Chapter 4 - Sources of FinanceSources of Finance to Grow Your BusinessThe traditional source of finance, the major high street banks, are complaining that they are not getting enough demand from small to medium sized companies, for the money that they have available to lend. The SMEs on the other hand are telling a different story and are complaining that the banks are just not lending.My own experience has shown that the banks are willing to lend money to good companies, with strong balance sheets, that are profitable, and there is a specific reason for the loan that will enable the company to grow.There is no money for those companies that are not making money, with negative balance sheets, no appetite for personal guarantees, and who already have arrears with HMRC. The problem is, however, that the World is not just made up of good and bad companies. There is a layer of companies that are neither good nor bad; those sit in the middle and are finding it hard to raise the growth capital that they need.If you fall into the category that the banks will lend to then you are fortunate, but if you fall into the middle layer of not quite being good enough yet, where do you go for the growth funding that you need?The first thing to understand is not to rush into anything and to make careful preparations before applying for any type of funding at all.It really does not matter what type of funding you require, most providers will want the same information from you; have it prepared in advance.Once you are prepared you can now start approaching the relevant providers. Always do this in a parallel fashion approaching a few at the same time. Do not do it one at a time, waiting to fail with one until you move to the next.Create competition amongst the providers; after all they are just like any other sales organisation, they are just selling money rather than another type of product. It is also advisable to get specialist help when looking for funding.