You've decided that now it's time to go through the seemingly, never ending process of getting a bank or SBA loan. I've been through the process several times and it's always been harder than buying a home. The bank wants to know everything about your assets and liabilities. You have prepared some great financials, including profit and loss statements and balance sheets. And, you think you are ready.
I have learned that the financial story with great projections that are merely a guess, isn't enough. You need to sell yourself and your company. How do you do this? Your new business is based on a story of your successes. It's all about you.
In the story, you discuss why this is a viable business that will be around for many years. Your cash flow statement will show your ability to pay back the loan, but your story makes the numbers convincing. Some people call this a business plan. I like the word "story" better because it makes for more interesting read.
A well thought out marketing plan must be an integral part of the story. You can always make the numbers look good, but the marketing plan is different. It's how you will sell your product or service.
Your marketing story will have a beginning but no end. Here's why:
Chapter One- The How, Why and What
How you started
Why the business is viable
- What competition is out there
Chapter Two- Revenue and Sales
The first chapter deals with current and projected sales and how you produced those sales. How you used Marketing to achieve those sales.
Chapter Three- Money Management
The next several chapters talks about your ability to manage the dollars being loaned to you and how through a marketing strategic plan you will build a viable, long term business.
Chapter Four- Marketing
Some details in the next chapters show the specifics. Make sure to define your market and how you'll reach that market to get your business noticed. Include the types of channels that you plan to use to market your brand and establish your reach.
Chapter Five- Brand
The brand and logo can be a really exciting chapter on its own. Show how that brand will be pushed out to your prospects to define your company as the go to place for your product or service.
Technically, there is no real ending to this plan. The company will be transforming their marketing strategy based on what's going on in your space. For the purpose of a small business loan, the end is where you finally convince the reader that this plan is well thought out and can be achieved.
It's really all about you and why your asking for money to support your efforts. A well written story will be pleasing to the reader. It may even help the process move more quickly. Give it a try. Its worked for me.