Finding a supportive financing institution or bank is the start of one of the key relationships in the life of your business. Understanding how potential financers look at a business can increase your chances of success in landing the financing needed.
Outside views will take an objective look at your business that might not be consistent with your vision.
Sometimes entrepreneurs think they should receive more money than the fundamentals of their business merit. They also often underestimate the riskiness of their project.
At the same time, entrepreneurs shouldn’t forget that banks and other financial institutions are in business too and need to find and keep clients. That can make them an invaluable resource for new business owners.
Whether your plan is to start a business or expand your existing company, here are some key factors to consider when seeking financing.
1. Types of financing
There are two types of financing: equity financing and debt financing. When looking for money, you must consider your company's debt-to-equity ratio. This ratio is the relation between dollars you've borrowed and dollars you've invested in your business. The more money owners have invested in their business, the easier it is to attract financing.
- If your firm has a high ratio of equity to debt, you should probably seek debt financing. However, if your company has a high proportion of debt to equity, experts advise that you should increase your ownership capital (equity investment) for additional funds. That way you won't be over-leveraged to the point of jeopardizing your company's survival.
2. Your financial capacity
Having a solid credit history says a lot about your trustworthiness and ability to run a successful, profitable business. A willingness to put a significant amount of money into your business will show your lender that you are committed to the project and willing to share the risk.
The lender will also want to know how you are going to use the money, when and how you are going to repay your loan and whether there’s any security that can be pledged against it such as equipment, buildings or personal property. It might take two or three meeting to sort everything out.
3. Know your break-even point
- Breakeven analysis is a tool used to determine when a business will be able to cover all its expenses and begin to make a profit. For the startup business, it is extremely important to know your startup costs; you need to understand the level of sales revenue needed to pay the ongoing expenses related to running your business.
- A startup business owner must understand that $5,000 of product sales will not cover $5,000 in monthly overhead expenses. The cost of selling $5,000 in retail goods could easily be $3,000 at the wholesale price, so the $5,000 in sales revenue only provides $2,000 in gross profit. The breakeven point is reached when revenue equals all business costs.
The lender wants to see that you have built your plan based on a sound analysis that takes into account the market, the competition and the economic context. Do your own research and show that you know the trends, the opportunities and the risks when you present your plan. This boosts your credibility and a simple, concise presentation of facts and figures will back up your statements and business plan.
Good luck with your planning, I hope this brief outline helps.