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  For many businesses, securing a loan is a critical step in the journey to stability and expansion. However, lenders have strict criteria to assess the viability and creditworthiness of borrowers. If you’re going to increase your chances of obtaining a business loan, you’ll need to present yourself as a trustworthy and reliable borrower. This article will explore several key strategies to significantly enhance your chances of getting a business loan.
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Develop a Great Business Plan

A well-structured business plan is a crucial tool for demonstrating your vision, strategy, and financial projections. It will include information about your industry, target market, competitors, and your unique selling proposition. When drawing up your business plan, make sure to highlight your revenue model, pricing strategy, and marketing plan. Show lenders that you have thoroughly researched and planned every aspect of your business, instilling confidence in your ability to manage funds responsibly.

Provide Detailed Financial Statements

Lenders will scrutinize your financial statements to evaluate your business’s financial health and assess your ability to repay the loan. You will want to give them all the information they’ll need, to raise the chances that they’ll rule in your favour. Prepare comprehensive balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statements. And ensure that your financial records are accurate, up-to-date, and transparent. Clearly explain any anomalies or fluctuations to the lender, highlighting your plans to mitigate risks and maximize profitability.

Tick All the Boxes for Creditworthiness

Lenders want to know that you’ll be able to repay a loan if they give one to you. While they can’t be sure, they can at least assume a likelihood of this based on specific criteria, e.g. your previous debt and repayments, and the stability of your revenue flow. So, pay your bills and outstanding debts on time, and avoid overleveraging. Also, stick with a revenue generation model that at least shows the potential to support your business with liquidity and keep it afloat.
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Understand the Lender and their Business

When it comes to seeking out loans from formal lenders, it’s seldom enough to line up the proper documents. You also need adequate knowledge of the lender’s credit provision business—especially what they’re looking for in a borrower. Try to find founders or business entities similar to yours that have successfully secured a loan from them, and learn how those applicants did to succeed. This should help you prepare a loan request that’s in line with what your potential lender wants.

Build Relationships with Lenders

If your potential lender is a bank, it’ll certainly help your chances if you already do business with them at some level. For example, you will have held an account with them for a significant period (at least a few months); the longer, the better. And if they already know you fairly well, the odds of your securing a loan from them will be higher, other factors held constant. That’s just how human relationships work.

Seek Professional Assistance

Furthermore, navigating the business loan landscape can be complex, especially for first-time borrowers. Engaging a professional, such as an accountant or financial advisor, can provide valuable guidance and improve your loan application. These experts can help you prepare financial statements, identify potential lenders, and craft a compelling loan proposal highlighting your strengths and addressing any weaknesses.
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Final Words

Obtaining a business loan could be an important milestone in the growth and success of any enterprise. By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can significantly enhance your chances of securing the necessary funding. Featured Image Source: Biz2Credit
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This article was first published on 14th June 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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2 thoughts on “How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Business Loan in Nigeria”

  • To improve your possibilities of getting a business loan in Nigeria, keep a strong credit record and present a complete business plan.
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