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A business loan can be a difficult thing to score. So congrats if you’ve got one! Now that you have that money, the trick is maximizing on it. That means using it for the things that will most benefit your company. Off the top of your head, you can probably think of a dozen things you could spend a little extra money on. But you ought to be more strategic than that.

For a little guidance, MN Business went to Brenda Ross-Dulan, EVP and regional president for Wells Fargo’s Southern New Jersey region, an area with 150 banks. Ross-Dulan has more than five years of Wells-Fargo regional president experience under her belt and 24 total years of experience in corporate banking, real estate and community development.

Her bank has also recently introduced a new Wells Fargo Works for Small Business initiative that offers advice, services and resources to small business owners. You can gather more info about that here.

We asked Ross-Dulan for three tips for using a small business loan once you’ve got it. Here’s what she suggests:

– Create your business budget and sales projections. Develop your annual business budget and update your sales projections for next year. The most important thing to understand is how many sales you need to make every 30 days to cover expenses and earn a profit. This 30-day sales goal can help put your revenues into perspective by showing you the amount of money you need to make each month.

– Meet with your banker. Discuss your current business needs and review your accounts with your banker. Anticipate how your sales goals might impact your need for a new a deposit account, loan or line of credit. If you’re looking to add employees, it might make sense to investigate a new business payroll service.

– Analyze Your Business’s Cash Flow. One of the most important things you should do is analyze your business cash flow. Review how much cash your business took in and how much you spent. If you have trouble maintaining a steady cash flow, develop a plan to remedy the issue. Make sure you understand and can forecast cash flow, especially if you have a seasonal business.

In other words, once you’ve got the cash in hand, don’t be in a rush to spend it. The first step is to closely inspect your company’s needs now and for the long term in order to use your loan in the most productive way.

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