One of the greatest resources available for small businesses is the Small Business Administration.

The SBA can provide advice for everyone from those with great business ideas but don’t know where to start to veteran entrepreneurs who still appreciate extra insight into current regulations and best practices.

SBA officials are happy to connect people to various experts,  and they also will be glad to share details about SBA financing, a way for people to get loans or even grants to get a venture off the ground.

There are a variety of regulations and paperwork required in securing SBA financing, and it does require people to sit down and realistically plan out their business. While it can a challenge people ready to start putting up an “open” sign and taking on customers or clients, this level of research does allow people a head start in terms of analyzing their market, looking for what makes them special and exploring possible revenue streams.

There’s plenty of opportunity for those ready to work hard and learn, starting with the following strategies.

It’s not just start-ups. Though ‘seed money’ is popular for people just starting out, SBA financing is also available for people with businesses that have been around longer. Maybe they’re ready to expand but need a little capital to bring on new people, increase production, purchase new equipment or expand their facility. Loans are available for all of these areas.

They’re not instant. While you may be excited to get going, the loan process may take weeks, if not months, to be approved and provide you with access to your funds. It’s standard for a federal bureaucracy, but can be confusing or frustrating for people ready to get started. People who already have their doors open will just have to wait.

Rejection is possible. SBA financing isn’t guaranteed, and there are occasions when the SBA will decline. This certain industries that may be considered risky or illegal. Restaurants, for instance, have a high rate of failure.

To learn more about SBA financing and other funding options, visit IRC Commercial Lending.