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Texas is the second largest state by both population and land size. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the state’s population is approximately 27.9 million, and it has grown by more than ten percent over the last five years. Its main economic hubs are large cities, such as Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio. However, economic opportunity is found in many mid-sized and even small communities throughout the state. Agriculture, energy, manufacturing, technology and commerce are among the most robust sectors of this state’s diverse economy. The state ranks 14th in the country for entrepreneurial activity, and many residents enjoy the opportunity to be their own boss. As a small business owner, you may currently be in a position where you need extra capital to fund business growth plans. Applying for a small business loan is a great way to seek the financing you need.

What You Can Do With Small Business Loan Funds

Small business loan amounts in Texas range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. With so much additional capital available at your fingertips after your loan closes, the possibilities for growth and development are substantial. Business owners will need to develop a detailed plan outlining their projected use of funds, and exploring the possibilities may help you to get started with this process. Small business loans in Texas can be used to expand into a new market, to open a branch location, to introduce new products and services to your customers, to purchase more or better equipment, to hire more skilled staff members, to expand your marketing efforts and more. In many instances, a plan for growth will incorporate several or most of these uses of funds for a more comprehensive growth strategy.

Top Texas Small Business Lenders

Before you spend time dreaming about the possibilities for growth for your small business, you may be interested in learning more about projected loan terms. Many of the top Texas small business lenders publish their best rates and terms available online. You can explore some of these terms by looking at websites for banks such as The First National Bank of Albany, Community Bank, Horizon Bank, Southwest Bank, First State Bank, Citizens State Bank, United Bank of El Paso Del Norte and others. Published loan rates for most institutions are intended for the most qualified candidates. While some small business owners may qualify for these loan rates and terms, others may be approved for less desirable terms based on the financial factors of their loan request.

Developing a Plan for Business Growth

Now that you realize small business funding is available through a loan with great terms, it is time to get serious about developing a plan for business growth. You likely have a great idea of where you want your business to be within the next few years, but you need to develop a step-by-step plan for getting to that point. Update your business plan to reflect these steps. For each step, carefully outline the costs. Research the costs to obtain firm estimates by contacting different vendors you plan to work with. It may take several days or longer to fully detail your plan, but this effort will help you to determine the ideal loan amount to request. Keep in mind that the ideal loan amount is also affordable for your budget. Therefore, you should take the additional step of estimating the monthly loan payment based on the loan amount you need. Compare this figure against your budget to confirm its affordability.

Applying for Your Small Business Loan

After you have taken these initial steps, you can better determine the loan amount that you need, and you have confirmed that it is affordable for your budget. You may consider getting firm quotes from several lenders before you move forward with the loan request. Differences in rates, terms and fees can yield tremendous savings, and you may find that some lenders have far more advantageous terms than others. As soon as you decide to move forward with your loan request, you may also begin gathering together documentation required by your lender. Your lender may provide you with a list of documents required, and this list typically includes personal and business bank statements, personal and business tax returns, your updated business plan, operating statements for the business and more.

It may take several weeks or longer for your loan to be approved and for the funds to be available in your bank account. While this may seem like a long time, you can use this time to strategically plan for business growth and development. Take all additional steps necessary to prepare for growth that do not require funds. By doing so, you can quickly execute your plans once funding is available.