Business Loan Basics

person icon Rob Stephens

Business Loan Basics

Be more prepared and confident to apply for the loan you need at the lowest rate you can get

updated on icon Updated on Sep, 2023

language icon Language - English

person icon Rob Stephens

architecture icon Business,Finance,Finance & Accounting


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Course Description

Business loans are a vital source of funding for small businesses. The process can seem complicated and difficult. Let me give you the basics to be more prepared and confident to get the loans you need.

Some of the major topics include:

  • Determine whether loan funding is right for you with easy ratio analysis and cash flow projections to help

  • How leverage (the use of borrowed funds) magnifies returns but increases risk. Many business owners chase profits and end up bankrupting their companies. I’ll show you how to avoid this.

  • Where to get business loans. There are many options you may not know about. I give an overview of the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs.

  • Key loan components like how interest is calculated, types of fees, and the multiple terms that can be structured into a loan.

  • How to prepare for the application process.

  • Ways to reduce the interest rate on your loan. I’ll give an overview of the application process and the documents lenders frequently request.

  • How lenders decide whether to approve a loan. Knowing this increases your chances of being approved.

  • Key documents that are signed at loan closing are described, and the importance of each. I’ll point out important clauses to pay attention to in these documents.

You also get access to worksheets, templates, and guides to improve your chances of getting the right loan at the right price. You get the following:

  • 7 Ways to Get the Best Loan Pricing You Can. This has tips on how to lower your interest rate.

  • Key Metrics Worksheet: Enter five numbers in a worksheet to calculate a couple of key metrics that estimate if you’ll have enough cash over the next year.

  • Cash Trends Worksheet: Identify trends in your cash flows and how loans can help smooth out your cash flows.

  • Lending Term Glossary: Translate “banker-speak” into words normal people use.

  • Checklist of Documents to Prepare: What to have ready for a faster loan application process.

I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of business lending. Let me show you the good and how to avoid the bad and ugly. I have served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Director of Operations, and Senior Vice President of Finance at lending institutions over the past 20 years. I've been on loan approval committees, approved pricing on large loans, and had a collections department report to me. This course is filled with tips learned over those years.

Who this course is for:

  • Small business owners
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Accountants
  • Business managers


What will you learn in this course:

  • How to get the lowest rates you can
  • How leverage (i.e. borrowing) magnifies your returns - and risk
  • When a loan is right for your business
  • The right types of loans for your business
  • Explanation of common business lending words
  • Documents you’ll sign and what to pay attention to


What are the prerequisites for this course?

  • None
Business Loan Basics


Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course

When and Where to Get Loans
7 Lectures
  • play icon Introduction 01:49 01:49
  • play icon When to Get a Loan 09:24 09:24
  • play icon Activity: Your Metrics
  • play icon Cash Flow Projection: The gold standard for estimating your future cash needs 08:35 08:35
  • play icon Activity: Cash Flow Projection
  • play icon Leverage: Magnifying your Returns - and Your Risk 06:53 06:53
  • play icon Where to Get Loans 07:29 07:29
Loan Terms, Interest, and Fees
5 Lectures
Getting the Best Pricing and the Application Process
7 Lectures
Where to Go From Here: Next Steps to Take to Get Your Loan
2 Lectures

Instructor Details

Rob Stephens

Rob Stephens

Founder of CFO Perspective

Rob Stephens is the Founder of CFO Perspective, where he provides financial consulting and education to small businesses.  Rob has a 20-year career that includes serving as CFO for two banks and a health clinic system.  He was also Director of Operations at a $4 Billion bank and SVP of Finance of a $2 Billion credit union, where he was Program Manager of an investment advisory group with $170 Million in assets under management.  Rob is an adjunct instructor at Gonzaga University.

Rob holds a Masters of Science in Personal Financial Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Therapy from Kansas State University.  He received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington and is a CPA.

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