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By Cari Fullerton

It's late in the fall and football season is winding down. Whether you root for a local high school team or you’re a fan of the NFL, you must know the rules of the game to enjoy watching. And no self-respecting football coach goes into the season without a game plan if he intends to win.

It’s the same with getting a business loan. You need to understand the rules and have a solid game plan for your business to get approval on a commercial loan. So, here are some rules to play by to help you “win” that business loan.

First Down: The first thing you need to understand is that a bank uses its depositors’ money to fund its loans. This means the bank is going to be very careful in choosing companies and individuals who are a good risk and will provide a good return on their investment. Banks typically run on a net profit margin of only 1 percent, so they have to get it right. That’s why banks may seem rather rigid in their lending decisions and why they are heavily regulated by the government. It’s important to show that your company is a safe bet and can continually get 10 yards play after play, all the way down the field for a business loan win.

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