avoid pricing mistakes.

Implement best practices to give you pricing power.

6. Take steps in case of trouble

If your sales are down and costs are hurting your profits, implement the right solutions.

But if you’re struggling to make your loan and other payments, don’t procrastinate or hide from your obligations.

Be transparent with your lender. Explain your situation and ask for suggestions. Be prepared to negotiate successfully.

With successful negotiations, your lender might offer to help in some way – such as restructuring or refinancing your loan – instead just commencing collections against you.

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks to maximize your money:

Marketing Checklist to Build Your Brand on a Budget — Every business needs to save time and money while increasing revenue with affordable branding techniques. Here are 29 proven branding solutions for maximum profits.

Embezzlement: Guidelines to Uncover and Prevent it — Embezzlement is a widespread nightmare. Here are proven strategies to discover embezzlement, and to prevent from occurring.

Profit Drivers – How and Why to Partner with Your Employees — If you want maximum profit, consider partnering with your employees. Here’s expert advice from leading financial consultant Roni Fischer.

Small Business Options for Year-End Cash Flow, Tax Benefits — The fourth quarter is the time for small business owners to reflect on options for year-end cash flow and tax benefits. In general, here are items to discuss with your accountant and tax advisor.

Financial Planning: Be Sure Your New Product Gets Traction — Be aware most entrepreneurs learn a very painful lesson: Lack of money and financial planning are the biggest obstacles to success. Good financial planning is important for your new product to get traction.

Hunting for Profit? How to Become a Lion, King of the Jungle — The quest for profits is challenging if you’re lost in a jungle of uncertainty. But success is possible if you emulate a lion hunting for its prey.

Partnerships — 7 Steps to Avoid Fights over Money — When a business has cash flow issues, a key issue that comes up every day is money. As a partnership, you have a shared responsibility to discuss issues on principles without arguing in an ad hominem manner. Your company is doomed if you ever attack your partner’s character or sarcastically belittle the person’s traits.

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

-Mark Twain


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.