What do you do when a loan or grant fund gatekeeper doesn't share your enthusiasm for your business idea? After agonizing your way through an application process, it never feels good to be turned down.

Applicants hate to hear that dreaded "no" and the feeling of rejection that follows can be disturbing. Although a refusal almost always creates anxiety, it need not be a negative experience. A bit of thought and well-planned action can turn a doubtful situation into a win.

Here are a few suggestions for anyone whose application hits the denied pile.

1. If you're passionate about your business, resolve to do what it takes to succeed. Accept that it's not the gatekeepers fault and take ownership of the problem. You are the champion for your application, and if it's to move forward, it will be because you fix any issues and move on.
2. Re-examine the institution's criteria; these are the rules the gatekeeper must live by when making loan or grant decisions. Make sure your application or project fits the mandate. In other words, even if you did everything perfectly, would the gatekeeper be obliged to deny your request because it doesn’t fit within his guidelines?
3. Recognize that the gatekeeper has reasons for rejecting your application. Find out what those reasons are and ask if you can revise and reapply. Most often this can be done with a phone call, but it might also be an opportunity to meet in person.
4. If it's a grant you're after, consider whether you really need it. Grants sometimes hinder more than they help. They can be a great boost for a small venture, but more often they derail the owner from the core business. Grants tend to focus applicants on ‘getting’ instead of giving and serving, which are necessary practices for any successful business.
5. If your business or project is to be, it will be because you take the necessary actions to make it happen. Don't allow yourself to be stopped by a "no" from one lending agency. A rejected loan or grant application is just a speed bump, perhaps enough to slow you down, but not a reason to stop.
6. Consider other sources where you might get the needed funding or financing. If your application doesn't fit one agency, perhaps it stands a better chance with another. There are many types of business financing and little research might lead to a more suitable funding partner.
7. Finally, determine if the gatekeeper might be saving you from a disaster down the road? Anyone who has seen or experienced the destruction that comes with a bankruptcy will know that sometimes "no" is the best answer. Be open to the idea that you may be headed the wrong way, and be willing to accept guidance from others, and to change your direction when it makes sense to do so.

Entrepreneurs walk a thin line between open boldness and passivity. Too much of one or the other can put you out of business. There are important lessons to be learned from a denied loan application. Sometimes all you have to do is listen, and the gatekeeper will tell you how to turn the situation into a success.

Author's Bio: 

"Dan Boudreau is President and CEO of Macrolink Action Plans Inc and the RiskBuster Practical Business Planning Oasis at http://www.riskbuster.com. Writing your own business plan can be easy, fast and fun! Instantly download a free copy of Dan's popular fast-track business plan template when you subscribe to the RiskBuster Newsletter at http://www.riskbuster.com."