“It takes money to make money.” That saying is somewhat true. To create or expand your business empire you will need some funding to cover your expenses until your income comes in. That may take 2 months or 2 years, and it may require $200 or $200,000. The money can always be found, one way or another, but you need the right method for you.Money comes from three sources, each with its own benefits, dangers, and costs. You will likely use two, if not all three of these types over the course of your enterprise — and you must understand each to evaluate which will work for you today, tomorrow, and 5 years from now.#1 Method: Self FinancingWhen business owners have cash on hand, they typically look to their own bank account first as a simple form of financing. Self financing can be broken down two different ways, each with their own considerations. First, there are two types of self financing: lump-sum and bootstrapping. Second, self-financing can come from you, personally, or can come from your current business that finances another business, venture, service, or product line.Lump-sum financing is when you have a fixed amount of money from the sale of a business or investment, an inheritance, personal savings, 401(k) cash-out (rarely a good idea) or other amount of cash that can be used to finance a business venture. The amount you have available is relatively fixed and can be viewed and tracked as a one-time investment.Bootstrapping is constantly used by most small businesses, usually without conscious knowledge. Bootstrapping is where you pay for the new or expanding business through cash flow coming in from another source. The other source may be your day job, your spouse or partner’s job or business, a profitable business or product line, or passive investments (real estate, mutual funds, and bond).Self-financing works when you need a small amount of money, when you have a large amount of money available, when you are comfortable with risk, or when you need money quickly. It also works when a profitable business can absorb investing in a new venture until the new venture takes off; assuming adequate cash flow projections and tracking has been done to ensure the new venture is not a never-ending profit leach.#2 Method: Debt FinancingDebt financing is obtaining money that must be paid back to the lender, usually with interest. Similar to self-financing, debt financing may include both using your personal credit as well as the credit and security of the business to obtain a loan or line of credit.Personal debt financing is readily available to most business owners. If you have a decent credit rating, you can obtain credit cards, a home equity line of credit, or a loan, without informing the bank about your business. You may obtain a loan from a family member or friend who knows about your business venture but who may not demand as rigorous standards as a formal bank.Businesses may also obtain credit cards, lines of credit, and loans from banks and credit unions. Loans that are secured by the Small Business Administration (SBA) are available through banks providing lines of credit to small businesses that may not be able to obtain credit without the SBA guarantee. Alternative debt financing options such as Prosper.com enable individuals and businesses with lower credit ratings to obtain financing from diverse sources. But these private loans will typically be at interest rates higher than SBA loans.#3 Method: Equity FinancingEquity financing is giving away ownership (equity) in your business, and potential future profits, in exchange for money (capital) today.Investors can come in the form of silent partners, family, friends, or private investors who speculate in new companies. Angel Funding, wealthy individuals and groups who invest in small, high growth companies, typically buy stakes in companies for a few hundred thousand dollars. Venture Capital firms and Investment Banks typically are looking for companies where they will invest millions of dollars.If you are planning to seek private investors, Angel Funding, Investment Banks, or Venture Capital, you will likely need more sophisticated financial reporting than is covered in this book. You will also need more lawyers and accountants.How do you decide which type of financing to pursue?Most likely, one type of financing is obviously not right for you now. You will probably use two or even all three types of financing for any one business, and your choice may change over the life of the business as you expand and add new ventures. You may be able to weed out certain choices because they are not available — you don’t have cash or another income source (self), you don’t have a good personal credit rating (debt), or your business has no exit plan (equity).For each decision, you must track the benefits (Return on Investment), and the costs (interest, fees, and lost profits) of each type of financing. As your business grows, you may need to add or switch financing as prior financing methods become too expensive, are exhausted, or do not produce a sufficient return.
Where Do You Get Financing For Your Small Business?
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The Key To Working Capital Financing – Asset Based Lenders
Wondering how your competition seems to have all the working capital financing they need and you don’t – the key to that answer might just be asset based lenders and the asset based lines of credit they offer to Canadian businesses such as yours.Let’s examine how this relatively new and unique method of business financing can totally alter your business financing success.The acronym for this type of financing is A B L; simply speaking its daily cash flow provide against your current, and sometimes now so current assets. What do we mean by that? Simply that this facility allows you to margin your receivables, inventory, and in most cases, should you choose, fixed assets and real estate. You are probably saying to yourself that you could arrange financing on your own re those fixed assets and real estate – but we are talking about using those assets as collateral for your daily revolving line of credit. So you aren’t borrowing, you are not bringing debt on to your balance sheet, you are just leveraging your ‘ assets ‘ (that’s the ‘A’ in ABL!) for daily cash flow and working capital.And why are we claiming that this type of working capital financing just might be your key to business success. Simply because you have probably found it has been challenging to get the full amount of business credit you need. In some cases you might have discovered its been a challenge to get business lines of credit of any manner.So if your competitors are using this type of financing today, who exactly is eligible for it, and is your firm a candidate. The answer is simply that if your firm has a combination of 250k in working capital assets you are immediately eligible for asset based lines of credit. We would add that firms with smaller asset sizes can still monetize those receivables via invoice financing or discounting, but that’s not our key focus for today’s information exchange.So now you now the offering are out there. But why should you consider it. Simply because your firm might be in one of a number of special situations – that includes issues such as your need for increased daily operating cash, you wish to merge with or finance an acquisition, you have been unable to obtain inventory financing elsewhere, you are growing to quickly for traditional Canadian chartered banking financing, etc! We are pretty sure you get the picture now!The benefits to this type of business financing must by now be pretty obvious. It’s all about access to working capital financing and cash flow that you couldn’t access before. Assets that couldn’t be financed are now financeable, and inventory financing, previously limited or unavailable now looms on your growth horizon.Who are these asset based lenders, and what is the cost of this financing? We’ll leave that one for another day, but if you want to investigate asset based lines of credit for your firm ( remember, your competitor probably already has ) then speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who will assist you with identifying benefits and the best solution for your current strained needs in business finance.
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