I recently had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion sponsored by the South Florida Business Journal called “Expand Your Business to the Next Level”. I was selected as the expert on the topic of “How to find money”. I got so many follow up questions that I decided to focus the challenge this week on this issue. I often find that the companies that need money are never prepared to go out and get it. So with that in mind, your challenge this week is: Is your company prepared to get financing?
There are different types of financing that you may be interested in but one thing is for sure – anyone who gives you money is going to want to know some specific details about your company and waiting until you need money is never the best time to go out and get it.
Your challenge this week is to prepare the information you need to go out and get financing, whether you need it or not.
I am going to call this a loan application but it is actually multi-purpose and can be used to inspire and sell stakeholders – you, your bankers and investors, and your employees – on the business and its prospects.
A good loan application should contain the following:
- Executive Summary – No more than 3 pages – it should create instant excitement and impact, spell out your company’s mission and clearly state the opportunities you see for your company and/or industry and how those opportunities will result in increased earnings and profits.
- The Industry – Use credible research from recognized authorities. Convey the size, growth and signficiance of your industry. Identify your specific niche in the marketplace.
- The Company – History and Major Accomplishments, Divisions/Offices and or Shop Locations, Market Niche/Competitors, Marketing Plan, Clients, Expansion Plans, Company Values/Mission Statement, Profit Centers and Product Lines
- Management and Ownership – Organization Chart, Brief Bio of Key People, Board of Directors/Advisory Board, Hiring Needs
- Financial Information/Projections – Forecasts for a 3 year period using a best, probable and worst case scenario for each year on a cash basis. Include payback of loan in your financials. Historical P&Ls and current balance sheet that will indicate top-line and bottom-line growth.
- Purpose of the Investment – Short, compelling and to the point. Spell out exactly what you want and reiterate what you will do with the funds.
You will sleep better at night knowing you have this information together and are keeping it current. If you would like more information on any of the above or help putting it together, let me know.
Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you all have a safe holiday.
The Rector Group
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