I’ve read lots of posts in forum where Malaysians would complain that obtaining loan is not as easy as promoted by banks for graduates. Although the Malaysian government have prepared banking facilities such as “Tabung Usahawan Siswazah”, pembiayaan mikro or anything else, there are still problems in getting the funds to start the business.
What is the problem really?
Before I start putting down into words, please take this analogy:
Mr. X approach you to request for funds (pinjaman) for his business. Mr. X talks about his idea to you but he has no business documents prepared. You request for the information on the business he is doing but it seems that Mr. X does not understand the nature of his business in economic form, etc. Sensing a problem with his idea, you replied no to Mr. X request.
Now change “Mr. X” as yourself and you as the “bank”. Would you lend him some money to start his business except out of curteosy? Remember banks are not charity institutions.
What are the factors that would make you fail to get the loan?
- Not understanding the business loan application process. You need to know the documents required, the guidelines and standards on paper presentation by the bank, disclosures, etc.
(I have an experience of such an embarrassment when I to the bank and request to open up a partnership account. We forgot our company stamp, we don’t even did our homework on what documents to prepare for the application. The bank officer laughed and it was not funny but it did teach me a lesson. Do this for bank loan application, you create a very bad impression.)
- Incomplete business plan (Rancangan Perniagaan tidak lengkap @ buat cincai). Business plan is the most important aspect where the officer would look through and decide on first sight whether your business is viable or not. You must make sure that every detail is based on facts, for example your potential market size must be based on the demographics obtained from the Majlis Perbandaran. If you take it easy, you assume, then they’ll make an assumption of your loan too.
(Another experience of mine: We did not prepare our business idea well for the pre-seed funding application under MSC Technopreneur Funding. Although it looks nice but during the interview the panel asked us about our biasness of just listing 2 competitors. Indirectly, he means we are not doing our homework. So our application got turned down)
- Your loan payback attitude. Make sure you are the type who is eager to pay back your loan. Usually before getting this kind of loan you would have to answer a series of tests. This test would determine whether you wanna pay back or not. If you are the type who is “liat nak bayar”, change your attitude.
- Your business in the economic situation. A bank would be likely to have funded a similar business like yours, therefore they understand the economy better. You must convince them through your reasearch and papers that your business is better and would guarantee you can pay back their loan. Some people drop dead when the officer asks: “bisnes ni tak boleh dik, ekonomi tak bagus, bank tak nak.” If you give up on this first sight, then you must consider what is the meaning of “entrepreneur”
- Collateral and guarantor (penjamin & cagaran). Remember this: the more the amount you ask for loan, the more collateral and guarantor needed. You must secure guarantor and collateral in any way if you want the loan. This has and always will be the problem of getting loan. Be smart, if you can’t get loan, go for pre seed funding first or a different industry.
- Inexperienced management team. Let’s face it, no experience, no loan. But remember, as an entrepreneur, you can afford to search for people who are experienced and offer them a job in your startup. What you need to do is to secure their funding once they agree to join you with the salary you offer him/her.
- Being an idiot. Simply asking stupid questions where the answers are clearly on the papers or not doing your research before presenting something is darn stupid. Avoid being labelled as one, because being a graduate, experienced people would have a perception that you are not knowledgable therefore you need to capture them by talking in their own business language and being knowledgable.
Hopefully that helps, based on my own experience and some of my friend’s experience while helping her getting a loan successfully for the Tabung Usahawan Siswazah.
All da best!