Financing Your Entrepreneurial Dreams
I am going to be real here, it is easier for you to have your dream, develop your business plan, find the right location than it is to fund that dream. Unless of course, you have access to the cash already.
There are a few routes to obtaining the financing you need, but you must have good credit and show financial fitness. If you have bad credit, the first thing you should do is work on getting your credit fixed and work on your financial fitness. What do I mean by financial fitness? Your net worth! Do you own your own house, your cars, and any other assets that would be added to your net worth.
I know, now your hopes are gone! They don’t have to be! If this is a dream that you truly believe in, you must work hard to make that dream come true. The best time to start is NOW! Otherwise delaying the process turns from weeks to months to years and you will find yourself 5 years from now in the same situation that you are in today.
The length of the preparation process depends on the starting condition and the amount of money you think you will need to get started. The smaller the amount the easier it is. But you must learn to think like a lender. If someone came to you for a thousand dollars, and they didn’t work, or have any assets, and no future would you lend them the money. A thousand dollars is important to you, but if you did give them the money it would be like throwing that money away, at least in most cases. Lenders are in the business to lend money and get paid back. They review your situation to develop a probability factor that you will pay them back. You can swear up and down that you will pay them back, but that has no standing if your credit report shows multiple bad accounts.
The other reason you want to clean your credit up is that you can save thousands every year on interest rates and even insurance costs. Prospective employers even screen their employee applicant’s credit to profile for dependency and honesty. Today’s world is pushing out people who strongly analyze borrowers and applicants and profiling them based on past mistakes. I can also tell you that many of these people take it too far.
Bad credit options are very limited, so do not believe those ads for bad credit financing. They are usually predatory lenders with extremely high-interest rates and lower funding amounts. Many business owners who have not maintained their personal and/or business credit also have limited options. Even with an established business, with steady income does not provide them easy access to cash, and the money they can obtain is usually at 40-50% interest and for a very short term, usually a matter of months.
Owning a business, no matter if it is a start-up or has been established, access to cash is paramount. Especially for growth! Emergencies happen that can make you strapped for cash, machines break down, weather can force a loss of business for a few days, and having that access can easily take you through those times without missing a beat. Just take a look at what has happened with the Covid Pandemic, the shutdowns caused ruins for many businesses. We have seen businesses that have been around for over 100 years say their final goodbyes. The deterioration of the big box stores because of the online shopping frenzy has caused many stores to rethink their business model and that takes having access to funds to complete those transitions. Business is not just about sales, it’s about supporting those sales with a strong back office. That back office is mainly the constant development of the business’s financial fitness so that the business can keep expanding.
1)Let’s just say that you are looking to build and open a luxury beachfront hotel for 200 million dollars. Your financial needs for your dream is in a more manageable realm. If you have good credit and the credit has some depth to it, meaning you have some older accounts and you don’t utilize a lot of your credit, you can obtain personal lines of credit. With these personal lines, you can obtain or get access to funding of up to 200k especially if you mix some cash cards in there.
1A/2)Equipment financing is also an option that can reduce the amount of cash you will need. You finance everything from furniture, to computers, to machinery and vehicles. For a start-up, you will need good credit and a financial statement. You can blend this along with the personal lines of credit, thus reducing the amount of cash you need or saving some of that money for back up. There is a right way to do this so please speak with an expert to get the proper procedure set up, doing it improperly will ruin your chances of obtaining optimal funding.
3) SBA-This program insures a portion of the money that is being funded by the lender in case of default. But with that said this government program wants something from you. First, many lenders will not lend to a start-up, it must be the purchase of an existing business. But in any case, the requirements may include the need for assets (like equity in a home) before even considering the loan. To lenders, startups are very risky. Statistics show that over 50% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. The reason they fail is lack of cash flow because these business owners are more concerned with the front end of the business and when they need money they use their personal finances and credit cards for the business. What eventually happens is that they become over-extended and ruin their credit putting them in even a worse predicament. This is a big no-no for a business that is up and running. From the day the business is formed, building the business credit is imperative. It takes a blend of business and personal credit and proper financial maintenance to make sure that your dream is not only a success, it also means that you will be working on making the company bigger and better rather than working as an employee of the company.
4) Crowd Funding – This seems to be the latest craze, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Crowd Funding doesn’t mean you get the money for nothing, you will be exchanging the product or an equity stake for the investors.
This type of funding works well for products and inventions, and no matter what you hear on TV or read on websites a small portion of entrepreneurs reach their funding goals and it’s not an “I will take what I got” program. If the full funding goal is not met you get nothing. The other downfall is that it can take some time to try to reach your goal.
5) 401(k) business financing, also known as Rollovers for Business Start-ups (ROBS), is a small business funding method. ROBS allows you to draw money from your retirement account to start or buy a business without incurring an early withdrawal fee or tax penalty. This is not a loan; ROBS just gives you access to your own money, so that you can build the life you want without going into debt.
5) Portfolio Loans- if you own stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other eligible securities, you can leverage your portfolio to get the money you need without having to sell off your securities.
Portfolio Loans, which are also known as stock loans or securities-based lending, work as a revolving line of credit. This lets you fund your small business by borrowing and repaying on your schedule – not a bank’s.
Getting the Funding You Need
Whatever method you feel is best for you, each product except for the 401k and portfolio loans require a 690 and above credit score, With the Personal Lines of Credit, you will find that these are unsecured, whereas SBA may want to protect their interest by placing a lien on your property. SBA along with equipment financing options will require some skin in the game, meaning a downpayment of anywhere from 10-30% based on your qualifications. But other financings like personal lines of credit can be used to fund that.
If you want to pursue your dream, it is best to speak to an expert. Like everything else, it takes proper preparation and structuring to maximize your funding ability. At Ebizmore we have helped hundreds of budding entrepreneurs realize their dreams. We start with the basics by working on your credit and building a proper foundation that will ensure success. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.