Small business loans for women owned businesses are not impossible to obtain, you just need to know where to go for help. The Small Business Administration created the Office of Women’s Business Ownership to oversee the Women’s Business Center which focuses on providing assistance to women owned businesses who want to start and grow a small business. There are Women’s Business Center locations in each state listed on the SBA’s website. These local centers were setup by the SBA to provide training and counseling to women business owners in need of assistance for a variety of different things including:
- Starting a business – this includes activities associated with writing a business plan, registering a business, obtaining licenses and permits, understanding and following laws and regulations, and preparing business taxes.
- Growing a business – this includes activities associated with hiring employees, setting up employee benefit programs, giving employee incentives, marketing a business and exporting.
- Financing a business – this includes estimating your startup costs and the basics of what it takes to qualify for small business loans for women owned businesses.
Working with a consultant at the Women’s Business Center may make the process obtaining small business loans for women owned businesses much simpler. They provide all the assistance needed to help a woman properly prepare to apply for a small business loan. There are also things you can do on your own to prepare yourself to qualify for a small business loan for women owned businesses before seeking help from the Women’s Business Center. These things include:
- Maintaining long term employment – it’s good to keep a job when you are first starting your business. Lenders will be more willing to lend to borrowers who have a stable income. Having a stable income shows a lender that you are capable of paying back any funds you borrow. Being employed for at least 6 months before you apply for small business loans for women owned businesses is ideal for most lenders.
- Saving money to invest in your own business – most lenders will ask you if you have any of your own funds to invest in the business. Women who can show a lender that they are willing to invest their business, have a better chance of getting approved for a small business loan. Think about it, why would a lender invest in you, if you won’t invest in yourself? It would be wise to start saving money now to invest in your business (if you haven’t already) so you can show a lender you’re serious.
- Build and maintain good credit – good personal credit is essential when applying for small business loans for women owned businesses. Just about all lenders will check your personal credit history to determine if you meet the credit criteria to be approved for a small business loan for women. Therefore it’s important to build and maintain good credit now (if you haven’t already). The best way to build and maintain good credit is to start off will a small credit card and use it to pay for things that you know you will have the cash to pay back. For example, groceries and gas could be paid for using a small credit card. Once you get your paycheck, simply use some of that cash to pay your credit card bill. If you do that for at least 6 months, you will see you credit score steadily increase. The longer you are able to make timely payments towards accounts that will report to your credit history, the better chance you have of getting approved for a small business loan for women when you are ready to apply.