While there are 30 million small businesses in the U.S., only a third of them have employees. The ones that have employees need help growing and often consider taking out a business loan.

If your small business is looking to grow, a business loan can ensure that you don’t have to worry about funding while you plan your next move.

Here are five times to consider taking out a business loan.

1. When Starting Your Business

When you’re starting your business, you’re going to have to have some money set aside. You don’t want to have your entire business model based on loans. However, it’s important for you to have the money you need to comfortably grow, expand, and make mistakes along the way.

There is a special category of business loans for people who are growing their business for the first time. Startup creators and first-time business owners are entitled to get loans in this category. They often have a lower interest rate and are offered by financial institutions under the guidance of a loan officer.

Having someone to help you budget realistically and guide your spending can assure that your loans don’t put you under water.

If you’re trying to turn your great ideas into a reality, these small business loans are aimed at dismantling hurdles. These loans can help ensure that you get the kind of support that you need in those first unsteady steps of building your business.

2. While Expanding Your Services

If you’re already running a successful business, it’s natural and healthy to find ways to grow. Apple started off building computers and designing software. Then they became the go-to brand for storing, organizing, and listening to music on a portable device.

This wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t have the money to spend on researching iPod and iPhone technology.

If you’re sitting on your next iPod-like idea, it’s time to take action. If you’re short on money but your company is otherwise healthy, you can convince a lending institution of your good health. It should be easy to see that you could pay off the loan if demand is steady or growing.

Expanding your services is a difficult venture. No company knows what the future holds and great ideas will fall flat if the timing is off.

Business owners like you, the ones that take risks, are what makes our country known for our great innovations. Lending institutions understand this spirit as well. While they won’t advertise themselves as the home of free money to give to anyone with a great idea, your track record can speak for you.

Grow the way that your customers demand with the help of a business loan.

3. When Branching Out Into New Territory

Much like how you need money to offer new services, you need money to open up new locations. Even the healthiest of storefronts isn’t always healthy enough to spawn a second location on its own. Only the rarest breed has enough cash on hand to create a second location that doesn’t need to be buffered by loans.

Real estate costs are expensive, especially commercial real estate. If you’re in an industry where you have to worry about manufacturing space, you need a lot of funding to get started.

If you need to expand your current facility to a much larger one or closer to an urban environment, this costs extra as well. Taking out a business loan under these circumstances might be the only way for you to survive.

When you have a good business plan that’s yielding positive results, create an appendix to show how this new facility will add to that. You’ll find that you’ll quickly get more funding.

4. If You Need to Go Digital

If you’re making the jump from analog to digital, in any way, you’re going to have to do a lot of spending up front. No matter what industry you’re in, the cost of turning your facility from analog to digital can be a massive expenditure. While it may save you money in the near future, it will cost you a lot to invest at the start.

In the world of medicine or the legal field, going digital is no small affair. Not only do you need new expensive equipment, but you also need to have the kind of equipment that can handle the volume of scanning you need to do. Turning an entire building floor full of papers into a digital system can be both costly and exhausting.

Sometimes you just need the extra funds to branch out with your online presence. If you need to expand your digital marketing, consider taking out a loan.

Going digital is necessary for every industry. Any lending institution will understand that you need to do this. If you’ve put together a rock-solid plan, you should be able to get the money you need.

5. When You Know How To Spend the Money

If your business is struggling, the worst place for you to look into funding is through a loan. While it might seem like a quick fix to a problem that you hope is short term, it’s not true. You need to fix your business plan from the ground up.

When your business is failing because of some bad decisions you made, don’t seek out loans. Going further into debt is the wrong direction for your business to go.

If anything, start selling off some assets. Taking out a loan when you’re struggling is a one-way ticket to tanking your business.

Taking Out a Business Loan is Serious

When you’re considering taking out a business loan, you have to have a plan of attack. There’s nothing more dangerous than taking out a bunch of loans and having no clue what to do next. You should make your plan before you take out loans, not after.

If you’re still finding your footing with a workspace, check out our guide on saving money with a coworking space.