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applying for a loan question

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Hi, new to this site and glad I found it! reading alot on here has help me out, my problem is..... i'm a new garage owner, 3yrs now, started from zero! no customers, no employees and very little equipment, now i've got 4 full time employees plus myself, lots of business, equipment etc., shop makes good money, yet not alot for me :(

but i'm currently almost debit free, only owe snap-on about 5k other than that nothing! i pay cash for everything and dont like debit, but recently i've been thinking about getting a small loan (10k) to do somethings around the shop to improve services and finish some cars I have to put out for sale,

but honestly it scares me to death thinking about a loan, i've had several sleepless nites lately about it! my fear is if we get slow (thank god we are always busy) how will I make my loan payment, payroll etc., I keep $$ in reserve but adding a loan makes me nervous, the loan can help me buy new equipment to better service cars and hopefully get things done quicker so I can work more to make more $$ and I know debit can be ok, I dont think i'll really be able to grow bigger like I want paying for everything out of my pocket, so i'm looking for everyones opinion on taking on a loan and can I really grow without a loan now or in the future. thanks in advance for your input, Rob

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I was recently "forced" to move my business and had to come up with cash really fast. I was actually amazed that I got a SBA loan from the government for a very small amount every month. It was a 10k loan and payment is just over $100 a month. I would look into that.

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First, congratulations on your success. Your business is young and you have done well. All businesses evolve and must grow. But smart growth is different than growing for the sake of growing. Change is also needed in business. Businesses that do not grow and do not evolve remain stagnant and become stale. Change is good because it fosters growth and builds excitement. People also want to be associated with forward thinking leaders.


Fear of the unknown keeps many people from reaching their potential. Taking risk is all part of being a leader and a shop owner. While no one can guarantee success, I do know that inaction in business is not good for the long term and a mistake.


Create a plan and make calculated decisions. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on, but always move on, never retreat.


For me, I chose a local bank in the mid 1980’s that I knew was community focused. Each time I needed a loan for improvements or expansion, the bank was there for me. I expanded my business time and time again, starting with a 4 bay shop and grew to a two-facility company with a total of 11 bays.


Again, calculated smart growth is good, don’t fear it. Embrace it. You started with nothing and look what you have accomplished in just 3 years. You are a business man and a leader. Leader must have vision. Create your vision, get the loan you need, put a plan together to make sure it makes financial sense and you will be fine.


Being a shop owner means you are on a never ending journey, constantly evolving. It’s not about reaching a certain level or size, it’s about continually moving forward. You will have good years, bad years and great years. Business can be like a roller coaster ride, it’s exhilarating and scary.

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