Three Keys to Obtaining Funding

Male and female coffee shop owners smiling at tablet in coffee shop.

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 company’s 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.

Three keys if  you’re hoping to obtain funding, be sure to make the best possible impression on your next potential funding source:

  1. Have accurate and detailed documentation of your personal financial past, including FICO score, financial statements, and tax returns.
  2. Generate current financial statements for your company including accounts receivable, accounts payable, and accrued expenses.
  3. 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.

FICO score

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 owner’s financial past will be subject to scrutiny, so it’s important to be prepared to openly address any blemishes on your credit record and to prove what steps you’ve taken to correct any past financial mistakes.

Financial statements

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.

Future viability

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. Don’t leave your financial future up to chance come prepared and give your chosen funding source every reason to say, Yes!

Related articles:

10 Tips to Secure a Small Business Loan

Four Basic Principles for Raising Capital

Small Business Loans Tracked To $30 Billion

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