Obtaining small business loans is tricky unless you are well prepared. Whether you are applying for a loan from your local bank, credit union, or some other source, you need to do your homework first to ensure that your loan application is successful. Most banks and other creditors consider small business loans risky especially in the initial years of the business. So, you have to work doubly hard to convince them that your business idea will succeed, you have a good business plan, that you are willing to invest your time and money in the venture, and that the venture will have sufficient cash flow to service the loan.When looking at small business financing, most bankers check if the entrepreneur has also invested in the venture. They expect you to bring in between 25 and 50 per cent of the money needed for the start-up. The banker sees no reason to risk their money unless you are willing to risk some of your cash by way of capital.Another reason why many start ups are denied small business credit is the lack of a convincing business plan. Before you go to meet potential lenders, you need to firm up your business plan. You need to show the lender exactly what their money will be used for and how you plan to repay the loan.If you are a merchant, you can apply for a merchant cash advance, where the money borrowed can be used at your discretion. However, you do need to show regular sales and the potential to increase sales after the borrowings.When in need of small business loans try approaching the Small Business Administration for help first. If they are willing to underwrite your loan amount, banks and other small business lending institutions will be more willing to lend to you. This is because their risk is lower. You can even try negotiating for a lower rate of interest.When you need business credit line for operating expenses or to expand your business by purchasing more stock, it helps if you can offer the lender some collateral. If your business has tangible assets such as real estate or machinery, now is the time to use them to get credit at a lower rate of interest.When applying for small business loans it is important to keep in mind that the primary concern of the lender is your ability to repay the loan. If you are able to convince potential lenders on this point by presenting a sound business plan and a repayment schedule you are more likely to obtain the loan. Yet another thing that bankers and lenders check is the personal credit rating of the borrowing entrepreneur. If you have not done so yet, get your credit rating reports and ensure that they reflect positively on your willingness to repay loans. By taking these very essential steps, it will be easy for any entrepreneur to obtain loans for their business needs.