Calculate your finances
Starting a business can be expensive. Be sure that you prepare enough money to run your business for at least the first several months. This may include the amount of money you need to cover your startup expenses such as buying equipment as well as permit or license fees. It may take time to set up before you have enough customers to be profitable.
Using the calculations and estimates from your business plan, decide if you have enough money to begin, or if you need additional capital first. Lenders want to see that you have some of your own capital invested in your business.
You will need financial projections for at least the first three years of operation.
Break Even Point
Determine how long it will take for your business to become profitable: How many customers might you need? How long will it take to find those customers?
Sources and Uses of Funds
Show a summary of major purchases (the sources) and what specific capital will purchase (the uses).
Remember that a business plan is required when applying for bank funding.
Take a Class on writing a financial plan at SBDC
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) helps entrepreneurs become successful business owners. The SBDC advisors provide a variety of FREE business consulting and low-cost training services.
Money Smart for Small Business provides a practical introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business.
In Syracuse, SBDC is on the campus of Onondaga Community College.
Here are some ways to get additional money if you need it:
Funding Search Tool
Many local, state, and federal agencies provide other tax credits, loans and grants. Some of these offerings are targeted for certain types of businesses.
Fill out a short questionnaire and you can be matched with participating SBA Lenders through the LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital) online referral tool. Submit your loan needs and LINC will connect you with lending partners and the SBA-backed financing programs to help get your business off the ground.
You should obtain a copy of your credit report to check your credit status before applying for a loan. You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Many banks will also give loans to small businesses. The requirements for these loans may be more demanding and interest rates may also be higher. We encourage you to contact your bank for current rates and terms.
Documentation for approaching lenders
Make sure to bring your tax returns. We recommend separating your personal versus business expenses.
Grants are money given to you that you do not have to pay back. The money is sometimes restricted to certain uses, like repainting the front of a store or buying better equipment. Some grants are given in cash, while others pay you back (“reimburse” you) for money that you spend.