How to save your company when the Bank says NO to business finance

noWhen the bank says NO it isn’t the end of the line!

Whether it is a refusal for a new loan, or you feel that they are making things very difficult and the relationship has broken down with your existing facility – THERE ARE ALWAYS OPTIONS!!!

Here are five valuable tips that have worked for me throughout my business career:

1. Stay calm   

You always have more time than you think.  One of the most valuable skills a businessman or woman can have is to be able to overcome unexpected issues when they are put in front of them.  Finding new or replacement business finance is simply another of these hurdles to overcome.  Remember if business strategy was easy, everybody would do it, and then it really would be hard for all of us!

On the other hand, don’t do nothing and simply sit and wait for the worst.

Be proactive, use the refusal as an opportunity, make things happen, and where it’s appropriate let the bank know you are taking action!

2. Don’t fall out with your existing funder

If you over-react and shout and even swear at your existing funder, you will only make things worse. You never know what might be available, so don’t burn your bridges.

The easy availability of business finance up until 2008 meant that we were lured into a position of believing that it was almost our divine right to have all of our funding needs met by the Banks come what may.  The fact that the SME has been put on a starvation diet of funding since the seismic financial event that was the credit crisis of just 5 years ago has come as much of a shock to the bankers as it has to the businesses seeking new credit!

3. Take advice from someone you trust

Don’t be afraid to share these problems with others.  Help is available, much of it on a free of charge or contingent basis.  Your funder will appreciate you are being proactive and working with someone who has first-hand experience of the situation, is used to working with banks, and ideally has a wide range of contacts and alternative finance solutions.

4. Conduct the search in an orderly fashion

Ideally in conjunction with your advisor, calculate as closely as possible both how much business finance you need and what it’s for.

Develop a compelling story based on your experience of the business so far and the realistic expectations over the short and medium term.  Funders will be encouraged to see that your business finance strategy is based on facts and that you haven’t just plucked a figure out of the air.

You never know, if you have stayed friends with your existing funder they might even look at the proposition in a new light.

5. Make sure you have options

It’s funny how things never seem to go well when there is only one game in town – when you are faced with one option only, and that looks like it is will be taken away from you.

When you start to have a number of alternatives, it’s amazing how suddenly all the potential providers of finance want to be your friend and win the business!

Work with your advisor to try to ensure that you have at least one option to the funder who has declined you new or additional finance.


  • Don’t panic. DO be proactive and use the refusal as an opportunity to develop new sources of business finance.
  • Don’t burn your bridges with your existing funder.
  • Take advice from a trusted source.
  • Make sure you know how much funding you really need and what you need it for.
  • Be strategic in your search for new or replacement finance

  As always, if you have any comments or any of your own experience you would like to share on this subject, please contact me at or on 0845 689 8750.

Image by:  nathangibbs