Story in partnership with Savvy.
One of the keys to building a successful business is that even in good times you never stop investing in your venture and planning for the future.
With increased optimism flowing into many regional areas around Australia right now, many small businesses are recognising it as the perfect time to put that strategy into practice and prepare for growth.
The agricultural sector in particular is taking advantage of a strong season and low interest rates with a big boost in spending to strengthen their businesses for the long term, with lenders reporting surging loan applications for business asset investment.
"Lots of different businesses are looking ahead to an optimistic future and want to set themselves up for that future," said financial expert Bill Tsouvalas, the CEO of Savvy.
"That could mean changing focus a little bit or preparing for growth by investing in the business by getting an injection of finance to fund the things you need to take it to the next level."
Using finance rather than savings for that new shopfront or equipment means you're also retaining cash reserves to provide much-needed liquidity in your business, Mr Tsouvalas said.
Research from the finance industry shows many small businesses are reluctant to seek finance from lenders, and only turn to it as a last resort.
But in many instances it's a necessary step to allow the business to grow. It could be to cover a cash flow issue, invest in some vital new technology and equipment, hire more staff, or access more inventory to meet customer demand.
Whatever the need, the first step is to work out how much you might be able to borrow and what the repayments are likely to be by making use of a business loan repayments calculator to provide a clear picture of how much a loan may end up costing in the long term.
There are many different kinds of business loans, each with their own advantages and benefits. Which one you should choose depends on how quickly you need to access the money, how much you'd like to borrow and for how long, and whether you would like it to be secured or unsecured.
An unsecured business loan - one that requires no collateral - is the most common for small businesses which are less likely to have the assets needed to secure their loan.
It's a good option if you're after speed - they can be approved more quickly, sometimes within 48 hours.
Unsecured loans can be for as little as $5,000 up to a maximum of $500,000 in some cases, and come with potential loan terms of between three months and five years.
These days there's plenty of competition in this market because of the numbers of new online lenders now operating in the sector.
Mr Tsouvalas said as long as businesses could demonstrate a sound business structure and had a good credit rating they were likely to gain approval for an unsecured business loan.
If you have the assets to use as security you can opt for a secured business loan which come with several key benefits including lower interest rates and expanded borrowing power.
The amount you're able to borrow depends on the value of the asset you're using as collateral because this will be used to repay funds if your business is unable to meet the loan repayments.
With a secured loan you could borrow well above $1 million with potential loan terms of ten years or more.
A secured loan such as a chattel mortgage - a type of finance designed for businesses and used predominantly for the purchase of a car or equipment - can also deliver a range of tax benefits that you can take advantage of straight away. You can claim the GST paid on the vehicle or equipment, interest paid and depreciation.
Because they're designed for businesses, chattel mortgages offer greater flexibility in the way repayments are set up so they can be tailored to individual business needs.
Take advantage of Savvy's services and find out how much finance could be available to help grow your business.
Story in partnership with Savvy.