Successful business growth often requires some degree of leverage or equity financing. If you’re looking to modernize, expand, improve, maintain or provide a growth buffer for your business, soliciting outside financing can be helpful. All-too-often traditional loans offered by banks and credit unions fail to provide the financing flexibility needed by many companies. Moreover, traditional funding sources also require more onerous loan qualification thresholds and personal guarantee provisions not found in other financing options. While helpful for many, most traditional sources offer limited options.
In business finance–just as in business strategy–a one-size-fits-all approach can be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Fortunately, modern technology, creative structuring and regulatory adjustments have helped expand financing options to a broader audience.
We understand that obtaining a reasonable return on your investment is best achieved through proper strategy combined with consistent and thoughtful execution.
Since the recession, there has been a fundamental shift in both the ability and methods entrepreneurs and businesses obtain financing. This dramatic shift has created both opportunity and difficulty. For the experienced financier, funding is available but must be actively sought.
It represents somewhat of a dichotomy that Quantitative Easing (QE) has greatly expanded the money supply while lending requirements have simultaneously become more stringent. Financing for corporations is almost always available, but may require more industry and regulatory expertise to navigate the deep waters of business funding.
Corporate capital requirements range across a very broad spectrum of the business life cycle. We aim to fill the gaps in funding requirements across the life cycle of your business.
Unfortunately, many businesses fail to start or fail to altogether due to lack of proper funding. Don’t let your idea or business become the next casualty of a working capital crunch.
There are a myriad of concerns for a business that decides to raise private capital. Primary considerations will be the amount of capital needed, the industry the business operates in, the current economic climate as well as legal and regulatory concerns that must be followed. With everything that needs to be determined it is essential to have a course of action that can be implemented during such private capital raising ventures. You may have heard the saying before, do not try to reinvent the wheel; this is very much applicable when it comes to deciding the best route to raising private capital. There are three well known routes to raising private capital for any business – the first is to consider the existing network. Friends, family, suppliers, co-workers and other existing sources should be considered first.
There may be the opportunity to create an internal investment where an employee may have the funds and would agree to a percent of the business in exchange for a substantial investment. Likewise, creditors and suppliers may also consider aligning with the business for diversification and growth potential.
The second source of funding businesses should consider in any private capital raising effort should be to expand upon the business’ existing network. There may have been opportunities to merge with other businesses in the past which could be re-explored or there may be a natural expansion of the business which would in turn open up different avenues of capital, such as expanding into a different market before attaining private capital offers from newly burgeoning markets which are rife with venture capital potential or other form of agreement.
The third source of potential funding comes about through taking on advertisements and bringing people on board to help your business make the connection between the business and the potential private capital funding on offer. Using a placement agent can be a great way of meeting with new investors. At this stage it is important to stay focused on cultivating the potential investor relationships that arise. Most investors want to know why the funding is needed more than they want to know about where you believe your investment will lead the business, although both are important considerations. It is recommended that the business create a social presence in order to relay the information that the business is established and working with professionals who bring value to the process and whom an investment in represents a sound option.
Your business may be lucky enough to have a choice of private capital offers; in these instances and arguably at any time a business seeks a private investor, it is important to define your ideal investor. You may already have something in mind such as a silent investor or one that will take an interest in the business and possibly help it to align with new or larger markets. Opportunities can coexist between finding the right private capital and aligning with larger markets or merging with other businesses. This is why it is important to consider your first and second options carefully as they will already be the closest to understanding what your business does and why it needs the investment. In short, you would not need to explain as much or sell your idea in the same way, so this can be beneficial.
It is important to understand why your investor wants to offer your business private capital – any number of reasons are acceptable but it helps to define the relationship going forward and will stand to the greatest advantage of the business since there will not be any misunderstandings. In order to take full advantage of the opportunity the business needs to show that they are fully compliant in all ways: regulatory or tax implications should always be complied with in order to show any potential investor that an investment in your business represents a secure option. Being able to define your business in the right terms will help gain interest, so bear a thought to how your business is being marketed and focus on the strengths.
Using contemporary options for sourcing private capital also means focusing on technology and online communication as well as networking. Creating a business profile, maintaining a website and running a blog on related topics of interest to the business will help the message spread and become inherent in what a potential investor will think of when they think of your brand.
In summary, if you are considering sourcing private capital for your business, make sure you do it right. Take the time to lay the ground work which has historically been shown to create stability and strong brand recognition. Take the time to define your business motivation and growth opportunity but be sure to concentrate on the accounting aspect of what you plan to offer the investor for his or her money. Any potential investor will want to see a plan of action for the use of the investment as well as any repayment or dividend offers that they will gain. Understanding the bottom line in all areas, both in where your business now stands as well as post investment projections will be a necessity, so it is better to have them ready before trying to find an investor.
When you know you have a solid plan of action together and that the business is fully compliant and wholly representative of a sound investment choice, then consider your options for finding the right investor, bearing in mind which type of investor you feel would be more suited to the opportunity. And remember, it is an opportunity for someone – sell your business and the advantages that any investor will gain through being associated at this point in time in your business. Showing that the business is positioned for growth in the future is an attractive scenario for investors, who do not look at investments like help to a business but rather as a way of earning money by simply being involved in the right opportunity.