Insider’s Guide To Business Loan Lingo: Decode, Understand, Succeed

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Welcome to our comprehensive insider’s guide to navigating the complex world of business loans. In this guide, we aim to decode the language and terminology associated with business loans, empowering business owners like you to make informed decisions and succeed in your ventures.

Understanding various loan terms, types, and processes can be the key to securing the right financing for your business. By demystifying the jargon and shedding light on loan approval factors, repayment options, and the risks involved, we’ll help you decode the intricacies of the business loan landscape.

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, this guide will provide you with the essential knowledge and insights you need to navigate the loan application process with confidence. Armed with this knowledge, you can find the right loan, understand the terms, and use the funds strategically to fuel the growth and success of your business.

So, join us on this journey as we delve into the world of business loans. Together, we’ll uncover the key concepts, demystify the terminology, and pave the way for your business’s financial success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Decoding business loan terms and understanding their meaning empowers business owners.
  • Understanding the different types of business loans and lenders helps in making informed decisions.
  • Creditworthiness and financial stability are key factors in loan approval.
  • Loan terms encompass interest rates, repayment options, and security requirements.
  • There are various types of business loans, including term loans and lines of credit.

Understanding Business Loans: Types and Lenders

When it comes to financing your business, understanding the different types of business loans available and the lenders who offer them is essential. Each type of loan has its own unique features and benefits, catering to the diverse needs of business owners. Similarly, various lenders specialize in providing loans to businesses of different sizes and industries. In this section, we will explore the different types of business loans and discuss the lenders that can help you secure the financing you need.

Types of Business Loans

Business loans come in various forms, tailored to meet specific financial needs. Some common types of business loans include:

  1. Term Loans: These loans provide a lump sum of money that is to be repaid over a predetermined period, typically with fixed interest rates.
  2. Lines of Credit: A line of credit is a revolving loan that allows businesses to borrow funds up to a certain limit and repay them as needed. Interest is only charged on the amount borrowed.
  3. Equipment Financing: This type of loan is specifically designed for purchasing or leasing equipment needed for day-to-day business operations.
  4. Invoice Financing: Invoice financing involves using outstanding invoices as collateral to obtain a loan, helping businesses manage their cash flow.
  5. Merchant Cash Advances: With this type of loan, businesses receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for a percentage of their future credit or debit card sales.

Lenders Offering Business Loans

There are different types of lenders that offer business loans, each with its own requirements and lending criteria:

  • Traditional Banks: Traditional banks provide a wide range of business loans, including term loans and lines of credit. They may have stricter eligibility criteria and longer approval processes.
  • Online Lenders: Online lenders offer quick and convenient access to business loans. They often have more flexible eligibility requirements and faster approval timelines.
  • Alternative Lenders: Alternative lenders, such as peer-to-peer lending platforms, can provide financing options for businesses that may not meet the criteria of traditional lenders. They often have different credit evaluation methods.
  • Government Agencies: Certain government agencies, like the Small Business Administration (SBA), offer loans specifically designed to support small businesses.
  • Private Investors: Private investors or venture capitalists can provide funding to start-ups or businesses with high growth potential in exchange for equity or other forms of financial return.

“Understanding the types of business loans available and the lenders who offer them is crucial for making informed decisions about securing financing for your business. By selecting the right loan type and lender, you can access the funds you need to grow and succeed.”

Lender Type of Loans Offered
Traditional Banks Term Loans, Lines of Credit
Online Lenders Various loan types, including Term Loans, Lines of Credit, and Invoice Financing
Alternative Lenders Business Loans, Merchant Cash Advances
Government Agencies SBA Loans
Private Investors Equity Funding, Venture Capital

Key Factors for Loan Approval: Creditworthiness and Financial Stability

When it comes to securing a business loan, understanding the key factors that lenders consider for loan approval is crucial. A combination of factors, including creditworthiness and financial stability, play a significant role in determining whether a business will be granted the loan it needs.


Creditworthiness refers to the assessment of a business’s ability to repay its debts and fulfill its financial obligations. Lenders review the business’s credit history, credit score, and payment records to gauge its creditworthiness. A good credit history, demonstrated through timely payments and minimal outstanding debts, reflects positively on the business’s ability to manage its financial responsibilities.

“A strong credit history and high credit score indicate to lenders that the business has a track record of responsible financial management and is likely to honor its loan obligations.” – John Smith, Financial Expert

Business owners should strive to maintain a good credit history by paying bills on time, minimizing outstanding debts, and avoiding defaults or bankruptcy. Regularly reviewing and addressing any discrepancies or inaccuracies in the credit report is also essential for ensuring a favorable creditworthiness assessment.

Financial Stability

Financial stability is another crucial factor that lenders consider when determining loan approval. Lenders assess a business’s financial stability by analyzing its financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow forecasts. These documents provide insights into the business’s profitability, liquidity, and ability to generate consistent revenue.

Lenders also evaluate the business’s debt-to-equity ratio and debt service coverage ratio to assess its financial health. A low debt-to-equity ratio and a strong debt service coverage ratio indicate that the business has a healthy financial position, making it more likely to repay the loan on time.

“Lenders are keen on ensuring that a borrower’s financial stability provides a solid foundation for loan repayment, reducing the risk of default” – Emily Johnson, Loan Officer

To improve financial stability, business owners should focus on controlling costs, increasing revenues, and maintaining healthy cash flow. Regularly updating and analyzing financial statements can help identify areas of improvement and showcase the business’s financial strength to potential lenders.

By understanding and prioritizing creditworthiness and financial stability, businesses can enhance their chances of loan approval. Demonstrating a strong credit history and financial stability not only presents lenders with less risk but also instills confidence in the business’s ability to meet its financial obligations.

Exploring Loan Terms: Interest Rates, Repayment, and Security

When applying for a business loan, it’s crucial to understand the various loan terms that will affect your borrowing experience. In this section, we will delve into key aspects of loan terms, including interest rates, repayment options, and security requirements.

Interest Rates

The interest rate is the cost you incur for borrowing the funds from a lender. It is usually expressed as a percentage and can have a significant impact on the total amount you repay. Higher interest rates mean more substantial repayment amounts, while lower interest rates may result in more affordable monthly payments.

It’s important to shop around and compare interest rates from different lenders to ensure you secure the most favorable terms for your business. Factors that can influence the interest rate offered include your creditworthiness, the financial stability of your business, and market conditions.

Repayment Options

Understanding the available repayment options is essential for planning and managing your loan payments effectively. Different lenders may offer various repayment plans, including fixed monthly payments, variable payments based on interest rates, or even customizable repayment schedules tailored to your business’s cash flow.

loan repayment

As a business owner, it’s crucial to assess your revenue projections and cash flow to determine the repayment option that aligns best with your financial situation. By choosing the right repayment plan, you can ensure timely payments and maintain a healthy financial position for your business.

Security Requirements

Security requirements are measures taken by lenders to protect their investment and mitigate risk. In many cases, lenders may require some form of collateral, such as real estate, equipment, or inventory, to secure the loan. This collateral provides assurance to the lender that they can recoup their funds if the borrower defaults on the loan.

The specific security requirements will vary depending on the lender, loan amount, and the perceived risk associated with your business. It’s essential to carefully review and understand the security requirements before entering into a loan agreement to ensure you are comfortable with the obligations and potential consequences.

Understanding loan terms, including interest rates, repayment options, and security requirements, is critical for making informed decisions when acquiring business financing. By carefully considering these factors, you can secure a loan that aligns with your business goals and sets you on a path to success.

Types of Business Loans: Term Loans, Lines of Credit, and More

When it comes to obtaining financing for your business, understanding the different types of business loans available is crucial. By familiarizing yourself with the options at hand, you can make informed decisions that align with your specific needs and goals. This section will delve into the various types of business loans, including term loans, lines of credit, and other financing options.

Term Loans

Term loans are one of the most common types of business loans. They involve borrowing a specific amount of money from a lender and repaying it over a predetermined period. Term loans often have fixed interest rates, making it easier to plan for monthly payments. These loans are usually used for large investments such as purchasing equipment, expanding operations, or acquiring property.

Lines of Credit

A line of credit, on the other hand, offers businesses access to a pool of funds that they can use as needed. This type of loan provides flexibility, allowing businesses to withdraw funds as necessary up to a predetermined credit limit. Lines of credit are often used for managing cash flow, covering unexpected expenses, or taking advantage of growth opportunities.

Type of Business Loan Definition Use
Term Loans A specific amount borrowed and repaid over a fixed period. Large investments, equipment purchase, expansion.
Lines of Credit Access to a pool of funds used as needed. Cash flow management, unexpected expenses, growth opportunities.

Aside from these two common types of business loans, there are other financing options available to business owners. These include equipment financing, invoice financing, merchant cash advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Each of these options serves different business needs and comes with its own set of terms and requirements.

“Understanding the different types of business loans can help you choose the right financing option that aligns with your business goals and financial needs.” – John Smith, Finance Expert

Now that you have a better understanding of the various types of business loans, you can explore each option in more detail to determine which type of financing best suits your business’s unique circumstances. Remember, it’s essential to review the terms, interest rates, repayment options, and eligibility criteria of each loan before making a decision.

Types of Business Loans

Decoding Loan Terms: Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans and Start-up Funding

When it comes to navigating the world of business financing, decoding loan terms is essential for entrepreneurs seeking start-up funding. One particular type of loan that stands out is the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, designed to support small businesses in their growth journey. Understanding SBA loans and their terms can give start-ups a competitive edge in securing the funding they need.

Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are government-backed loans provided by approved lenders, such as banks and credit unions. These loans are aimed at providing financial assistance to small businesses that may not qualify for traditional loans due to limited credit history or lack of collateral.

The SBA offers various loan programs, each tailored to meet different business needs. The most common types of SBA loans include:

  • SBA 7(a) Loan
  • SBA 504 Loan
  • SBA Microloan

Each loan program has its own eligibility criteria, loan amounts, interest rates, and repayment terms. Applicants must be prepared to meet specific requirements to increase their chances of securing an SBA loan.

Start-up funding is another crucial aspect to consider when deciphering loan terms. Start-ups typically require financing to cover initial costs, such as equipment, inventory, marketing, and operational expenses. While traditional lenders may view start-ups as high-risk borrowers, certain funding options are specifically designed for new businesses.

Start-up funding options often include:

  • Business Lines of Credit
  • Angel Investors
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Crowdfunding

Entrepreneurs should carefully evaluate their business plan, financial projections, and growth potential when exploring start-up funding opportunities. Understanding the loan terms associated with these options can help entrepreneurs make informed decisions to secure the funding necessary for successful business launch and growth.

“Decoding loan terms, especially for SBA loans and start-up funding, is crucial for entrepreneurs who want to make smart financial decisions and scale their businesses effectively.”

By unraveling loan terms, specifically those related to SBA loans and start-up funding, entrepreneurs can seize opportunities to fuel their business growth and achieve long-term success. Deciphering the complexities of loan terms arms business owners with the knowledge they need to make informed financial choices and navigate the path to success.

The Advantages of SBA Loans

SBA loans offer several key advantages for start-up businesses:

Advantages of SBA Loans Explanation
Lower Down Payments SBA loans typically require smaller down payments compared to traditional loans, easing the financial burden for start-up entrepreneurs.
Longer Repayment Terms The repayment periods for SBA loans are generally longer, giving start-ups more time to establish their businesses and generate revenue before the loan comes due.
Flexible Use of Funds SBA loans provide more flexibility in how funds can be utilized, allowing entrepreneurs to allocate the capital according to their specific business needs.
Build Credit History Successfully repaying an SBA loan helps start-ups establish a positive credit history, which can be crucial for future financing opportunities.

Understanding the advantages and nuances of SBA loans and start-up funding empowers entrepreneurs to secure the funds needed to launch and expand their businesses. By decoding loan terms, entrepreneurs can confidently navigate the lending landscape and position their start-ups for long-term success.

Decoding Loan Terms

Navigating the Loan Process: Application to Approval

Navigating the loan process can feel like a daunting task, especially for business owners who are new to the world of borrowing. However, with the right information and preparation, applying for and getting loan approval can be a smooth and successful experience.

Before you begin the loan application process, it’s important to gather all the necessary financial documents. This includes business financial statements, tax returns, bank statements, and any other relevant paperwork that demonstrates your business’s financial health and stability. Having these documents readily available will expedite the application process and increase your chances of approval.

Once you have your documents in order, it’s time to start the application process. This typically involves filling out an application form where you will provide information about your business, its financials, and your personal financial history. Be thorough and accurate in providing this information, as any discrepancies or missing details could delay the approval process.

After submitting your application, the lender will review it along with your supporting documents. This is where your creditworthiness and financial stability come into play. Lenders assess your credit score, credit history, and financial statements to determine your ability to repay the loan. The stronger your credit and financial position, the higher your chances of approval.

During the review process, the lender may also conduct a credit check and verify the information provided in your application. It’s important to be transparent and forthcoming during this stage, as any inconsistencies or misrepresentations could lead to the rejection of your loan application.

“Getting a business loan approval requires careful preparation, accurate information, and a solid financial foundation.”

Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will receive a loan offer outlining the terms and conditions of the loan. Read the offer carefully and make sure you understand all the terms, including interest rates, repayment terms, and any collateral or personal guarantees required.

If you are satisfied with the loan offer, you can accept it by signing the loan agreement and returning it to the lender. The lender will then disburse the funds to your business, and you can start utilizing the loan for your intended purposes.

Remember, navigating the loan process requires time, effort, and attention to detail. By gathering the necessary documents, submitting a complete and accurate application, and being transparent throughout the process, you can increase your chances of a successful loan approval. With the funds in hand, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your business goals and driving growth.

Navigating the loan process

Understanding Loan Repayment: Monthly Payments and Prepayment Penalties

Once you’ve secured a business loan, understanding how loan repayment works is essential. The repayment process involves making monthly payments towards the loan amount borrowed, including any applicable interest and fees. This section will guide you through the nuances of loan repayment, including monthly payment calculations and considerations for prepayment penalties.

Monthly Payment Calculations

The calculation of monthly payments typically involves three key factors:

  1. The principal amount borrowed: This refers to the initial loan amount received from the lender.
  2. The interest rate: This is the cost charged by the lender for borrowing the funds.
  3. The loan term: This is the agreed-upon timeframe within which the loan is expected to be repaid.

By considering these factors, lenders calculate the monthly payment required to repay the borrowed amount over the agreed loan term. Generally, the monthly payment will remain the same throughout the loan term, unless the interest rate or loan terms change.

Prepayment Penalties

While repaying your loan early may seem advantageous, it’s important to be aware of prepayment penalties which some lenders impose. Prepayment penalties are fees charged by the lender when a borrower pays off the loan before the agreed-upon loan term.

These penalties serve as a way for lenders to recoup the interest they would have earned over the full loan term. However, not all lenders enforce prepayment penalties, so it’s crucial to review the loan agreement before signing to understand the terms and potential penalties.

It’s recommended to consult with your lender and carefully evaluate whether the potential savings from early loan repayment outweigh the prepayment penalties.

Understanding loan repayment, including monthly payments and prepayment penalties, is vital for managing your business finances effectively. By staying informed about the repayment process, you can create a sound financial strategy that aligns with your business goals.

Loan Repayment Considerations Monthly Payments Prepayment Penalties
Calculation of loan repayment involves principal amount, interest rate, and loan term factors. Monthly payments remain consistent throughout the loan term. Prepayment penalties may be charged by some lenders for paying off the loan early.
Understanding monthly payment calculations helps in financial planning. Consistent monthly payments simplify budgeting and cash flow management. Review loan agreement for clarity on prepayment penalties.
Consider potential savings against prepayment penalties when deciding to repay the loan early. Early loan repayment can reduce overall interest paid and improve financial flexibility. Consult with your lender to evaluate the impact of prepayment penalties.

Keep in mind that each lender may have different policies regarding loan repayment and prepayment penalties, so it’s crucial to thoroughly review the terms and conditions specific to your loan agreement.

Loan Repayment

Maximizing Loan Impact: Using Funds Strategically for Business Growth

When it comes to securing a business loan, simply obtaining the funds is just the first step in your entrepreneurial journey. To truly harness the power of financing and drive business growth, it’s essential to maximize the impact of the loan by using the funds strategically. By strategically allocating and investing these funds, business owners can navigate the competitive landscape with confidence, seize new opportunities, and propel their ventures to new heights of success.

One effective strategy for maximizing the loan impact is to prioritize investments that directly contribute to business growth. Whether it’s expanding your product line, entering new markets, or scaling up operations, directing funds towards initiatives that generate revenue and fuel expansion is crucial. Consider conducting a thorough analysis of your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) to identify the areas where financial support can make the most significant impact.

Another key aspect of using loan funds strategically is ensuring proper financial planning and budgeting. Business owners must establish a detailed plan that outlines how the funds will be utilized and calculate the amount required for each specific purpose. This includes not only the initial investment but also ongoing operational expenses, future growth initiatives, and timely loan repayments.

“Maximizing loan impact doesn’t necessarily mean using all the funds at once. Business owners should exercise discretion and discipline, using only what is necessary and leaving room for future needs and unforeseen circumstances.”

Furthermore, consider seeking expert advice from financial advisors or consultants who can guide you in making strategic decisions about how to best utilize your loan funds. These professionals can provide valuable insights and help create a sound financial plan that aligns with your business goals and maximizes the long-term impact of the loan.

Case Study: XYZ Corporation

To illustrate the importance of using funds strategically, let’s take the example of XYZ Corporation, a technology start-up seeking financing to expand its operations. Through careful analysis and consultation with a financial advisor, XYZ Corporation identified two areas of strategic investment:

  1. Research and Development: Recognizing the importance of innovation and product differentiation in the technology industry, XYZ Corporation allocated a significant portion of the loan funds to research and development activities. This investment allowed the company to develop groundbreaking technologies and stay ahead of its competitors, resulting in increased market share and revenue growth.
  2. Marketing and Sales: XYZ Corporation also realized the need to invest in marketing and sales efforts to promote its products and generate customer demand. By allocating a portion of the loan funds to targeted marketing campaigns, the company was able to reach a wider audience, attract new customers, and establish strong relationships with key stakeholders in the industry.
Area of Investment Loan Amount Impact on Business Growth
Research and Development $500,000 Product innovation, increased market share, and revenue growth
Marketing and Sales $300,000 Increased brand visibility, customer acquisition, and market expansion

The strategic allocation of loan funds enabled XYZ Corporation to establish a strong foothold in the market, outpace competitors, and achieve sustainable growth. By carefully considering their business needs and objectives, business owners can follow suit and make the most of their loan funding.

In conclusion, securing a business loan is just the beginning. To unlock the true potential of financing and drive business growth, business owners must strategically allocate and invest their loan funds in initiatives that align with their goals and generate tangible results. By doing so, they can maximize the impact of the loan, propel their ventures forward, and pave the way for long-term success.

The Risks and Pitfalls of Business Loans: Avoiding Predatory Lenders and Pitfalls

When it comes to obtaining a business loan, it’s important for entrepreneurs to be aware of the potential risks and pitfalls that they may encounter. By understanding these risks, they can make informed decisions and avoid falling prey to predatory lenders or common pitfalls that could hinder their business’s success.

1. Predatory Lenders

One of the major risks associated with business loans is the presence of predatory lenders. These lenders often target small businesses with high interest rates, excessive fees, and unfair loan terms. Being exposed to predatory lending practices can result in financial distress and hinder the growth of the business.

“Predatory lenders often take advantage of entrepreneurs who are in dire need of funding. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and vet potential lenders to ensure that they are reputable and offer fair loan terms.”

2. Hidden Fees and Penalties

Another common pitfall of business loans is the existence of hidden fees and penalties. Some lenders may have additional charges that are not clearly disclosed upfront, such as origination fees, prepayment penalties, and late payment fees. These hidden costs can significantly increase the overall loan burden and negatively impact the business’s financial health.

3. Inadequate Repayment Terms

Business owners should also be cautious of loans with inadequate repayment terms. It’s important to carefully evaluate the loan’s duration, interest rates, and monthly payment amounts. Failing to do so can lead to financial strain and difficulties in meeting the loan obligations, potentially jeopardizing the business’s long-term viability.

4. Lack of Collateral or Guarantees

Securing a business loan often requires collateral or personal guarantees. While this is a common practice, entrepreneurs should be aware of the potential risks involved. If the business is unable to meet the repayment obligations, the collateral may be seized or the personal guarantees may be called upon, resulting in significant personal and financial consequences.

5. Limited Cash Flow

One of the key risks of business loans is the impact they can have on the company’s cash flow. Taking on excessive debt or high-interest loans can strain the business’s finances, leaving limited funds for day-to-day operations, growth initiatives, and unforeseen expenses. It’s important to carefully assess the loan’s affordability and consider its impact on cash flow before proceeding.

6. Unpredictable Economic Factors

Lastly, entrepreneurs should be mindful of external factors that could affect their ability to repay the business loan. Economic downturns, changes in market conditions, and industry-specific challenges can all impact the business’s financial stability. It’s essential to assess the potential risks associated with the industry and economic climate before committing to a loan.

By being aware of these risks and pitfalls, entrepreneurs can take proactive measures to mitigate the potential negative impact of business loans. Thorough research, proper due diligence, and consultation with financial experts can help business owners make informed decisions and secure loans that align with their goals and best interests.

Also Read : Smart Money Moves: Strategies For Student Loan Repayment Success


In conclusion, understanding the intricacies of business loan terms is essential for entrepreneurs seeking to secure the optimal financing for their specific needs and aspirations. By deciphering the often complex language associated with business loans, owners can equip themselves with the knowledge necessary to make informed choices, leading to successful loan applications.

Through effective navigation of the loan process, entrepreneurs can access the funding required to drive business growth and achieve their goals. By staying informed, business owners can assess their creditworthiness and financial stability, two key factors lenders consider during the loan approval process.

Furthermore, by comprehending various loan terms, such as interest rates, repayment options, and required security, entrepreneurs can negotiate favorable loan agreements. Strategic utilization of loan funds can also play a crucial role in maximizing the impact on business growth and prosperity.

Ultimately, by decoding business loan lingo and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the loan process, entrepreneurs can make confident decisions, avoid predatory lenders, and secure the funding necessary to thrive and succeed in the competitive world of business.


What is a business loan?

A business loan is a type of financing provided by a lender to a business owner. It can be used for various purposes, such as starting a new business, expanding existing operations, or managing cash flow.

What are the different types of business loans?

Business loans come in various forms, including term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, and commercial loans. Each type of loan serves different purposes and has its own set of terms and conditions.

How do I determine the right loan for my business?

Determining the right loan for your business involves considering factors such as your business needs, financial stability, and loan terms. It’s important to understand your specific goals and seek expert advice if needed.

How can I improve my creditworthiness for loan approval?

To improve your creditworthiness, you can work on building a positive credit history, reducing existing debt, and ensuring timely payments on your financial obligations. It’s also essential to maintain accurate and up-to-date financial statements.

What is the loan application process like?

The loan application process typically involves submitting financial documents, such as income statements and business plans, to the lender. The lender will evaluate your application based on factors such as credit history, business revenue, and collateral.

How do interest rates affect the loan?

Interest rates determine the cost of borrowing. Higher interest rates may result in larger monthly payments and overall higher loan costs. It’s crucial to consider the impact of interest rates when evaluating loan options.

Can I use my home equity for a business loan?

Yes, if you have equity in your home, you may be able to secure a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to fund your business. However, this option puts your home at risk if you default on the loan.

What are prepayment penalties?

Prepayment penalties are charges imposed by lenders if you pay off the loan early or make extra payments. It’s important to understand the prepayment penalty terms before committing to a loan to avoid any unexpected costs.

How can I strategically use loan funds for business growth?

Strategic use of loan funds involves identifying areas in your business that require investment, such as marketing, equipment, or hiring additional staff. By allocating funds strategically, you can maximize the impact on business growth.

What are the risks of business loans?

The risks of business loans include the potential for high-interest rates, predatory lending practices, and the risk of default if you’re unable to repay the loan. It’s crucial to carefully assess the terms and conditions before committing to a loan.

How can I avoid predatory lenders?

To avoid predatory lenders, research and choose reputable lending institutions. Look for lenders with positive customer reviews, transparent terms, and fair lending practices. It’s also beneficial to seek advice from financial experts or business mentors.