Fundraising is a difficult task for many startups and small businesses. Due to the fact that your business is essentially new, banks will usually be leery about giving you a loan. This will usually force you into choosing alternative funding options. However, if your circumstances demand a bank loan, the good news is it’s far from impossible to get them on your side. Here are 5 ways you can convince banks to give you a chance:

1.    Ask Banks When Your Company is Stable

Banks are naturally hesitant to give money to a company that is floundering. Loans are not donations. Banks want to make money, which is why loans have interest. A failing startup is terribly unappealing to banks, as they are unlikely to repay the loan and make the bank money. However, one that seems to be stable might be worth their attention. Ask them for money when you don’t need it to survive, and they will give you the time of day.

2.    Focus on One Bank

Bank loans are not just about the state of your startup. They will also look to your direct history with them. The more business you do with them, and the better the relationship you have with them, the more likely you are to get a loan. As an added bonus, banks can also help you network with service providers who are affiliated with them, which can make things a lot easier.

3.    Be Profitable

Bank loans, at least for startups, are not meant to serve as starting capital or as emergency cash. By nature, banks will not give you money if you need it. They want to make money, and so are more motivated to accept your request if your business is proving itself to be stable and profitable.

The true purpose of a bank loan is to give you the funding needed to scale your business and take it to the next level. The best time to ask a bank for a loan is when you are doing well. You don’t need to make record breaking profits, you just need to be in the black. Focus on generating revenue streams, and they will look upon you more favorable.

4.    Have Multiple Options Available

Debt, for better or worse, is a business. Interest rates make banks money. They are definitely interested in offering businesses loans – they are just understandably picky about who gets those offers. Since it is a business, you can use it to your advantage.

Having multiple options available allows you to get the best possible option for your startup or small business. Do your research. Some banks offer better deals to certain industries. Make a list, and cut it down to two or three ideal candidates. If none of them work out, you can always work your way down the rest. What is important is you have options.

5.    Create a Relationship with the Bank

You will have business with banks that don’t involve loans, from savings accounts to credit cards. This creates a professional relationship with the company and their direct contact with you, the banker. From there, you can use that relationship as a foundation for trust and better odds of receiving a critical loan.

Naturally, you cannot expect to know what bank you will end up getting the loan from at the onset of your small business. Nevertheless, the idea of creating a relationship with any bank you work with should always be in the back of your mind. Think of it as hedging your bets.

Getting funding from a bank is far from impossible. You just need to approach it from the right angle. Do so, and you could be approved for a loan before you know it.