Not All Money Is the Same
There are two ways to go about obtaining financing for your start-up or existing business. Our documentation assists you with both of these options.
Small Business Administration/Bank Loans/Line Of Credit:
SBA and bank loans are routes that many clients do take. However, ask yourself before attempting this option, how good is your credit? If your FICO is below 600, chances are you will need a substantial amount of collateral in order to secure a bank loan. Even with FICO scores over 690, banks will turn clients down if no collateral is present, or if the client does not have a large balance in their personal accounts.
If you have the credit already, then our documentation is all you need. It meets all SBA and Bank guidelines, and you will be able to get a yes or no answer on your first visit.
Outside Capital Investment:
Generally the more popular route and more successful route for our clients is outside investors. Venture capital firms and private angel investors do not look at credit history, or collateral. They simply look at your business model, your financials, and your market. A flawless business plan and proposal is needed when working with these parties, as unlike the SBA and banks, you will only get one chance at funding.
There are thousands of venture capital firms in the US alone. We submit client business plans to a database of a minimum of 400 firms and investors that is industry specific. Larger industries such as bio-technology and retail products may be submitted to as many as a thousand firms and investors.
Keep in mind that when dealing with capital investment, you will be essentially selling a percentage of your company. Your company will need to be a LLC or Corp, as both of these entities have shares issued upon formation. We always attempt to keep the percentage of your company available for investors to under 15%, occasionally we may have to go as high as 20% depending on the amount sought. Outside Capital investors are not seeking to place loans, do not get caught in this false notion. If they agree that your business model is something that will be successful they want part of your company and want to enjoy your windfall once the business succeeds.
Other things to keep in mind:
While poor management is cited most frequently as the reason businesses fail, inadequate or ill-timed financing is a close second. Whether you're starting a business or expanding one, sufficient ready capital is essential. It is not, however, enough to simply have sufficient financing; knowledge and planning are required to manage it well. These qualities ensure that entrepreneurs avoid common mistakes like securing the wrong type of financing, miscalculating the amount required, or underestimating the cost of borrowing money.
Before inquiring about financing, ask yourself the following:
- Do you need more capital or can you manage existing cash flow more effectively?
- How do you define your need? Do you need money to expand or as a cushion against risk?
- How urgent is your need? You can obtain the best terms when you anticipate your needs rather than looking for money under pressure.
- How great are your risks? All businesses carry risks, and the degree of risk will affect cost and available financing alternatives.
- In what state of development is the business? Needs are most critical during transitional stages.
- For what purposes will the capital be used? Any lender will require that capital be requested for very specific needs.
- What is the state of your industry? Depressed, stable, or growth conditions require different approaches to money needs and sources. Businesses that prosper while others are in decline will often receive better funding terms.
- Is your business seasonal or cyclical? Seasonal needs for financing generally are short term. Loans advanced for cyclical industries such as construction are designed to support a business through depressed periods.
- How strong is your management team? Management is the most important element assessed by money sources.
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