Poor management is often referred to as the main factor of why businesses fail. Lacking or poorly timed financing is a nearby second. Whether you are a starting up business or expanding your business, adequate capital is important. Yet it is insufficient to essentially have enough financing; understanding and planning are necessary to control it well. These qualities will ensure business owners to avoid mistake like having a wrong type of financing, or underestimating the cost of borrowing money.
Ask yourself this question before inquiring about financing:
- Do you need more capital or can you work on with your existing cash flow?
- How do you characterize your need? Do you need the money because you want to expand? Or as a cushion against risk?
- How vital is your need? You can get the best terms when you foresee your needs rather than looking for money under pressure.
- How big is your risk? All businesses suffer from risks and danger, and the level of danger will influence expense and accessible financing plan B.
- How strong is your management team? Management is the most important element surveyed by money sources.
Possibly most importantly, how does your need for financing mesh with your business plan? If you don’t have a business plan, make writing one your first priority. All capital sources will want to see your plan for the start-up and growth of your business.
Don’t assume all money is similar
There are two types of financing: equity and debt financing. If you are looking for money you should consider your business debt to equity ratio – the difference relatively concerning dollars you’ve borrowed along with dollars you’ve invested in your organization. The harder money masters include invested in the organization, the more it really is for you to entice loan.
If your company has an excessive percentage of equity to debt, you may want to seek debt financing but if your company has a high percentage of debt to equity, experts say you should increase your ownership capital for added funds. In this way you will not be over-leverage to the point of ruining your company’s welfare.
Equity Financing and Venture Capital
Most small scale businesses use limited equity financing but with debt financing, additional equity mostly come from non-professional investors like friends, relatives, employees or customers. However, the most common source of professional equity funding comes from venture capitals. These are institutional risk takers and may be groups of wealthy individuals, government-assisted sources, or major financial institutions. Most specialize in one or a few closely related industries.
Venture capitals are sometimes seen as deep-pocketed financial gurus looking for start-ups in which to invest their money, but they most often prefer three-to-five-year old companies with the potential to become major regional or national concerns and return higher-than-average profits to their shareholders. Venture Capitals earn money by owning equity in the companies it invests in. They generally prefer to influence a business passively, but will react when a business does not perform as expected and may insist on changes in management or strategy. Changing some of the decision-making and some of the potential for profits are the main disadvantages of equity financing.
Banks, savings and loans, commercial finance companies, and the SBA are some of the sources for debt financing. State and the local government have come up with programs in the recent years to give encouragement to the growth of small business to help increase the economy. Family members, friends, and former associates are all potential sources, especially when capital requirements are smaller.
Banks traditionally have been the major source of small business funding. Their main role has been as a short-term lender offering demand loans, seasonal lines of credit, or single-purpose loans. Banks generally have been unwilling to offer long-term loans to small firms. The SBA guaranteed lending program encourages banks and non-bank lenders to make long-term loans to small firms by decreasing their risk and leveraging the funds they have available. The SBA’s programs have been an integral part of the success stories of thousands of firms nationally.
In addition to equity considerations, investors or lenders mostly require the borrower’s personal guarantees in case of default. This will assure that the borrower has a sufficient personal interest at stake to give attention to the business. For most borrowers this is a burden, but also an obligation.
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