Every bank and every banker will have a slightly different idea of what to look for when deciding whether or not to lend you money. They will all, of course, look at your financial projections and credit history, but their perception of your character is also a very critical factor. It may take many visits to many banks and many different bankers to actually find one that will take a chance on your business. So, don't give up too soon!
When you start the process of visiting banks, do the following:
- Call first to make an appointment.
- Dress for success.
- Have a well-prepared business plan and all financial documents with you.
- Be professional.
- Be overly prepared to answer questions about anything and everything related to your business, your credit history, and your financial status.
- Show extreme confidence.
- Be very "matter-of-fact" -- present an air of not being desperate for the money.
- Be truthful about everything (they're going to find out anyway).
- Don't spend your time "selling" your business idea (they don't care).
- Keep in mind that they only want to know how they're going to get their money (and interest) back out of you.
- The larger your own financial investment in the company is, the better your chance of getting the loan.