There are several types of loans available to business owners — so many, in fact, that the options can seem overwhelming and confusing, especially to smaller business owners without a lot of experience raising capital. This guide will help educate you on the options so you can make a more informed decision about financing your growing business while limiting added risk.
Obtaining financing from a bank or lender for your small business can be quite the task. That’s why it’s important to know when it’s the right time to do it. You may not get the results you want if you do it at the wrong time. Depending on your business goals and objectives, you may want to borrow money right away or bootstrap for as long as possible and borrow money later on down the line. Below are 4 questions you should ask yourself (and answer) to determine if you’re ready to borrow money for your small business (especially if it is a startup).
Unfortunately, owning a business does not make someone an expert in financing. The lenders are the ones who know the ins and outs of rates and terms and documents. To even out the playing field, it is important for a small business owner to ask the right questions and consider the following factors when deciding whether to refinance:
Many small business owners borrow money to start and grow their business. And is often the case those same business owners find themselves hitting credit limits established by banks and other lenders causing enormous growing pains for the business. Simply stated, running out of business capital when you’re growing a business is difficult at best.
Debt Service Coverage Ratio compliance often is required or necessitated by covenants in a bank loan agreement. A bank loan covenant regarding the debt service coverage ratio will specify the amount of income a business and/or its guarantor must generate relative to the debt principal and interest payments on an annual basis to remain in compliance with the covenant. The business owner, or his or her CFO or Controller, should monitor this ratio carefully on a monthly basis so the covenant is not unintentionally broken.
People often overlook the attitude of the buyer and how greatly it can affect the outcome of the deal. Confidence is key.
As markets recover post-recession, business owners are presented with growth opportunities. However, a business owner may not have access to the capital needed to execute on a growth strategy. Where does a business owner turn?
When you look across all lending solutions for small business owners the clear #1 – aka the most important – factor that is most widely considered and most highly “weighted” is credit.
The Bank Workout Group is a department in a bank that handles what is known as the bank’s special assets. Banks send their troubled loans to this department to handle negotiation and management of the bank’s forbearance agreements.
Often entrepreneurs find themselves in a situation where their commercial bank considers their existing line of credit too risky to extend or renew. This places the entrepreneur and their banker at odds, and many times pushes the business owner to take drastic steps to keep their company’s doors open and paychecks coming. Has this happened to you or one of your fellow entrepreneurs?
Many people discuss the importance of pivoting in the context of a startup business. And I agree, once a business launches, the entrepreneur must be mindful of what is working and what is not. That’s when it is time to pivot the startup.
Bankers and Entrepreneurs rarely see eye-to-eye. Recently, my observation of this unfortunate reality caused me to chuckle as I sat with one of my clients and her business banker. What made me laugh was how two extremely accomplished individuals could define the term “special assets” so differently.