A crucial item in securing a small-business loan in these credit-tight times is a well-prepared proposal--crammed with evidence of your company's good financial standing. Hiring an expert consultant to prepare a complete financial plan, however, can be costly. But now, ValuSource Inc., a San Diego financial software maker, is offering a way to get the bucks without laying out a lot of dough.
Through a series of simple questions, its Loan Express program for IBM PCs helps business planners determine the type of loan or debt restructuring that would suit their needs best. Then, by punching in financial information from the past two to five years--taxes paid, earnings, and losses, for instance--the $195 program can generate annual or monthly projections, break-even analyses, business valuations, and a slew of other data. Loan Express then incorporates the relevant information into a boilerplate proposal form, along with explanations and summaries. To help banks, ValuSource is also working on a more sophisticated version that can process loan applications electronically.