I used to work for a brilliant company called Sertant Capital who specialize in loaning money to businesses for the purchase of certain pieces f specialized equipment. My role at the time was to sit in on the meetings between the finance manager and the person looking for money and take notes on the process. What was staggering to me, even at that young age, was the amount of people who came in fro money, and lost the chance because they just weren’t ready or prepared.
If you are looking for funding for your company then no matter whether you are sitting down with bank manager or a private investor, here are some tips on increasing your chances.
Know Your Business
You would honestly think that someone who owns a business would understand every single nut and bolt within their company, sadly there are so many that don’t. If you are asking someone to invest in your business and you can’t answer a simple question about sales or trends then how on Earth can you possibly believe that anyone would be willing to invest their cash? Know your business inside out before you sit down with anyone.
Something else which an investor is well within their rights to know about is how you are going to spend their money, and this should be down to the last penny. There is no point in sitting down with someone and asking them to drop $25,000 of their money on your business, if you can’t account for where that money will be spent. If however you can confidently say that you’ll spend $5k on marketing, $10k on product production and $10k on research and development then you may have more of a case to get that money.
Don’t fall into the trap of looking to repay the money as soon as you possibly can, in order to appease someone or to reduce interest costs. In fact so many companies end up going bust when they are young and they are often saddled with monster debts which they promised to pay off in just a matter of years. Be very careful with your plan for the next 5 and 10 years and speak at length with the lender to ensure that you are getting favorable terms over a long period of time, so as to reduce the pressure on the business to make repayments.
Read The Terms
Don’t ever agree to any funding before you have gone over the terms and conditions with a fine tooth comb. If you do not understand what you are singing for then get a legal expert to overlook the documents for you, and then take advice as to whether or not the deal is good enough and works for your business. This may be your first rodeo but it likely won’t be the lender’s so be sure to read every clause and contraction in the contract before you sign on the dotted line.