How to get your small business off the ground and running

You have the idea, and you have the determination - now, how do you get started with your small business? It can be tricky navigating the world of small-business finance by yourself, so here are some tips for getting your idea out of your head and into the world of reality:

Have a clear strategy

The first step in creating a small business is to write up your plan, according to the Small Business Association. Will your company be an online-only business, or will you have brick-and-mortar locations? What will you sell, or what services will you provide? What role will your company fill in the marketplace? Will you need employees? These are all important questions you should ask - and answer, in written format - before taking any further steps.

"You can approach your local lender, like Landmark Bank, to apply for a loan."

Financing: Get a small-business loan

After your business plan is solidified, it's time to get the money for the business so that you can actually get started. After deciding on a budget for your business, you should do your research about small-business loans and how to go about getting one, and see what your business banking options are. You can approach your local lender, like Landmark Bank, to apply for a loan. The lender will be able to determine your eligibility for getting a small-business loan based on your credit and ability to pay back the loan at a later time.

What criteria are banks looking for?

The SBA notes that in order to be eligible for a small-business loan, your business must meet a few requirements, such as the size of the organization, and others pertaining to the use of the money and the nature of the business. In other words, you can't use your lending money for gambling or pyramid schemes, which seems like a no-brainer. You will also need to have good credit and be of good character, as well as display a reasonable ability to pay back the loan.

Make sure you meet the qualifications for getting a small-business loan.Make sure you meet the qualifications for getting a small-business loan.

Why should you pick a local bank?

There are plenty of reasons to go with your community bank for your small-business loan rather than a larger corporate entity. For one, if your small business is going to have a physical location in your area, by opening an account with your local bank, you're giving back to the community that will theoretically patronize your store. In addition, according to the SBA, the bigger banks may be wary of giving money to smaller endeavors because they may be less profitable. This, along with the fact that you will receive stellar service at your local organization, can help you secure the right kind of financing.

Landmark Bank has the services and support you need to get your business off the ground and running. You shouldn't entrust your business's future to someone who may not care about you as a member of the community; instead, choose a lender that will see your business's value right from the start.

For more information about how you can grow your business, contact Landmark Bank.

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