How to Get a Small Business Loan for a Startup

Small Business Loan to Start a Business

For a new entrepreneur, one of the biggest hurdles to resolve and overcome is the need for capital. Funds are critical to any business venture. Finding ways to raise money can sometimes become a full-time occupation for a business owner. A business loan can be a very important supplement to the lifeblood of a company.

There are many ways that startup capital can be raised. There is the option of:

  1. Going for a bank (most bank offer small business loans these days)
  2. Exploring and applying to non-banking financial institutions
  3. Using alternative methods such as crowd funding
  4. Approaching angel investors and venture capitalists

For most new businesses the preferred method, out of above, is to apply for loans with banks and other alternative lending institutions.

Eligibility for Startup Business Loan:

While a business loan can be applied for with a government or private bank or with non-banking financial companies, there are some basic eligibility requirements which need to be met. These requirements vary from institution to institution. For example, government loan schemes often have stringent requirements and do no offer the best business loans for new businesses. Since these schemes are typically refinanced by public and private sector banks, the process is slow and full of hassles. On the other hand, NBFCs have startup loan schemes which offer instant business loans with personalized terms. To get a startup business loan from an NBFC like Lendingkart, you need to meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • An established business that has been running for more than 6 months.
  • A minimum turnover of ₹ 90,000 or more in the past 3 months.
  • The type of business should not be categorized under the blacklisted/excluded list for SBA finance.
  • The physical location of the enterprise should not be in the negative location list.
  • The business should not be a trust, NGO or charitable institution.

How to Get a Small Business Loan to Start a Business

As a startup or a business idea in a nascent stage, the best bet to raise funds lies in non-banking financial institutions. It’s recommended to direct one’s energies towards acquiring capital from alternative lenders rather than traditional banks.

Most banks prefer to give loans to small businesses that are already in existence as opposed to someone who is just starting out. Banks prefer to cover risk and it’s for this reason that the documentation and evaluation processes are long drawn and rather stringent. For a new business, sometimes it can be difficult to meet all the requirements. This greatly affects the chances of getting the loan approved.

Startup Business Loan Interest Rate

Interest rates are one of the major concerns for a small business owner applying for a business loan. Higher interest rates can raise Both the total repayable amount and the money you pay in each EMI. Since most small businesses are operating at very thin to non-existent margins, high interest rates on business loans can be a major deterring factor for them. In extreme cases, not having access to institutional finance can ultimately cause a startup to cease operations.

Now it is an established fact that startup business loans without collateral have higher interest rates due to the increased risk of default for a lender. However, not every startup owner has significant personal or business assets to collateralize. In such cases, FinTech lenders like Lendingkart Finance can help a startup to lower interest rates on a business loan. Since, FinTech firms operate online, they are able to save money that would go in man-hours. These savings are passed onto the customers in the form of lower interest rates. With Lendingkart, you can get interest rates which are customized for your business’s financial profile.

Document & Requirements for Startup Business Loan

The documents required for getting a loan for startup business also vary from lender to lender. Where a traditional bank or government business loan scheme relies heavily on documentation, a FinTech lender relies on the relevant business and KYC documents instead of asking for unnecessary paperwork. Here again, citing the example of the NBFC, Lendingkart Finance, we are sharing a basic list of documents required for startup loans.

  • Bank statement for the last 6 to 12 months.
  • Proof of business registration such as business registration certificate, GST filing, Gumastadhara, trade license, drug license, TIN or VAT registration.
  • Copy of proprietor’s PAN Card.
  • Copy of proprietor’s Aadhar Card.
  • Copy of the Partnership Deed (if applicable).
  • Copy of the company PAN Card.

All these documents are required in the digital format as Lendingkart’s business loan application process in online ‘only’.

Coming to the benefits of applying for business loans with alternative lenders. They make the process rather hassle-free and easy to get through. Some of the advantages that non-financial banking institutions offer are:

  1. Slightly more flexible requirements and eligibility criteria
  2. Possibility of applying online very quickly
  3. Quick turnaround time on loan approvals
  4. Instant loan disbursement after approvals

Amongst all these the leniency on the eligibility criteria as well as requirements are the most beneficial.

It is helpful to have lenders who will be willing to consider giving out money to owners who may not have a detailed and long credit history. Your top pick should be lenders who focus on your business idea and go-to-market strategy rather than those who focus on cash flow history. Armed with a solid a dynamic business plan, the loan can be applied for still.

Process to get a Small Business Loan to Start a Business

There are different types of business loans available and depending upon the requirement of the business, a relevant one can be sought and applied for. Some popular options of business loan include working capital loans, startup loans, cash advance loans etc.

The first step is to determine how much money is needed and what it is needed for. This will go into the business plan that will be evaluated during the loan approval process.

Once the amount has been determined, the next step is to do some research and seek out the available options in terms of lenders in the market. Choosing a lender is also a process that requires time and effort. Things like credibility of the lender (reputation in the market), interest rate being offered, support system on offer, options of how loans can be re-paid, process of loan application etc. need to be factored in before choosing the one(s) which would be applied for.

Once identified, the next step is to get all the required documentation ready and up to the mark. A great business plan which details out information about the business idea, the profitability of the idea, the scaling plan, the vision behind the idea, projections regarding staff and infrastructure as well as the marketing strategy. A clear and transparent business plan goes a long way in putting the odds in the favorable position.

The final step is to apply and go through the process.

As mentioned, the turnaround time with non-banking financial institutions is rather quick and if all is okay, the loan should come through within a fortnight or less.

Of course, if you have a business that is already 6 months old or more and has a revenue of INR 12 lakhs or more, you can always apply for a working capital loan at Lendingkart! They have a minimum turnaround time of 3 days for eligible businesses.

How to use a Startup Business Loan

The benefits of getting a startup business loans are numerous. You can utilize the money for purposes like business expansion, restocking inventory, working capital management etc.

Startup business loans from NBFCs like Lendingkart give you enough money to invest in multiple things in one go. They have a ticket value which can go up to ₹ 2 crore, helping you launch projects at a faster pace and get into the profit zone.

However, it is also important to remember that you should use the loan funds expressly for the purpose defined in your planning. Spending the loan money unwisely can result into a debt trap for your fledgling business.

What do you think about this article? Please let us know in the comments. If you need to know more about how important it is to choose the right business loan, you can read our article here. We have also written in detail about small business financing options in India and you can read about it here.

Success Formula for Small Businesses

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations,” said Steve Jobs.  Such inspiring quotations of Steve Jobs have become business mantras for start-up founders. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who founded Apple from a garage in 1976 are inspirations for budding entrepreneurs and alike. The first Apple prototype was developed in that garage and later the founders build 50 computers for a local electronics store.

It was a small beginning, but today the company has grown exponentially to change the face of personal computing industry with its cutting edge hardware and programmes. It now ranks as one of the most profitable companies in the world, in the field of wearables, personal computers, and mobile phones.

The business ethos of the Apple founders’ resonates among entrepreneurs who like to aspire and imitate their success formulas. However, there is no fixed set of success formula for small businesses as the success of any business is dependent on proper planning and execution. Here are the first few steps that you should take to ensure that your business starts on a strong foot.

Believe in your service/product

Your business is usually born out of your experience with a product or service which is absent in the market or can be given a new twist. Entrepreneurs devote a lot of time and energy in developing that product or service which can truly make a difference in the lives of people or customers. It doesn’t matter whether the business is small or big, but as an entrepreneur you should always believe in your product. It may also happen that a certain product or service which you think would make a difference may not lead to profitably. It is always crucial to believe in your product and service and deeply analyse the impact that it will have once launched. It may not immediately yield results, but the idea should be strong enough to gain eyeballs from investors and venture capitalist. It is always great to analyse the market potential of the product and gain specific insights related to the product success.  With clarity about the potential market, the next step is to focus on execution of the same. Most start-ups scale the business after evaluating success of the product with a limited customer.

Get the financials right

Once you have the right product and service, it is time to devise ways and secure capital to set up the business. You can easily start or expand a business today with small business loans from banks and financial institutions. There is no dearth of business funding options in the market today. We all know MSMEs form the backbone of the Indian economy and the government has made efforts to ease lending for SMEs so that they can flourish. With quick business loan and relaxation in the business loan eligibility have made accessing capital much easier for small businesses. One can easily apply for business loan to meet the capital need at any stage in the business. After finalizing the business idea it is good to find out requirement of loan, your eligibility and prepare for documentation. When you apply for business loan make sure you have a good credit score as it helps in getting a quick approval for loan. Also, you should consider the rate of interest and decide on the financial institution before you take a loan. If you’re lucky, your business loan can be easily approved within a day. Once the loan is approved you can expand or improve the existing business opportunities.

Execution is the key

It doesn’t matter whether your idea is small or big. Success of a business depends a lot on the execution which is dependent on factors like talent, product quality and customer focus. The culture of your organisation will dictate how your team executes the idea and service with discipline. It is important to hire the right candidate for the assigned jobs and create a culture which is rewarding for employees. Besides that you also have to make sure that the customer feedback is taken into account for launching the product and service. You can achieve the desired results in business only if you have set the right strategy and ensure that it is executed in a timely manner. You have to devise effective business model which is executed in the manner which rakes in profit and also create the desired impact.

Count your customer

As you know that ‘customer is king, hence running a business should be rewarding for the founder as well as its customers. You cannot underestimate the success of your business without taking into account the customer satisfaction. It forms the basis of your business, and hence you should find ways to incorporate customers’ feedback and improve your offerings at each step.

Always measure the success

At every step in the business you should be able to gauge the success of business. You cannot ignore any one aspect of the business and focus on the other. Every aspect of the business will require attention from marketing, human resources, sales to public relations. If you want to scale up then you ought to look for resources to back it up. One of the important requirements is finance to grow the business. Also, calculate how the investment will create a return on the capital before you apply for any loan.

Like Rome was not built in a day, a business also needs time, hence it is important that you embrace perseverance and continue to believe that your idea can truly be a success.

How a Business can Perfect the Art of Getting Investment? We Drop 7 Tips

Have you noticed that some businesses simply hit the nail on its head when it comes to attracting capital funding? They seem to be operating on the perfect game plan, with great products, impressive numbers and promising profit margins. So, how do they do it? Well, in today’s post, we are sharing a list of tips compiled by our market experts to help you join the league of entrepreneurs, who have made it big.

Networking is the Key:

For any business to stand out in an organic fashion, you need networking. Meeting with the local bigwigs and mixing up with the local startup community is a great place to start. Once you become recognizable within a crowd, it is time to hone the art of organic soft-selling. Never push your way through, rely on your social capital to do the work while pitching your ideas.

Always have Results with You:

The second thing you need is results as a proof of success. Results can be either in form of customers or in profits. But if you are just starting up, it is less likely that you will have a profit sheet to share, so, rely on real, paying customers to impress potential investors. Here, focusing on getting customers who will not require huge outside investment should be your priority. Never seek investments first and customers second.

Do not Make Cold Calls:

Cold calling investors and asking for their money is never a good idea. Once again, rely on your networking and arrange meetings, asking for advice or discussing a particular problem point. Asking for genuine help is the best way to have someone interested in your project and may eventually attract more investment than you can ever get from a cold call.

Show them the Money:

Investing in your company is ultimately a means to an end for the investor. So, instead of just showing them the vision, also prepare a pitch for return on their investment. Show them how they are going to earn back their capital and more by investing in your enterprise. If you can include a timeline in the pitch, all the better for you.

Get On-board a Start-up Accelerator:

Startup accelerators provide mentor-ship opportunities that can help a new business with organisational structuring, operational management and more. While joining a startup accelerator is not a guarantee of getting investment, it is another platform where your enterprise can gain crucial exposure and visibility.

Do follow ups:

It may seem like a chore once you have been told to revise your numbers or strategy by an investor, but if you do commit to it, make sure that you follow up. Fundraising is not a quick process, the investors vet your credibility before putting their money in your business. So, provide proof of your seriousness to make sure that the deal you are offering makes sense to them. If you say you are going to do something and go ahead and do it, everyone will want to work with you.

Take Advantage of Online Credit Market:

Nowadays, a lot of startups are getting help from FinTech lenders. These non-banking financial companies offer small-ticket finance for small and medium business owners all over India. A business loan can help you streamline your finances and keep a ready stock of inventory to acquire more customers in a short span of time. Moreover, a business loan will also improve your company’s credit rating and thus, your market standing. All these are numbers which impress and attract investors.

FinTech companies also offer quick business loans that do not require a ton of paperwork or financial history, which can be ideal way to finance your budding enterprise and make it ripe for picking by Angel Investors. For example, you can get a business loan of up to ₹ 1 crore from Lendingkart at competitive interest rates and flexible EMIs for up to 1-year duration. Lendingkart also offers auto-renewal of business loans upon full-repayment, which can act as source of funding in itself if you plan to expand gradually.

Concluding Thoughts

Great products and services may not always sell because money is needed to bring them into mainstream. Investment helps in establishing the tertiary systems that make up a successful organisation. Too many people with great ideas fail to achieve deserved success because of trying too hard to reinvent the wheel, so do not follow the crowd when seeking investment. Focus on your product, your customers and your network, and the bigshot investment will come to you. In the meanwhile, keep stacking up those numbers with business finance.

Things to Know When Making Your Wife a Guarantor for Your Business

Most small and medium businesses need to stabilize before they can make profits. This initial phase requires capital and may make or break a new business venture. That is why most startup owners look for funding or business loans to meet their immediate asset creation and working capital needs. Now, getting a business loan can be a harrowing experience if it is your first ever project. Indian banks are already reeling from a bad loan crisis and are particularly wary of lending to new SMEs. Plus, banks need a guarantor who will vouch for you in case of a loan default.

What is the role of a guarantor?

A guarantor is the surety provider for repaying a debt if or when the original borrower fails to repay the debt. He or she signs a document to that effect and hence the guarantor is contractually obliged to repay the debt of the principal borrower in the case of default.

According to a Supreme Court of India verdict, the guarantor becomes equally liable for repaying a debt when a loan goes bad. Therefore, if you have made your wife or a close relative your guarantor for a small business loan, chances are that they will be dragged into legal troubles if you fail to service the liability.

Furthermore, the loan contract also gives the lender the power to attach the property of a guarantor (in this case the wife) to recover the loan amount.

How to safeguard your wife’s assets in advance?

There are two scenarios in which a lender cannot attach the asset of your spouse in a loan default recovery case.

  1. Register your business as LLP: New businesses are run under several categories such as sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or private limited. In case of LLPs, the assets of inactive partners cannot be attached in a loan recovery lawsuit.
  2. Set up a Parental Trust: Discretionary trusts set up at the time of a daughter’s marriage are also exempt from business loan recovery proceedings. Having one set up for your would-be wife can help minimize personal asset loss in case of a business failure.

Instances when a lender cannot hold your wife liable in case of a business loan default

  • If a woman has no direct or indirect role in her husband’s business, the Married Women’s Property Act prevents lenders from attaching her belongings in the case of loan recoveries.
  • If the husband and wife are joint holders of a disputed asset, the lender has to reimburse the wife’s portion upon liquidation of the asset.
  • If your wife is a director in the company but not the guarantor, her assets cannot be seized by the lender.

Avoiding the hassles of a business loan from banks

As you can see, there is a lot of hassle and risk involved in securing a business loan from a bank. The red tape, the bureaucratic process and finally the stringent terms dictating recoveries are simply not worth the trouble in this modern day and age. Switching to alternate means of business finance can save you all that trouble and facilitate fast business loans at the same time.

Non-banking financial companies, or NBFCs as they are popularly known, offer instant business loans without any collateral and have a flexible recovery process that allows you a chance to settle the dues. Here are some of the benefits of applying for a business loan with an NBFC.

  • Online application and processing allow faster business loan approvals.
  • Money is transferred directly into your bank account and instantly available for exploiting new business opportunities.
  • Minimal processing charges and lower interest rates reduce the payback burden on your books.
  • Break down your loan repayments in bi-weekly or monthly installments or repay early without a worry as there are no prepayment charges.
  • Reapply for a business loan and get the previously sanctioned loan amount instantly.

These benefits, not only allow you to get loans quicker but also help your business grow faster, which means you are better equipped to face a financial blowback. Moreover, the recovery process is also very business friendly as NBFCs allow you to restructure your loans in cases of market upheavals.

Concluding thoughts

When you are setting up a new business, it is always a wise thing to have a comprehensive look at the business scenarios that will benefit you and the scenarios in which things can go south. Making your wife a guarantor for your business loan liabilities is one of those things. While, initially, it may seem like a good choice if your wife has a business of her own or has significant personal wealth, you may soon realize your mistake if things do not work as planned on the business front. Thus, taking some prudent steps in advance will help you and your wife avoid simultaneous bankruptcy. Moreover, financing your business through a FinTech lender like Lendingkart may be a better alternative altogether. Non-banking financial companies offer business-friendly financial products and services and are better suited for small and medium enterprises looking for business loans up to ₹ 1 crore.

Want to apply for a business loan with Lendingkart? Check your Eligibility.

Warning Signs That State Your Business Is in Big Trouble

Most of the times, businesses that go into insolvency are taken by surprise on the suddenness of the event. It happens because most small and medium businesses are focused on day-to-day operations and fail to realize that there is something wrong with the larger picture. So, when the hammer finally falls, everyone is surprised and of course devastated by the blow.

While all business owners face challenges at one stage or another in their career, there are some telltale signs that can alert you about big financial troubles. Recognizing these signs also allows them to take corrective actions in time to salvage the situation. In this post, we are sharing the six things that can be a warning that your business might be in trouble.

  1. Difficulties in raising a new business loan: One of the very first indicator of upcoming financial trouble is the failure to secure a loan or fresh round of financing. If your latest business loan application has taken way too long in processing and eventually gets denied, it is time for some introspection at your SME. Lenders have pretty stringent due diligence processes and may be able to see the problems which you might have overlooked. Sometimes a lender, such as a bank, may tell you that everything is fine and to apply for a business loan again after a while. This happens because the lender does not want to push away a potential customer in hopes that you may be able to sort out the business troubles and will then apply for a fresh loan. So, never take such verbal communication for granted as it is still not a firm commitment.
  2. Lack of investors or buyers for your company: If you have been trying to sell your business through equity or direct buyouts and fail to find potential buyers, again it is a sign of troubles in your financial and operational situation. Just like financing, potential buyers also have stringent due diligence and value a business based on parameters which may not match with your internal estimations. Furthermore, sometimes a business owner in search for a buyer ends up neglecting the running of the business in the short-term. Which can significantly damage the immediate prospects of a sale and also brings down the value of the business.
  3. Frequently missing major milestones: As mentioned earlier in the article, every business has its problems and hiccups at some point, but if problems have become a norm at your establishment, it is time for checks and balances. Taking a look at the last one or two years of operations and doing a fair analysis of where you should be versus where you are may help in identifying problems in sales, product development, supply chain, working capital finance, etc. Whatever it may be, you must come up with a steady plan to overcome the problem because investors, lenders and buyers are seldom interested in excuses.
  4. Discord at the top-tier of management: The C-suite as it is generally called, is the top rung of your establishment. It is here where all the planning and overseeing happens. Sometimes, discord amongst the C-suite employees or surprise departures may also be a sign of things not going well at the company. Someone might have figured out that all is not well and has simply abandoned the ship as it begins to sink. So, whenever you lose a high-ranking employee do not just get into hiring mode, look for the reasons behind the exit as well.
  5. Accounts payable are way above normal: Accounts payables are one of the best ways to determine your company’s financial and operational health. Your accounts payable let you know about the state of your cash flow. If they keep stacking up, it means you are not generating enough inflow to be able to pay-off the debts, which is never a good sign.
  6. Very short operational runway: Lastly, most companies overestimate the time that they have got to sort out things. If your operational runway has less than six months remaining, it is a huge red flag and might even be a point of no return for your business. Having six months of cash runway is the minimum you need to get things to work again, if the cash stock falls below that, it is time to weigh your options seriously.

Moving quickly to resolve a financial crisis

If your business displays any of these warning signs, moving as quickly as possible towards a backup strategy should become your focus. If the problems are in operations or supply chain, it is time to give your teams a rap on the knuckles. Streamline your operations by cutting down manufacturing, downsizing or hiring experts. If the problems are with financing and you are having trouble raising fresh finance from the banking system, perhaps it is time to look at the ways of alternate finance for small and medium businesses available in the market.

For example, FinTech lenders like Lendingkart Finance offer short-term business loans to help businesses in managing their working capital. By applying for a working capital loan for your business you will be able to free up the cash at bank for capital investment and restructuring of your enterprise. Hence, taking correctional measures and day-to-day operations can go on simultaneously. So, consider taking a business loan from non-banking financial companies if your regular lenders are showing reluctance. Non-banking financial companies like Lendingkart also offer several other benefits like lower interest rates, flexible EMIs, zero-prepayment charges, and instant loan renewals that will help you get back on your feet.

So, do not wait before it is too late, if your business is showing the signs of trouble, take corrective steps now.

Fintech Advances Are Creating New Opportunities For Micro-Businesses In India

Traditionally, small and micro-business owners face a lot of hurdles when trying to raise cash from banks and other public institutions of finance. The bureaucratic and risk averse mentality of these institutions makes borrowing money difficult for upcoming businesses even if they have their finances in order. In such cases, a small business owner usually ends up selling some assets or private property to fund business growth.

While a bank’s unwillingness to lend to a new and upcoming business is understandable in these times of financial turmoil and growing NPAs, it does hurt small businesses with potential for growth. The situation, however, has improved markedly in the last decade as non-banking financial companies have emerged as a source of alternative finance for small and medium enterprises. Nowadays, micro-businesses are also benefiting from short term, small ticket finance offered by these companies.

Also known as FinTech, the NBFCs use a mix of financial products and IoT technologies to speed up the process of business loan approvals. FinTech solutions today are benefit ting a growing number of small business owners, startups and freelancers in India and the world. Here are the things that make FinTech finance a veritable alternative to getting small business loans from a bank.

Diversified Products and Services

Where banks generally have a limited number of products and services and operate on the principle of ‘one size fits all’, FinTech lenders are doing things a little differently. They are not only offering money that you can use to expand your business but also provide business consulting, foreign exchange services and have different types of business loans and services to best match your needs. Unlike traditional banks, the products and services of FinTech lenders do not focus on large corporations and rather are meant for SMEs.

FinTech products like small ticket working capital loans are helping small business owners fill the gaps in their cash inflow and outflow. This has helped small business owners in taking advantage of sudden business opportunities that come their way. A report from the World Economic Forum has lauded FinTech as the enablers of global business environment for small businesses in developing economies like India.

Unsecured Small Business Loans

FinTech lenders are the first to realize that most small business owners are unable to get loans because of the collateral requirements of traditional lenders. A person who has just started a new venture is unlikely to have high-value assets to secure a business loan, which in turn limits his ability for growth. Also, spoiled by lending to larger companies, banks often do not see any benefit in small-ticket loans and categorically deny loan applications which do not meet their policy parameters. Here, FinTech lenders have come up with the concept of small ticket, short-term unsecured business loans.

Now, small business owners can get short term business loans as per their own requirements instead of borrowing according to the lender’s perspective. For example, if a bank’s policy is to only approve business loans above Rs 5 Lakh, a small business owner with a requirement of just Rs 3 Lakh may also end up applying for a loan of Rs 5 Lakh. Which then he will have trouble repaying due to high EMIs. On the other hand, FinTech finance providers like Lendingkart are offering business loans starting from Rs 50,000 up to Rs 1 Crore for eligible loan accounts. Hence, providing flexibility and need-based financial services desired by small business owners.

Easy and Flexible Repayments

Loan amounts are not the only thing flexible about FinTech finance. Borrowing from an NBFC also gives business owners the freedom to choose their preferred EMI schedule or prepay the loan without hefty penalties. This makes renewing loan cycles easier and makes FinTech credit a type of revolving finance for working capital needs and capital expansion. On the other hand, banks usually have a fixed repayment cycle that disregards invoicing and sales cycle of a small business.

Once again, a small business is better off borrowing from FinTech lenders like Lendingkart Finance who offer bi-weekly and monthly EMI schedules. Moreover, Lendingkart completely waives off prepayment charges if you decide to settle your loan in full.

Re-borrow the Money

The advantage of FinTech finance does not end at the repayment of an existing loan. A business can re-apply for a business loan upon full payment of the existing loan and get an instant approval for the previously approved amount. This is one of the best ways to get small business loans time and again and not only helps your business growth but also contributes to a significant increase in your business credit score.

In Conclusion

There is no doubt that FinTech is one of the most transforming platforms for small business owners in the 21st century. By enabling quicker and easier credit, FinTech has provided much-warranted relief to SMEs from their age-old financing problems. FinTech has also helped cut down the informal credit market where private lenders are used to charging exorbitant interest rates (sometimes up to 36% to 48%) from unsuspecting borrowers, trapping them in vicious credit loops. The lower interest rate business loans and reasonable repayment time windows have helped many a small business owner in breaking out and earning their way to success.

Ultimately, FinTech has become an important pillar of nation building in India where 45% of the GDP contribution comes from small and medium business industries. Due to its digital nature, it is a very transparent medium of finance as well, which has helped small businesses join the mainstream and become tax compliant.

If you are looking for an Instant business loan or wish to know more about FinTech finance, visit us at www.lendingkart.com and have a look at our FAQs section. You can also contact us by dropping a mail at info@lendingkart.com. To apply for a business loan, simply check your eligibility and create a Lendingkart account to begin your loan application.

Five Key Challenges Faced by India’s Women Entrepreneurs

Every day, the age-old stereotypes of India’s patriarchal society are being broken by enterprising women artists, business leaders and political personalities. The newfound institutional and social support has enabled aspiring women to come out and challenge men in almost every field. The small and medium enterprise industry is no different and many such businesses, helmed by women entrepreneurs, are leading innovation and giving stiff competition to their industry counterparts.

However, India is still in early days of a social revolution that demands equal status for all genders. A women entrepreneur in India faces many challenges in starting and continuing her journey. In today’s post, we discuss the five key problems faced by business women in India.

Social Acceptance for Working Women

While India has become more open to working women in recent years, in most cases the acceptability still comes with a caveat. A working woman is expected to balance her time between household chores and her professional work in most families. This may not be a key challenge for educated young women in cities starting their own business but definitely pose a challenge for married women living in urban or semi-urban areas who discover their calling later in life.

Marketing and Promoting their Enterprise

Another key challenge faced by women entrepreneurs is marketing and promotion of their startup business or SME. The matter is further complicated by the fact that online marketing and promotion has taken center stage in recent years. Since, IT is a male dominated field, women entrepreneurs often face competitive disadvantage when hiring online promoters and agencies to market their business.

Problems in Resource Procurement

Be it leasing a space for running their business or making a deal for raw material supplies, most women entrepreneurs face heavy disadvantage and distrust when starting on their own. Once again, it’s the prevailing social bias and general misconceptions about work ethics of women that hinder their access to raw materials, labor and machinery. Therefore, in most cases, women entrepreneurs end up paying above the base rates for procuring operational resources and supply chain contracts.

Getting Funding for SMEs

A major challenge faced by women entrepreneurs is securing funding for their small business. Here the issue is two-fold. The traditional banking system is still run by India’s lumbering bureaucratic system which is slow, biased and male dominated. This makes it very hard for women entrepreneurs to secure funding from a bank as the ultimate power for approving a business loan rests with the bank officials. On the other hand, Angel investors and venture capitalists who fund startups and promising SMEs often balk at working with women CEDs and business owners. Even if they do agree to fund a small business run by a woman, they often try to take control of the company by creating proxy power centers in the company.

A Patriarchal Social Order

As a whole this article may seem like a rant about women entrepreneurs not getting their due recognition because of the men. Well, it is the truth of the day. The key challenge faced by women all over the world and especially in patriarchal societies like India is the dominance of men. Women entrepreneurs face a lot of gender-based discrimination and harassment while working their way to success and these are not limited to the points mentioned above. Therefore, the existence of a biased social order is, without doubt, the biggest challenge faced by working women.

Our Vision for Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

At Lendingkart Finance, we believe in equality and adhere to the ethos defined in the constitution of India. Ensuring safe working environment for women and empowering them is a part of our vision and mission. One of the main reasons why women in patriarchal societies lag behind men is due to the lack of financial freedom. Here, at Lendingkart, we try to rectify that with our unbiased financial support system for small businesses which relies on business performance rather than social bias for granting small business loans.

We have an online business loan application process which analyzes your business for performance and financial stability and gives instant loan quotes, regardless of your gender. To simplify matters further, we have kept the documentation requirements to bare minimum. Once again, document submission is also done online and our system allows you to track your loan application in real-time as we verify the information provided by you.

If you are a woman entrepreneur looking for quick business finance to meet your working capital requirements or business expansion, Lendingkart can offer you a small business loan within 3-days of application. Furthermore, our unsecured business loans come with lower interest rates than many of the traditional banks and lending institutions out there. We also offer flexible repayment options such as monthly or bi-weekly EMIs that allow you to repay your loans easily.

Lastly, a relationship with Lendingkart Finance also gives you the opportunity to connect and network with like-minded SMEs and startups to grow your small business.

Concluding Thoughts

The business scene is still a tough place for women in India, but despite its hardships, enterprising women continue to find new ways to beat the odds placed against them. For the most part it is their own will power and vision that makes it possible for them to overcome the social and professional challenges; and in a small part it is the help from a younger, more open and pragmatic social and business order.

Why Fintech Lenders Have Become The Best Choice For Business Finance

As we very well know, the public and private sector banks in the country are burdened by an unprecedented NPA problem at this moment. As a domino effect, correctional measures taken by the banks has made it harder for small and medium enterprises to get business loan approvals. Also, banks in India still lack business specific products and services, which makes loan application a cumbersome and time-consuming process, which is the opposite of what 21st century businesses need.

On the other hand, the Indian economy is booming and there is a start-up boom, which means there is an increased demand for small business finance. This disharmony in demand and supply has given rise to FinTech lending, a new age medium of small business finance.

FinTech lenders like Lendingkart Finance stress on a customer centric business model, where the customer has to make the minimum effort possible to get business finance. The idea is to help business owners focus on growth of their enterprise rather than being burdened by financial worries all the time.

Here are the salient features of FinTech finance which make companies like Lendingkart, the go-to financial solution for small and medium business owners in India.

Minimal documentation

Where banks and traditional financial institutions require a ton of physical documentation before a loan application is put into processing, FinTech firms have a completely online business loan application process. A simple upload of soft copies of essential company documents is all that is required to start a business loan application. Check the KYC documents – what you have and what is needed.

Online application and processing

As mentioned above, the online loan application can be completed in a few simple steps, involving an eligibility check, application submission, evaluation and sanction of loan value, and disbursal. A business owner can track his/her loan application status anytime by logging into the FinTech loan account.

Quick disbursal of funds

Unlike bank loans, FinTech loans are cleared faster due to use of patented big data technologies and a combination of online and offline verification processes which save valuable man-hours. The loan funds are released directly into the business account of borrowers instead of issuing cheques or demand drafts. To give you an example, Lendingkart Finance, one of India’s top FinTech lenders, clears funds within 3 days of application approval.

No penalties or hidden charges

In many instances, a small business may become profitable sooner than original predictions and may want to repay the loan in full. A bank will usually charge a penalty for early repayment of loan to make up for loss of interest. However, FinTech with its cost advantage has no such provision. A borrower can prepay the loan in full with no extra charges. Furthermore, traditional banks and NBFCs generally have an array of hidden costs and charges that are deducted from the principal amount, leaving a small business owner well-short of the funds he/she expected. FinTech lenders on the other hand only have a provision for 2% as processing fees and no other charges to be deducted at all.

So, it is no surprise at all that business owners are moving towards FinTech lending to get working capital loans and business expansion loans, as these new-age lenders offer faster and more reliable business loans and services for the digitally connected businesses of the 21st century.

How WhatsApp for Business can Benefit your Small Business

WhatsApp has effectively replaced the traditional SMS in India. There are two primary reasons behind the platform’s success – a fall in mobile data costs and the advent of affordable smartphones. The success of WhatsApp eventually invited the interest from the American IT giants and soon after it was taken over by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, another social media platform. Facebook had been promoting the social media for small business promotions for some time before its takeover of WhatsApp, and naturally the development veered towards creating a WhatsApp for Business.

Truth be told, WhatsApp for Business is a more realistic social media solution for small business owners due to its real-time approach. With WhatsApp for Business, small business owners can readily connect with their target audience, which is not the strongest point of a business profile on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. In saying this, we are simply pointing out the fact that those platforms are a little more niche for a small business owner still learning the ropes of digital marketing rather than condemning them.

So, let’s have a look at the features that make WhatsApp for Business ideal for your small business’s growth.

A Free Digital Marketing Medium

As is with the regular chat client, using WhatsApp for Business is totally free of cost. This gives WhatsApp for Business leverage over other social media tools for business promotion which often require payments for promoting your page. WhatsApp for Business also effectively replaces the SMS marketing which is costly and nowadays seems positively pre-historic. In essence, with WhatsApp payments system already in testing mode, WhatsApp for Business can replace the need of having a native app for many a small business in the country, thus earning finances rather than expending them.

Create Digital Business Profiles

In today’s world, having a digital profile is essential for every business owner. WhatsApp for Business allows you to have a detailed digital profile containing information like your physical address, company email, phone numbers and social media links, without having to invest in a website or app. WhatsApp has a very stringent verification method as well. A green tick appears beside your business name only when the WhatsApp has verified its existence and credibility. This in turn cements the trust of customers in your brand.

Mass Messaging Support

WhatsApp for Business comes with some business centric messaging options to ensure that you are always there for your customers. You can setup standard responses for frequently asked questions and send them to customers with a single tap of finger by using the ‘Quick Reply’ option in the app. A custom greeting message can be sent to new leads who connect with you on WhatsApp, telling them about the nature and salient features of your enterprise. Similarly, you can also set up a custom message for off-hours or when you are busy. All of these functions make your business seem more connected and personalised.

Data Collection and Analytics

WhatsApp for Business also includes handy data and analytics tools – features that we expect to become more extensive over time – and allow you to know exactly how many of your messages were read and responded to. With these insights, you can modify the content of your messages and target more relevant audience.

Web & Desktop Apps

Always using your smartphone to respond to customers and leads can be a chore in itself. If you are more comfortable using a traditional keyboard and desktop screen, WhatsApp solves that problem for you with the Web and Desktop clients for Windows and macOS. You need to have your smartphone connected to the internet in order to access the service but that’s all that is required. It is quite helpful if you are getting a ton of messages every day and need to reply quickly and more efficiently to the queries.

All in all, WhatsApp for Business gives small business owners a platform for extending their reach without having to spend ridiculous sums of money on web development, mobile apps and assembling customer support teams. It also connects a business at a personal level with the consumer, and with a right agenda and marketing strategy, it can become a gold mine for acquiring new customers and leads.

Lendingkart Finance is an NBFC which helps small business owners integrate with the digital economy by providing small ticket working capital loans and keeping them updated about the latest happenings in digital India. To know more about quick business loans online, visit us at www.lendingkart.com

Best Small Business Practices to Adopt in a New Financial Year

A small business owner is always striving to give his/her business the right environment to thrive. Here, environment implies having a good workplace, hiring efficient employees, getting the right equipment, developing fruitful relationships and most important of all, gaining access to proper financing and working capital. The last point is most important because every business needs money to operate and without a proper inflow and outflow of cash, any business will eventually suffer. Incidentally, inadequate access to working capital is the reason behind failure of most small business enterprises in the country and the world today.

In this post, we are sharing some tips that will help you enact financial discipline for your SME. To tip you off, these pointers explain the advantages of good accounting practices that keep your finances streamlined and readily available for use.

    1. Practice Strict Bookkeeping: The cardinal rule for running a successful business is to keep accurate records of all the transactions happening on a day-to-day basis. Financial records give you an accurate picture of your income and expenditure, debts, and, accounts receivables. Which in turn help you in tracking income, paying liabilities, and filing tax returns on time.

 

    1. Deploy Integrated Accounting Systems: The reach of technology is extending every day and a small business owner will do well to embrace a modern accounting system to integrate his/her small business with the digital economy. Accounting software are in use by most large scale businesses toady and their benefits are time tested. As a small business owner you can also utilise these systems to save accounting costs, improve financial accuracy, and reduce the chances of theft and fraud.

 

    1. Track your Invoices: Getting paid for the work you have done is all that matters at the end of each day as a small business owner. If you are not getting paid on time, your employees are not getting paid on time, your equipment is not being serviced on time, your rental and utility bills are not paid on time and so on and so forth. Therefore, it is important to have an active invoice tracking system in place. Moreover, generate your invoices as soon as your product or service is delivered instead of waiting till the end of month, this will speed up your invoice clearances significantly and give your working capital a boost.

 

    1. Follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles: GAAP are accounting techniques that are pursued by leading accounting and auditing firms and are accepted as a standard procedure in the financial world. By following these principles on reporting and disclosure of financial statements you will not only be able to draw quicker financial decisions but will also instil confidence in a lender or investor for raising funds.

 

  1. Use Small Ticket Finance for Working Capital: As enumerated at the beginning of this post, having enough money to run daily business is one of the primary concerns of a small business owner. It is quite possible that your business will run into temporary working capital difficulties at the beginning. In such scenarios, never dip your hands into the capital earmarked for equipment or assets to use as working capital. This a vicious cycle which may never end and cause your business to lose precious competitive edge as you fail to invest in proper assets because you used up that capital as working capital. Instead, apply for a working capital loan to finance your short term needs. There are many fintech firms like Lendingkart who offer working capital loans at low interest rates in India. These business loans are short-term, typically one year in duration, and have flexible EMI options to make repayment easier.

In conclusion, financial discipline is necessary if you want your small business to be profitable. The online world offers a lot of tools that you can utilise to bring in transparency and accountability for your small business. Furthermore, online financing options have made it way easier to get working capital loans for a small business and you should utilise these opportunities pro-actively for sustained success in your venture.

To know how to apply for a small business loan from Lendingkart, click here.