Growing a Small Business is Challenging and Finding the Right Financing is Vital for Success
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, making up 99.9% of all companies and creating 1.9 million new jobs in 2018, alone. Yet, as any owner can attest, growing a small business is not without challenges and finding the right financing is vital. During my 30 years in the commercial finance industry, I’ve seen first-hand how funding can accelerate the growth of small and medium-size businesses.
It all starts with securing the needed funding at a reasonable interest rate.
No matter what type of financing you are exploring, lenders will require financial documentation about your business before deciding whether or not to work with you. The amount of funding made available to you and the rate you will be charged is affected by the financial statements you present, or lack of them. In a recent survey by eCapital (invoice factoring experts), business owners and directors stated “not being able to demonstrate viable business projections” as the number one reason for being turned down for funding.
Here is my insider tip — or rather three steps — SMBs can take to ensure they have the best chance of getting funded:
1. Update Your Financial Statements and Ensure the Information is Accurate
The information presented should be current within the last 30-60 days. Make sure the figures on the balance sheet match the amounts on subsidiary accounts such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory, etc. You can also take this opportunity to do a bit of housekeeping and write off any old, uncollectible invoices.
2. Put a Complete Financing Package Together to Accompany Your Funding Application
Call the lender ahead of time and understand what type of documentation is required. Being proactive and submitting a full document package shows you are serious about your business. Presenting a concise, yet complete, financing package will fast-track your application.
3. Prepare a Set of Business Growth Projections for the Next Two to Three Years
A simple outline will suffice. Articulate exactly what is generating your business growth, why you need the funding, how you will use it and how you expect revenue and profit will grow. This shows the lender you are in control of the business and will increase your success in securing funding.
Full disclosure is important when dealing with a lender. On top of presenting up-to-date financial statements and projections, be ready to address any weaknesses of the business up front with the financer. It can be more costly if the lender discovers a major issue on their own.
To avoid surprises, ask the funder for a complete breakdown of the types of services and fees associated with the funding line and how often these get revised.
Finally, don’t base your decision of which funder to go with purely on the interest rate. Instead, consider the advantages of a partnership with a funder that allows for flexibility to adapt to your business’ ever-changing needs.
About the Author
David Ciccolo is the President & CEO of eCapital Commercial Finance. He is responsible for the business’s strategic direction, and has over 30 years of experience in commercial finance.