Funding Business Expansion through ‘Private Equity Financing’

Expansions are believed to be the best indicator that businesses are doing good. Unfortunately, while every entrepreneur seems to be of the opinion that bigger businesses are always better, the act of expanding a company is easier said than done.

It is easy to determine if a business is ready for expansion. In fact, there is only one major indicator: there is a bigger demand for the product or the service that the company offers. However, having a bigger demand does not necessarily mean that the business owner can easily whip out a plan on how he will expand his or her business – there is a bit of a problem called money.

A business owner would be lucky if he or she has some savings that can be tapped for a business expansion. This is not generally the case. And while there are a lot of options when it comes to financing a business expansion – angel investors, bank loans and support from venture capitalists – there is one option that has started to get attention of business owners over the years: public equity financing.

As the name implies, private equity financing means that an investor would be invited to put his or her money in a business in exchange for a partial ownership of the company.

This in itself would make a lot of entrepreneurs turn around and look for other ways to finance their business. A lot, of course, would not want to hand over the reins of the company that they built to another person in exchange of financing a business expansion.

But looking at it clearly, public equity financing is not as bad as it sounds. For one, agreements between the parties will still have to be forged – meaning one does not necessarily have to hand over the control of the business to the investor as the original owner have an option to retain the majority of the company, thereby putting him or her in direct control of the operations.

One has to keep in mind that investors, at least most of them, are merely concerned with the profits of their investments and would not want to be bothered by the rigors of administrating a business. Moreover, by being technically a part-owner of the company, the original owner will have an assurance that the investor is putting a great deal of interest in the business that also carries his or her name.

This is why public equity financing works both ways in expansions: investors get their bigger profits, while original owner gets to expand his or her business.

Looking for partners

The challenge in public equity financing, like in other forms of investor-related concerns, is for the business owner to find and convince one to be an equity partner in his company.

Finding will not really be a problem, as there are always those who have some extra funds that they intend to invest in a business eyeing expansion. The major concern is to be able to convince them.

In convincing potential equity partners, business owners must keep in mind that they have to convince the former that they will earn profits from their investments. This can be achieved by presenting relevant information as to the operations of the business.

This may include, among others: discussions on the competencies of the current management to handle the expansion, the risk exposure of the equity partners, the business plan and objectives, the financial history and performance of the business.

The entrepreneur should also be ready in negotiating with the terms of the deal, including, as stated earlier, the level of control – or the lack of it – that the equity partner would have once the agreement is in place.

Finally, entrepreneurs must be able to list down his or her reasons for the decision to expand and, more importantly, to utilize public equity financing as a means for the business expansion.

Like what had been repeatedly said, capital for business startups and expansions will never run out – one just has to know what he or she is looking for and, more importantly, where to look for it.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

 

 

Copyright 2014 Funded.com LLC

Basic Principle of Financing

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.

Debt 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.

 

 
More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

 
Copyright 2014 Funded.com LLC

Dealing with investors: What to do before and after close?

Posted by admin in Private Equity Financing on 04/15/2014

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Private equity investors are considered as one of the most important people for those who want start or expand their respective businesses. After all, the amount capital that they provide and the way these are handled are among the factors that make or break a startup.

Unfortunately, a number of entrepreneurs think that dealing with private equity investors are limited to the period when the company or business is raising funds. Some believe that once the funding round has closed, the money will fall any time regardless of how they transact with the partners that signed a deal with them.

The reality is far from this misconception. Instead of forgetting about the investors who pledged to provide funds for the business once the money had been transferred, entrepreneurs must keep in mind the significance of giving importance to these people. After all, entrepreneurs would not want the investors pulling out the money in a middle of a crucial project.

Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs should deal with investors before and after the close of the funding round:

Before the close:

Once of the most crucial things that the entrepreneur must do during the funding round is to find the appropriate investor for the company. This would depend on the type of business that he or she is into. There are investors who prefer medical-related companies, while others want information technology startups, among others.

Regardless of the type of business, entrepreneurs must find a private equity investor, or those who understand the risks of investing in the nature of the business. This would mean that the investor is willing to let go of his or her money for seven years, and put it in a rather risky and illiquid asset.

To counter the risks, the entrepreneur must explain to the potential investor the positive side of the investment – for instance the high rate of return for the successful ones.

Perhaps the most important advice for the entrepreneur is to find an investor who shares the vision of the company. This is highly relevant as it would help in the growth of the business.

After the close

Once the agreement between the entrepreneur and the investor has been signed, the former must continue to look after the latter. This is necessary as it increases the possibility of future contributions from the said investor.

“Taking care” of the private equity investor does not take much. The business owner just has to provide regular updates – whether monthly or quarterly – to keep the investor on the loop. Likewise, requests must be kept reasonable and thoroughly explained. This will surely get the business owner on the good books of the investors.

Dealing with partners, especially private equity investors, is not an easy task. However, doing this the right way will ensure the continuous flow of support for the business.

Splitting Equity Equally among Founders, Is it the right decision?

Splitting private equity among the founders of small businesses may seem an easy task. After all, it is widely accepted that founders – and even just the pioneers behind a successful business – deserve equal shares in the company’s equity. Or are they? Some experts believe that equally splitting the equity among the founders is not really the best decision that entrepreneurs can have.

Splitting the equity equally seems fair for those involve. Actually, it is. But fairness should not be the only thing that matters when it comes to equity and revenue discussions. There are possible scenarios that founders must think about when discussing about the sharing of equities. Among these scenarios, one expert notes, is the possibility that someone from the group of pioneers would back out and leave the group. Why give him people equal shares of the equity if they will just leave the business after a few months?

The role of the people involved in the business is also crucial. Consider this scenario: Marco has a business idea and he decides to share this to Paul. Later on, the two of them decide to establish a business based on Marco’s idea.

During the establishment phase, Marco and Paul realize that they need money to finance the operations of the business. To solve this, they decide to contact their friend Anna to ask for some capital. Anna agrees to provide money for the business on the condition that she will be considered a “founder” of the business.

The question is, would it be fair to split the equity equally between Marco, Paul and Anna? Paul would definitely agree to the proposal, but it may seem unfair for Marco and Anna.

Marco was the one who had the idea, and it was Anna who provided the capital for the business All Paul did was to agree with the idea and probably help in convincing Anna to fund the business.

Unless Paul did something relevant for the company (such as managing the manpower or using his networks to help in the actual formation of the business), it may seem inappropriate to give him an equal share of the equity.

Founders of small business often have personal relationships prior to the creation of the business. However, entrepreneurship is a professional field, and people should understand that partnership should always be prioritized over personal ties.

Instead of looking into the years of friendship or familial ties, co-founders of the business should look into the professional aspects of the company when they are deciding on equity split.

Some of the factors that should be considered include the business idea, the intellectual property, the capital, time, opportunity cost, and expertise of the person on the industry where the business is a part of.

 

 

 

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

 

Copyright2013 Funded.com LLC

Private Equity: Should You Take the Money?

Posted by admin in Private Equity Financing on 08/31/2012

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The revelation of Mitt Romney’s history as a private equity investor reignited the debate about this heavily criticized industry known for its emphasis on short-term accomplishments.

Private equity is basically defined as a type of investment that aims to gains significant – if not complete – control of a company. It covers a number of investment strategies including the one that involves investors who purchase large stakes in companies that do not perform well in the market. Once these companies are under their control, the investors would use their resources to alter its financial and operational structures. These would often result in the growth of the companies that would later be sold at a higher price.

Unfortunately, not all cases of private equity investments end on a positive note. For instance, an entrepreneur from Atlanta recently shared his grueling experience with private equity investors. Because of his eagerness to expand his online marketing business, he accepted more than $1.5 million in private equity growth investments and venture capital.

In exchange for the financial support, however, he lost his control of the company. One day, he just found himself working as an employee in a business that he started. Several months later, he decided to resign from his job – a good decision, considering that the business is going downhill since the takeover of the new management.

Such horror stories – alongside with the attack advertisements against Romney – reveal the dark side of the private equity industry. However, despite the negative publicity, a lot of business owners are still tempted partner with private equity investors. After all, banks and other credit lenders have tightened their standards following the recent recession.

So for those who are planning to seek private equity investors, what can they do to prevent a bad situation from happening? Here are some of the things that they must do before taking the money offered by potential investors:

Learn about the industry

Before signing a deal with a private equity firm, entrepreneurs must understand how the industry works. They must keep in mind that private equity investors are not sentimental – they simply follow a basic rule: buy low, sell high, get profit. Investors would usually buy enough shares to control the company. Once they have it, they will do everything to increase its worth, with the goal of selling it at a higher price after a few years.

This is the reality with private equity, and business owners must accept this before signing a deal with a potential investor.

Know what you really want

When business owners sign a deal with private equity investors, they must accept the reality that they will have to let go their ownership of the company. Some entrepreneurs are prepared to become employees of the businesses that they created. Others, however, would not be willing to do so.

Before accepting the money offered by a potential investor, business owners must ask themselves: “What do I really want? Do I want the money, or do I want to retain ownership of the company that I have established?”

Check your potential investor

Understanding the industry and knowing what they really want are not the only things that entrepreneurs must consider when negotiating with an investor. More than that, it is important to know whether or not the private equity firm is capable of taking over the company. Do they have the experience of running such businesses? Entrepreneurs would not want to sell their company and find out that it folded because of management problems.

Signing a deal with a private equity firm is risky move. However, if it succeeds, one can expect a profitable result. Before accepting the money, entrepreneurs must always consider every aspect involved in the deal.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

Funding for Innovative MWBEs Ready to Grow

It’s true that it remains a tight capital market so finding investors in the private traditional financial institutions and locating public grant and loan funding is still challenging. Even as banks ease up on credit availability they are tightening requirements for credit approval. On the public sector side of doing business, Congress is reining in spending and that means less government money available to flow into grants and low interest small business loans. Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) must find alternative sources of capital to fund their growing businesses.

It’s a fact that MWBEs have become a powerful engine for economic growth and jobs creation. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners, MWBEs now make up the fastest growing new business segment in the U.S. To continue growing requires funding to build capacity so that small to mid-sized businesses can bid on larger procurement contracts and projects.

There is no reason to miss out on opportunities for growth because of funding when there are many alternative funding sources. These sources include angel investors, venture capital and equity partner investors. MWBEs that have a proven track record of business success and are poised to take the business to the next level of growth should not wait for the economy to pick up steam. The growing determination by large corporations to increase supplier diversity spending means that MWBEs have unprecedented opportunities to bring their innovative and creative businesses to the marketplace in expanding roles.

There are investors and there are opportunities, and that is the perfect partnership.

Browse http://www.funded.com for more advice about getting your business funded.

Meet Private Equity Financing Criteria

Posted by admin in Private Equity Financing on 03/28/2011

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Private equity financing is exactly what the name implies - money is invested in a privately held business in exchange for partial ownership. The money that is invested may come from private individuals or institutional investors which means there are plenty of opportunities for finding capital for business expansions.

The goal of the investment, of course, is to earn more return than could be earned otherwise. It can be like venture capital or angel investors in the sense the investors can choose to invest startup funding, but usually the business has been operating for a while and needs money for expansion. Private equity financing often involves large amounts of capital, though there are really no hard and fast rules about amounts.

Giving Investors the Assurances They Seek

Despite the fluid nature of this type of financing, there are criteria a business will have to meet in order to obtain this type of business funding. Like equity partners, the investors will look for assurances that their money will be used wisely and in a way that increases the likelihood that the investment will bring higher returns than would be expected if giving business loans. The investor will balance the risk of investment loss again the possibility of investment gains and then make a decision as to whether the risk is manageable.

Following are the general guidelines on what an investor will be looking for when deciding whether to accept the risk that is associated with private equity financing.

·    Does the entrepreneur assume more risk exposure than the equity partners or investors?
·    What stage is the business currently in and does it need startup funding, early stage funding or expansion funding?
·    How much experience does the management have in the industry and business?
·    How large is the investment request and how does it compare to the size of the business?
·    Is there a quality business plan with realistic goals and projections?
·    Is the marketing plan complete and include well defined strategies?
·    What is the company’s history including its historical financial and market performance?
·    Is the business willing to accept investor restrictions placed on the investment?

The last question may seem obvious at first glance, but it’s on the list for a reason. Private equity investors can set their own unique requirements and restrictions for business funding, and you must be willing to agree to them. The good news though is that you have more negotiating leeway since this is private funding and not financial institution lending.

Finding the Right Kind of Capital

Though companies have been experiencing difficulties getting approved for business loans in the current economy, private equity financing has always been available. Unfortunately many business owners simply don’t know how to go about finding or raising this type of money. It’s similar to venture capital in many ways and one way is that you must know where to look to find it. Everyone knows how to march down to the bank and get turned down for a loan, but too many people overlook the investing opportunities that private equity financing offers.

There are many sources of capital available today ranging from angel investors to private equity financing. The one that is right for your business depends on many factors including the current business stage.