2. Dig into your business fundamentals.
Cash flow profile, seasonality, time in business, and available assets are all factors that banks consider when underwriting. For cash flow loans (uncollateralized), the business usually needs to have been an operating entity for at least 2-3 years as well as profitable. Other criteria include customer concentration, background of principals, customer contracts (long term, recurring?) are also taken into consideration. If your business has assets like accounts receivable or real estate (and to a lesser extent inventory) banks will be more flexible in their underwriting process.
It’s important to understand the distinction between short term and long term loans and what underwriters of both look for in terms of business fundamentals. Short term lenders (cash advances, factoring, ABLs, etc) rely on your most monetizable assets (usually AR or the promise of future AR in the case of cash advances) to make a quick approval decision. Most banks on the other hand make long term loans, and as such, require cash flow to cover expected interest expense and amortization. This naturally just takes a longer time. Most lenders are looking for a coverage ratio (operating cash flow / required debt payments) of at least 1.5x. For the best rate loans, 2.0x coverage and higher is often required.