Tips to Financing and Banking for Your Business
This post is the last post in an eight part series on how to prepare your business for success in 2014. Follow the links to learn how to prepare your business for success, write a business plan, make your customers happier, make your business legal, market your business, improve your personal and business credit and boost your website’s visibility.
Business owners need to know how much money it is going to take to start and continue to run a profitable business. Additionally, keeping clear financial statements will reduce the number of headaches for business owners, bookkeepers and bankers.
Make sure you are separating your personal finances from your business finances. Establish a budget for your business, determine what it will take to start a business, what sources of funding you will have and determine monthly projections for income and expenses. Then, use the budget projections to establish monthly spending and sales goal – what is your break-even point?
- Income statements show the income and expenses of the business for a period of time – good for comparing projections to reality.
- Balance sheets show the financial condition of the business on a specific date.
- Cash flow statements show how your cash position has changed over a period of time from operation, investing and financial activities.
Most business are going to need a loan at some point in time. Prepare yourself by evaluating your loan request using the 5 Cs of Credit:
- Capacity – How will you repay the loan?
- Capital – How much will you need to invest in your business?
- Collateral – What assets will you pledge for the loan?
- Conditions – What is the economic climate in your industry as well as the 1, 5 and 10 mile radius?
- Character – What are your qualifications and credit history?
Additionally, there are key components when preparing your loan request. The first is your “business plan” where you are educating the lender about your business. Remember the individual reviewing the loan request may not be familiar with your specific business or the industry in general. Also, make sure to include your background and qualifications, give the banker reasons to lend to your business. Lastly, include past and/or projected profit-loss and monthly cash flow statements.
The next key component is clearly stating the amount and purpose of the loan. How much money are you requesting and home much are you contributing? Also, how are you going to use the loan? Include a financial analysis.
It is important for you to establish and grow your business, so, don’t let the accounting, tax and financials of your business get away from you. Ask for help if you need it!