Whether your business is just starting out, on the verge of a major strategic acquisition, or experiencing an up- (or down-) swing, access to resources is crucial. Securing funds can make or break your business, but there are options — and a number of factors to consider when weighing them. We asked our expert Business Banking team to outline some approaches to securing capital to help you decide what you need and how to get it.
1. Commercial loans
Conventional loans are ideal for established businesses with proven financials and predictable success in their markets. UBT offers a range of options tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses. With flexible terms and competitive interest rates, these loans can provide a lump sum or revolving credit line, allowing for investments in equipment, inventory, and other persistent or emerging business needs.
2. Small business and SBA loans
UBT offers a range of small business loan options tailored to meet your specific needs. From term loans to lines of credit, these loans provide a lump sum or a revolving credit line, allowing you to invest in equipment, inventory, or other business needs. As an SBA Preferred Lender, UBT can also utilize Special Purpose Loan Programs, make in-house credit decisions, accelerate your approval process, and more, ultimately providing more timely and specialized service for businesses across a range of industries.
There are a number of different types of SBA loans depending on a few key factors, including the amount of capital you need and how you’ll use it. These needs can range from small loans for inventory and supplies or refinancing existing business debt (through a standard SBA 7(a) loan, for example) all the way to project-based SBA 504 loans, which allow community-based development companies to leverage borrowed funds at a fixed rate for major, multimillion-dollar development projects.
3. Credit cards and lines of credit
A line of credit can offer a safety net for businesses that need access to funds on an ongoing basis. Whether you need to manage seasonal fluctuations, cover unexpected expenses, or seize growth opportunities, a business line of credit provides the flexibility to borrow and repay as needed, ensuring your business maintains its financial stability.
Perhaps the most commonly known line of credit option, business credit cards can offer some especially useful short-term flexibility when it comes to expenses and money management. When used consistently, credit cards can also streamline expense tracking, all the while helping your business build credit. Here at UBT, we offer customizable spending limits and more to make using credit cards for day-to-day operational expenses and other miscellaneous worthwhile.
4. Equipment financing
For businesses requiring specialized equipment, it likely makes sense to consider equipment financing options that allow you to lease or purchase essential machinery, vehicles, or technology without straining your working capital. Be sure to take a close look at the repayment terms and ensure they align with balance sheets and cash forecasts.
5. Commercial real estate loans
When your business is looking to purchase, refinance, or construct commercial real estate, commercial real estate loans are likely a good fit. Here at UBT, we’ve served a unique range of businesses across Nebraska and Kansas for decades, providing our experienced lending teams a unique vantage point into the nuances of commercial real estate markets in these regions. Our history in these markets and flexible approach to each and every individual business makes it possible to personalize loan structures and provide especially competitive rates for commercial real estate loans. For businesses, the ability to invest in everything from land to warehouse space and from office space to brick-and-mortar storefronts can help you expand operations, consolidate facilities, or launch a new location with confidence.
6. Business grants and assistance programs
In addition to traditional financing options, UBT is also here to help you weigh different types of grants and assistance programs. This includes those offered by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private institutions. The details can be dizzying, but these programs often include financial support, mentorship, and resources for qualified businesses.
This also includes our Small Business team, which supports not only resource allocation and funding but also the complexities of getting an idea off the ground and scaling it, including guidance and support with problem solving, creative thinking, collaboration, planning, and networking.
7. Specialized lending options
Nobody knows your business quite like you do, but it certainly helps when you’re working with a lender ingrained in and deeply experienced with your industry. Our Commercial Loans team includes experts in specific niches, including the Greek system, ag and farm operations, healthcare, and even churches and religious institutions.
For Seattle-based Faith and Victory Church, access to specialized lending services was especially crucial in 2014, when their growing congregation was in dire need of a new building. “Churches were struggling to find lenders at that time, and if they did, their terms were especially aggressive,” recalls Charity Kuehn, who leads a Church Financing team uniquely specialized in facilitating commercial loans for religious institutions nationwide. “Pastor Matt was dialing for dollars, as he calls it, calling anyone he could across the nation who might be able to help.” When he finally called UBT and reached Charity, she got to work, learning everything she could about the church and developing a plan that involved pulling funds and equity from a unique lending vehicle Faith and Victory had used into a down payment.
“Pastor Matt is a six-foot-six teddy bear,” Charity says. “He cried when I called to tell him the loan for the building was approved, and I’ll never forget that. Since then, we’ve helped Faith and Victory add four more residential properties to their portfolio. They plan to add three more properties as they become available,” she adds, noting that she and Pastor Matt have grown to become close friends over the years. “He’ll tell you he’s my favorite customer,” she laughs. “There’s no doubt he’s toward the top of the list.”
In making the decision to source additional capital, it’s important to consider a few factors. What are your short- and long-term business goals and milestones? Consider both financial and nonfinancial wins in your analysis, and be realistic. How will you use the dollars you receive, and what impact do you anticipate they will have on your business?
If your situation is urgent, consider a process audit and look for places where you can make tweaks to cashflow management or implement additional controls. Perhaps there are opportunities to increase your margins? Are you focusing your time and resources on the right types of customers? Take a look at payables and receivables and consider timing, which can sometimes help ease cashflow challenges. Can you collect anything early? Is there anything past due that can be collected? Are you paying vendors sooner than necessary? Can anything be delayed to provide some breathing room?
As you explore options, know that UBT is here to help with a unique combination of big-bank capabilities and small-bank flexibility. Our Business Banking teams bring industry knowledge and experience that is both diverse and robust, so you can tackle the next challenge or opportunity. Connect with one of our experts today.
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