Before You Apply

Access to finance is a hot topic at the moment and taking out a loan is not something that anyone should take lightly. So before you apply for a Start Up or Business Loan, make sure that you have all of the information below  in order to put together a good application and better your chances of gaining the finance that you need:

1. Write A Business Plan
A well-thought-out business plan should explain your main objectives, priorities and strategies for the next one or two years. This enables you to plan your development, measure your performance and convince us how well-managed your business is.Your business plan needs to explain clearly and concisely the nature of your business and your market, as well as details of how you intend to manage your business.
2. Provide Financial Information
Your financial plan should provide financial forecasts and a breakdown of your financial requirements, the sources of finance you have available to you and any additional finance you may need going forward. This should include:- The cost of starting or growing your business.
– Your personal budget.
– Details about your own finance that you intend to invest.
– Details about any additional finance you have secured.
– A table showing what you plan to spend the finance on (provide details of each piece of equipment or service you are buying and its cost).
– A detailed sales forecast to show what sales you envisage making
– A detailed cash flow forecast that will help you to estimate how much cash you will have available in any particular future month.
– A profit-and-loss forecast to help you estimate when your business will start to make a profit, which will be essential for your longer term success.

For existing businesses we will need to see your trading figures for the last 3 years or since the trading began plus up-to-date management information covering the period from the last year-end.

If you don’t have a business and financial plan yet, click here to download our free template.

3. Prepare Your CV
Supplying your CV with your business plan helps us to see whether you have all the necessary skills to run a business. It helps strengthen your business plan and shows us what skills you bring to the business. It will also help you to see where your weaknesses are and how to address them.
4. Bank Statements
You will need to provide personal and business bank statements for the last 3 months. You will only be asked to supply these once we have accessed your pre-application form. So make sure that you have these ready and able to supply us with the information required.
5. Completed Application Form
The application form on our website is a pre-application form. We want to gather as much information about you and your business as possible in order for us to do an assessment to see whether we can help. We will either be able to get in touch with you to arrange a meeting to complete the application form and put in your request for a loan, or we may need a bit more information from yourself to help strengthen your application.
6. Checklist
– Have you gathered sufficient evidence to prove you can generate profit and make repayments on time?
– Ensure you can outline what you need money for and how you will pay it back
– Identify clear routes to market and when you expect to start bringing money in
– It’s crucial you have a contingency plan so you can repay your debts even if things go wrong

These are just some pointers to help you put together a strong application and better prepare yourself for applying for a business loan. Remember to be as open and as honest with us as possible and provide all the necessary information that we need to process your application.

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