In February of 2014, I wrote a blog post titled “Financing a Small Business: 4 Items to Remember.” Over the next few weeks I’m going to expand on the 4 things from that post, plus a bonus 5th item that came to me later.
Today is Part 1: There’s Going to be Paperwork. Learn to Deal with It
Paperwork and bureaucracy are the bane of existence for small businesses. Most of the time, it seems like nothing is ever easy.
Everywhere you turn, there’s paperwork. Forms to fill out. Boxes to check. Hoops to jump through. Taxes or fees to pay.
Working with a bank is the same way. Banks will require you to provide them with a mountain of paperwork in the form of tax returns and financial statements. The bank will have a mountain of paperwork that you have to fill out and sign.
I once was working with a business that was applying for a loan to buy equipment. The owner said he HAD TO HAVE this equipment in order for his business to achieve its goals.
The bank asked for the usual things.
The business owner had nothing to hide.
But the owner thought all the paperwork was stupid and too much of a hassle. So he told the bank to “forget about it” and he walked away. He avoided the paperwork he hated so badly … but he also didn’t get the loan for the equipment he said he “had to have.”
If you’re going to a bank for financing, you’re going to have to jump through their hoops. That’s just the way it is.
The bank has the money. You don’t. You want some of their money. So you do the things they tell you to do.
I don’t like the paperwork either. But when I’ve applied for loans, I fill out whatever the bank says to fill out, because I’ve needed the money.
It’s like I tell my business clients about other things involving paperwork: the sooner you come to terms with the fact that there’s paperwork and “stuff” you might not want to deal with at every turn, you’ll be better off.
You don’t have to like the paperwork. No one does. But you do have to learn to cope with it.