Five simple things you can do to increase your chances of gaining finance.
Demonstrate that your business generates steady cash flow.
Cash flow is crucial in any business as it helps demonstrate your business’ health and future potential to investors. By showing financers that you have adequate cash coming in every month you are proving that you have plenty of money to pay creditors, employees and others, on time. Be prepared to show investors financial statements, tax returns and bank statements to help prove your business is a good investment. Also be prepared to answer any questions regarding fluctuations in your cashflow e.g. loss of an important customer (have an explanation planned in advance).
Maintain a manageable debt load.
Debt load is the calculated total of debt that is carried on your balance sheet. Show investors that you can not only handle your current debt load but also any additional debt repayments your proposed financing will cause. Always let an investor know why this additional debt is vital for your business.
Sustain a positive payment history.
A vital factor for obtaining finance is your payment history. A financer will often need to look at previous records of paying down debt and on time. Be careful because an investor may be able to gain a third party credit report on your business such as the Dun and Bradsheet report. If this is the case check to see whether the report is accurate as the report may not include your significant trade partners and other lenders who are able to confirm your payment history.
Prove business judgement.
Investors will want to be sure that you can cope with any challenges that come your way. Provide a business plan that highlights how you expect your business to perform if you don’t get finance and how it will perform if you do. It may also be of value to show your potential lenders any contingency plans you have in place just incase the unexpected occurs.
Shop around for financing.
Negotiation is vital when it comes down to gaining finance. In most cases an investor would prefer an entrepreneur to negotiate rather than just accepting the deal on the table as it shows tenacity. Also make sure you compare rates, lease terms, fees etc to ensure you are getting the best deal for your business with an established finance provider.
It’s also vital you prove to an investor that you have researched your industry and have a strong market knowledge. Conduct both primary and secondary market research on your competitors, customers and the overall market structure. If you need assistance carrying out primary market research on your sample group (customers) the experts at Marketest can help.
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