Without adequate information about what should be done to obtain small business loans in the current extreme circumstances, most business borrowers are increasingly confused. Business finance consulting that provides practical advice about overcoming current lending difficulties will be helpful to business owners. Nevertheless, because of a chaotic commercial financing climate, effective working capital management advice has become a valuable and rare commodity. Even though they are clearly in demand, business financing experts are simply not easy to locate.

Some very helpful and effective business finance advice is available at no cost, and business owners should usually start any search for help by reviewing such free advice first. Two notable examples of sources available for free online are The Working Capital Journal and The Commercial Mortgages Guide. However, the normal complexity of small business loans combined with a chaotic commercial lending climate is likely to increase the necessity of individualized commercial finance consulting assistance from a commercial financing expert.

Such personalized business finance consulting help will not be as easy to find as might be expected. In many cases, commercial financing advisors are not willing to charge a fixed commercial finance consulting fee that requires them to spend more time and frequently offers them much less compensation than provided by lucrative loan fees that are often well over $5000. If small business owners can find a commercial loan expert willing to provide these professional consulting services for a reasonable fixed fee, a likely cost range will be $1500 to $3000 for a basic but thorough consulting effort.

One of the most important efforts that commercial borrowers should undertake with a qualified business finance consultant is to explore contingency financing options which might be necessary due to the current upheaval in financial markets. For many years I have advocated the importance of “always having a Plan B” for working capital financing and other business financing.

Now that many banks have routinely reduced or eliminated business lines of credit or recalled commercial loans, the true value of formulating contingency plans for small business loans and commercial real estate financing has become very apparent. When they are unprepared to do so, business owners will find it much more difficult to find alternative sources for financing. With a practical contingency financing plan, business owners will not be caught by surprise and will be ready to take quick action if their current commercial lender suddenly changes course and revokes existing commercial finance agreements.

Most small business owners have their own areas of special interest in addition to a “Plan B” scenario to investigate with the help of a candid business finance consulting effort. Regardless of the specific topic, it will usually be beneficial for a business borrower to have a straightforward discussion with a small business loan expert.

In some cases, these discussions can be thought of as “getting a second opinion” for new commercial financing or refinancing of existing debt. Business owners might not have previously seen the point in paying even a modest consulting fee to get such a second opinion, but recent events have changed that perspective in most cases. Now that many banks have made it so painfully clear that they can make really big mistakes when the right questions are not asked beforehand, more and more commercial borrowers readily understand that they might need someone else looking out for their best interests.

For tasks like those described above, how should small business owners find a business finance consultant to help? One suggestion is to include the power of the internet and conduct a search for “working capital finance expert” or “commercial financing and consulting”. Hopefully you will have a Plan B to help guide you if that approach is not sufficiently effective.