To secure funding it's essential to instill confidence with a professional and accurate financial summary
Securing a loan or other private funding is all about the business owner. Can you accurately represent your financial past and convey an exciting but credible picture of your companys future? If not, you may as well pack up your bags and go home.
Every business needs funding at one time or another, and as a result, many business owners will eventually find themselves applying for a loan or securing equity investors. If youre hoping to obtain funding, be sure to make the best possible impression on your next potential funding source:
- Have accurate and detailed documentation of your personal financial past, including FICO score, financial statements, and tax returns.
- Generate current financial statements for your company including accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued expenses.
- Present an exciting but achievable business plan that outlines financial projections and risks.
There exist various forms of business funding, but for a privately held business, funding is most likely to come from a secured bank loan or equity investors. Regardless of the source, however, every form of funding requires that the business owner validate his/her request with specific financial information. In fact, without adequate documentation, it is nearly impossible to secure funding from any credible source.
Business owner's background
For a privately held business, lenders and investors often place a great deal of emphasis on the business owner and his/her financial background.
The business owner should be equipped with his/her FICO score (which can be found on a recent financing or credit card application, or by subscribing to one of the major agencies) as well as a current personal financial statement and personal tax returns.
Credit card record
All aspects of the business owners financial past will be subject to scrutiny, so its important to be prepared to openly address any blemishes on your credit record and to prove what steps youve taken to correct any past financial mistakes.
Lenders or investors will also be very interested in seeing current financial statements of the company. Typically, funding sources will want to see financial statements that are recorded on the accrual basis of accounting, meaning statements with accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued expenses reflected. Completed business tax returns will also be requested by lenders as part of their due diligence.
And while a strong track record of financial reliability is certainly expected, lenders and investors also want to be convinced of the future viability of your business. Instill confidence in your funding sources by preparing a thorough and professional business plan or executive summary, complete with financial projections and risk assessment and mitigations.
In short, the business owner who can accurately represent the past and professionally portray the future is the most likely candidate to obtain funding. Dont leave your financial future up to chance come prepared, and give your chosen funding source every reason to say, Yes!
About the author
Alexander J. Hart of Cuban American decent is principal and founder of Hart Vida Raffo. With over 25 years of experience, Alex specializes in the areas of tax strategy and planning, business process improvement, and capital consulting. Whether advising on capital and financing strategy or consulting for privately-held professional services firms, Alex has the expertise and practical know-how to help any company optimize their business processes and make tactical financial decisions. He began his career at IBM in sales operations and accounting. He was a Controller for the N.Y. Post, has been a CFO for a medical device company, and has written a tax column called “Ask the Tax Guys” for Micro-Cap Review. Alex is a professional member of A.L.T.A. (Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas), a member of the National Association of Tax Preparers, and is a contributing author and mentor at Latin Business Today. Alex graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in Spanish and his M.B.A. in Finance. He obtained his accounting degree from Pace University.Website