Small Business Finance – Finding the Right Mix of Debt and Equity

Financing a small business can be most time consuming activity for a business owner. It can be the most important part of growing a business, but one must be careful not to allow it to consume the business. Finance is the relationship between cash, risk and value. Manage each well and you will have healthy finance mix for your business.

Develop a business plan and loan package that has a well developed strategic plan, which in turn relates to realistic and believable financials. Before you can finance a business, a project, an expansion or an acquisition, you must develop precisely what your finance needs are.

Finance your business from a position of strength. As a business owner you show your confidence in the business by investing up to ten percent of your finance needs from your own coffers. The remaining twenty to thirty percent of your cash needs can come from private investors or venture capital. Remember, sweat equity is expected, but it is not a replacement for cash.

Depending on the valuation of your business and the risk involved, the private equity component will want on average a thirty to forty percent equity stake in your company for three to five years. Giving up this equity position in your company, yet maintaining clear majority ownership, will give you leverage in the remaining sixty percent of your finance needs.

The remaining finance can come in the form of long term debt, short term working capital, equipment finance and inventory finance. By having a strong cash position in your company, a variety of lenders will be available to you. It is advisable to hire an experienced commercial loan broker to do the finance “shopping” for you and present you with a variety of options. It is important at this juncture that you obtain finance that fits your business needs and structures, instead of trying to force your structure into a financial instrument not ideally suited for your operations.

Having a strong cash position in your company, the additional debt financing will not put an undue strain on your cash flow. Sixty percent debt is a healthy. Debt finance can come in the form of unsecured finance, such as short-term debt, line of credit financing and long term debt. Unsecured debt is typically called cash flow finance and requires credit worthiness. Debt finance can also come in the form of secured or asset based finance, which can include accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, real estate, personal assets, letter of credit, and government guaranteed finance. A customized mix of unsecured and secured debt, designed specifically around your company’s financial needs, is the advantage of having a strong cash position.

The cash flow statement is an important financial in tracking the effects of certain types of finance. It is critical to have a firm handle on your monthly cash flow, along with the control and planning structure of a financial budget, to successfully plan and monitor your company’s finance.

Your finance plan is a result and part of your strategic planning process. You need to be careful in matching your cash needs with your cash goals. Using short term capital for long term growth and vice versa is a no-no. Violating the matching rule can bring about high risk levels in the interest rate, re-finance possibilities and operational independence. Some deviation from this age old rule is permissible. For instance, if you have a long term need for working capital, then a permanent capital need may be warranted. Another good finance strategy is having contingency capital on hand for freeing up your working capital needs and providing maximum flexibility. For example, you can use a line of credit to get into an opportunity that quickly arises and then arrange for cheaper, better suited, long term finance subsequently, planning all of this upfront with a lender.

Unfortunately finance is not typically addressed until a company is in crisis. Plan ahead with an effective business plan and loan package. Equity finance does not stress cash flow as debt can and gives lenders confidence to do business with your company. Good financial structuring reduces the costs of capital and the finance risks. Consider using a business consultant, finance professional or loan broker to help you with your finance plan.

Car Finance Places You On The Top Gear While Buying A Car

Fast car on open roads. It is a perfect picture for any car enthusiast. But you have to go to your work and also drop your kids to school. This is the real picture for most of us. We need to save time when we don’t have any. A typical individual has so many odd jobs to complete that a car can, without doubt, facilitate their accomplishment. Financing your car doesn’t fit your idea of the way of buying your car; then probably you are still stuck with traditional car buying methods. Shed your inhibitions with regard for car financing because it undoubtedly keeps in mind your financial caliber before furnishing you with a car finance loan.

Car financing has taken a new spin with regard to providing investment for buying a car. So, how do you finance a car? If this question leaves you baffled, then you have to go a long way in the process of buying a car. The term ‘financing’ in relation to buying a car connotes either rendering loan to buy the car or lease the car to you. You are probably concentrating on the former meaning. Many people are in favour of talking car finance from dealership for it seems like a convenient option. It seems easy; you select a car, fill out a credit application, and drive away with your car – all in a day’s work. Car finance through dealership will give you car finance on weekends and even at nights when other banks and credit unions are closed.

Seems convenient, isn’t it? But there is a catch. The dealer will be certainly charging you more for your car finance. Usually car buyers are overcharged by 3% on their car finance. A great number of complaints about car financing are related to dealers. 0% APR is not only attractive but lures the buyers to acquire up car finance not meditating if it is feasible for them. There are very few people who can actually get a 0% APR. Thus car finance deals usually fall midway thereby making car finance experience an extremely distressing one. You are buying a new car and probably for the first time, you certainly want it to compliment your enthusiasm. There are few elementary things that need to be kept in mind before taking that crucial primeval step in car buying.

First and foremost in car buying and financing is checking your credit score before you apply for a car loan. Many people are unaware of the fact that they even have a credit score. You can expediently check your credit score online. So, if you have bad credit history then probably you will be paying more interest rate for your car finance. If your credit score drops below 550, then probably apply for new car finance is not such a good idea. First repair you credit score. Repairing credit score requires little effort, helps you repay your debt and retain your credit report. Online car finance companies can get you car finance loan even if your credit score is lower than required. Your car finance loan can get approved in minutes. Online car finance companies have revolutionized car finance procedure. With lowest online car finance rates, no application fees, or down payments car finance companies provide a formidable competition to car dealers. Car finance companies have set a standard for providing car finance that is worth opting for.

70% of cars are obtained by some kind of financing. You can even finance a used car. The process is as effortless and undemanding as financing a new car. The essence to finding the right car finance is doing to research about your kind of car. Knowledge is power; you must be awake to this age old logic. When so much information frequently exists, then why not make use of it. Find out how much your car costs by comparing rates with local dealers. Very decisive, is cognizing how much, you can afford. Calculate, you monthly income and deduct your usual monthly expenditure to find out how much you can afford on a monthly basis. Compute carefully, otherwise you will find difficulty in repaying your car finance loan. And you definitely don’t want to fool around with your repayment plan because a lot is at stake. You can seek free advice for your own car finance online through credit unions and loan institutions.

You are a car enthusiast, a car consumer, a just a person who needs a car you ought to drive the best car. And why not drive the best car, when you have access to the best car finance plans. Car financing is a transparent route that leads you to become a car owner. Car finance loans are usually short term loans ranging from 36 to 72 months. Shorter loan term imply, lower interest rates and will prove to be cheaper. You have been working hard to select the car you want; there is a fairly good chance that you would not have to work so hard for car finance. So, sit back relax and enjoy the ride.

The New Rule For Buying a Home – Using Owner Financing

The American Dream; what does it mean to you? People have different jobs or hobbies or passions in life, but one constant remains the same among all of us, and this common thread that unites our dreams is that of Home Ownership! Unfortunately, in this current economy, achieving the dream of home ownership is becoming more difficult than any time in recent history. Too many Americans are following the unwritten rule of home ownership that tells us to ‘Find a Realtor and Get a Bank Loan’. In past economies, with thriving job markets, lower inflation, and less credit restraint, that ‘rule’ may have made sense to follow.

But our current economic system is making it difficult for the average person to achieve the American Dream of Home Ownership. In times of unstable job markets, with double digit unemployment forcing people to become self-employed to make a living, the banks are requiring a W-2 stable job history in order to issue loans. In times of a great credit crisis, the banks are requiring stricter credit scores than most people are able to achieve. Fewer and fewer honest, hard working Americans who are used to following the ‘traditional rules’ for owning a home are having the opportunity to own their own homes.

What if you could achieve the American Dream of Home Ownership without the assistance of a bank?

The purpose of this document is to allow motivated home seekers an opportunity to write a New Rule of Home Ownership that allows you to declare your freedom from the services of a Bank in order to partake in your piece of the American Dream of Home Ownership!

In order to understand the New Rule of Home Ownership, let’s take a closer look at the existing rules of purchasing a house with Traditional Bank Financing.

The first part of the Traditional Bank Financing focuses on Qualifying for a Loan. While many different loan packages exist, the most common loan written in today’s market is an FHA Loan, and therefore, we shall use their guidelines as an example. The following are guidelines for an FHA Loan:

o FHA Loans require a minimum credit score of 620 to be eligible for a loan
o FHA will require 3.5% down on the home. This down payment MUST come from your account. You are not allowed to borrow from friends, family or anyone else. You must document where the funds for the down payment came from. Specifically, the source of the down payment must be from your personal checking, savings or retirement account and CAN NOT be borrowed!

In order to work with most Realtors, you must first get pre-approved for a bank. Many Realtors won’t even show you a house unless you can prove that you are able to afford and receive financing for the property. This painful process of pre-approval from a bank can take 2-3 days and involve the following steps:

o Proof of Creditworthiness
o You must provide 2-4 years worth of tax returns!
o You must provide your last 4 pay check stubs if you are an employee or an updated Profit and Loss statement if you are self-employed, a business owner, an independent contractor or entrepreneur. However, if you cannot show a consistent pay stub as proof of income, then you may want to skip ahead to the part of this document where ‘Owner Financing’ is discussed, as you will find it increasingly difficult to qualify for a mortgage.
o Your bank may require you pay off other debit to help improve your credit score to qualify for the loan
o And the worst part… this proof of creditworthiness is done throughout the entire home buying process! Even once you qualify and pick out the home of your dreams; underwriters at the bank will have you go through the same process to make sure you still qualify.

Now that you are pre-qualified for the home of your dreams, you may finally begin the process of working with a Realtor to find your new home.

Once you’ve found your home, the Traditional Banks will want an inspection performed on the home and may require the seller to fix EVERYTHING for the bank to finance your loan. Some people just want a small discount on the house and they will do their own repairs however, many times a traditional bank will not allow you to do this! These small fixes may add to the total price of the house.

Also, expect to pay Realtor fees, bank fees, filling fees, “point buy down” fees, loan origination fees, closing costs, title fees, surveys, appraisal fees, and anything else imaginable for which to be charged. Though many of these fees can be rolled into your loan, over the long term, you may be paying an extra 10% in unnecessary Financing Fees that are loaded into your loan!

What if there was a quicker, easier, and less intrusive way to take your share of the American Dream? What if you could look at homes without having to pay a Realtor fee, pre-qualify for a loan, and go through a 3 month home buying process? After all, we ARE in a BUYER’S market in Real Estate, so why shouldn’t we be able to buy?

Consider the possibility of declaring a New Rule. Instead of working with (and paying for) a Realtor, why not work with the Seller directly? Especially if that seller is a Professional Real Estate Investor who is not only willing to sell the house in a quick and simple matter, but is also will to FINANCE the sale of the house on a short-term basis!

Earlier in this eBook, we went over the process of the Tradition Bank Financing. Now, we shall detail the 7 Easy Steps of Purchasing Your Home with Owner Financing:
* Contact the Seller of the Home without having to pre-qualify for a loan and look at the home to decide if you want to purchase.
* Settle on a price
* Agree to a down-payment and interest rate
* Once you’ve agreed to a price, down payment, and interest rate, complete a Deposit to Hold form and pay this 1% fee applicable to the sales price of the property. This fee will take the property off the market while you are closing on the home.
* Fill out credit application; provide 2 most recent paycheck stubs and bank statements as proof that you can afford the monthly payment.
* (Optional) If you chose, you can order your own home inspection to review the condition of the home
* Close in 2-5 business days

Buying a home from a Professional Real Estate Investor is quick and easy. Once you have settled on the price and monthly payments, you have minimal paperwork to complete and can close on the transaction within one week! The following is a summary of some of the benefits of Owner Financing compared with Traditional Bank Financing:
* In many cases, there is no minimum credit score required
* Instead of 10% Traditional Bank Finance Fees / Closing Costs, your Owner Finance Fee averages to 5% of the transaction.
* Unlike Traditional Bank Financing, your down payment for Owner Financing may come from almost anywhere (as long as it is a legal way to raise the funds). You can borrow the money from family, friends, others. There are also some tax incentives for you to use part of your retirement savings. Either way, with Owner Financing, you are allowed to raise your own down payment as you see fit!
* You and the Owner Finance Seller will agree on a time to “close” on the home and may close within 5 business days!
* Your Owner Finance loan is dependent on your down payment and ability to pay the monthly payment and NOT on your credit or having a W-2 Job. Therefore, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Independent Contractors, and the Self-Employed may qualify for Owner Financed Homes!
* You are not required to provide extensive documentation to obtain your loan

Due to the efficiency, simplicity, and cost effectiveness, you can see why buying directly from an investor with Owner Financing is the New Rule for Buying Homes. Owner Financing interest rates may be a little higher than market price when you initially purchase your home, however, this higher rate, along with a sizeable down payment, will actually help you obtain conventional financing at a lower rate down the road when you decide to refinance!

A good way to look at Owner Financing is that is a solution to buying a home with short-term financing. Once you have paid your Owner Financed note on time for say 12-24 months, it’s easier to refinance your existing note with a traditional bank loan at a lower interest. It’s much quicker, easier, and less intrusive to refinance a home into traditional financing then it is to purchase a home with traditional financing!

The following example will detail the process and the costs of owner financing:

o John chooses to purchase a beautiful home for $150,000 with a traditional bank loan. John’s credit score is 590 and the bank will not loan him any money until his credit score is at least 620. John understands the importance of owning a home and wants to buy something now.
o John finds a home that is being offered for $150,000 with Owner Financing. John has $15,000 to put down and wants to close in 5 business days. John’s new loan is at an 8.5% rate for 30 years and the sellers would like John to refinance his loan in 24-36 months. John’s monthly payment is $1,350 and it includes Principle, Interest, Insurance, and HOA fees. John is happy because he can afford $1,350 per month and is able to take his part of the American Dream!
o As John pays on time for, say, 24 months, John has an excellent payment history with his current lender. John will also need to be working on his credit in those 24 months to raise his score to the current minimum of 620.
o When John approaches a traditional bank John will be able to demonstrate the following:
o John’s $15,000 down payment shows that he has ‘skin in the game’ and is not just going to bail on his house payments
o John CAN afford and has been paying $1,350 a month at a 8.5% rate for his loan
o John’s credit score is now above the minimum required 620
o If John can afford $1,350 a month at 8.5% interest, John can easily afford a $1,100 a month payment at 6.5%!

It is much easier to refinance a loan rather than trying to get a loan for the original financing! Since you are already in the house, there is no inspection required, no lengthily closing procedures and there is no longer all that extra red tape that is associated with buying a home with traditional financing!

As you can see, purchasing with Owner Financing can be easily done and quickly closed for those who cannot use a traditional bank loan but deserve to own a home now.

Summary

In today’s market, due to tough economic times, there are many people selling their properties. Yet, despite the fact that this is a ‘buyer’s market’, it is tougher to buy a home with Traditional Bank Financing than ever before. Following the old, unwritten rules will lead you to a long and unhappy life in an apartment complex. Motivated home seekers looking for their piece of the American Dream are unable to achieve this great promise by traditional and conventional means due to stringent lending requirements initiated by the very same financial institutions that gladly took over 1 billion of our tax dollars to bail them out! Banks tightening up on their lending practices is causing a shortage of homebuyers in the market. This is one of the biggest reasons that real estate values continue to free fall because there are not enough people who can qualify for available homes while following the unwritten rules.

Inspired home seekers, looking to break away from the old rules and ready to write his or her own New Rules to Home Ownership will be able to take advantage of this buyer’s market, and with Owner Financing, you will see more and more people purchasing homes. If you are in the market to buy a home however, you cannot qualify for a traditional loan, I strongly recommend you contact a company that specializes in Owner Finance Homes.

Stop drowning in the current economy and create your own American Dream!

The Best Way to Understand Personal Finance

When we are trying to understand Personal Finance, the best thing to do is to understand what Personal Finance is NOT.

Many people think that accounting and personal finance are the same, but Personal Finance is NOT Accounting.

On the surface they may seem the same; they both have something to do with money. However, the definitions will help us better understand the differences.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of accounting is “the system of recording and summarizing business and financial transactions and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results.”

Based on this definition, we see that accounting is the process of analysing and recording what you have already done with your money.

This is why having an accountant is usually not enough when it comes to your personal finances.

Accountants generally don’t concern themselves with personal finance (there are some exceptions to this rule). Unless your accountant is also a financial advisor or coach, he or she will likely just look at what you have done with your money at the end of the year and provide you with a report of their analysis.

This report is usually your tax return; what you owe the government or what the government owes you.

Very rarely does the accountant provide an individual with a Balance Sheet or Income Statement or a Net worth statement; all very helpful tools that are necessary to effectively manage your personal finances.

Personal Finance is looking at your finances from a more pro-active and goal oriented perspective. This is what provides the accountants with something to record, verify and analyze.

The Merriam-Webster’s (Concise Encyclopedia) definition of “Finance” is the “process of raising funds or capital for any kind of expenditure. Consumers, business firms, and governments often do not have the funds they need to make purchases or conduct their operations, while savers and investors have funds that could earn interest or dividends if put to productive use. Finance is the process of channeling funds from savers to users in the form of credit, loans, or invested capital through agencies including COMMERCIAL BANKS, SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATIONS, and such nonbank organizations as CREDIT UNIONS and investment companies. Finance can be divided into three broad areas: BUSINESS FINANCE, PERSONAL FINANCE, and public finance. All three involve generating budgets and managing funds for the optimum results”.

Personal Finance Simplified

By understanding the definition of “finance” we can break our “personal finance” down into 3 simple activities:-

1. The process of raising funds or capital for any kind of expenditure = Generating an Income.
A Business gets money through the sale of their products and services. This is labeled “revenue” or “income”. Some businesses will also invest a portion of their revenue to generate more income (interest income).

A Person gets money through a job, or a small business (self employment, sole proprietorship, network marketing or other small business venture). The money coming in can be a salary, hourly wage, or commission, and is also referred to as income.

A Government gets money through taxes that we pay. This is one of the main ways that the government generates an income that is then used to build infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools, hospitals etc for our cities.

2. Using our money to make purchases = Spending Money.
How much we spend relative to how much we make is what makes the difference between having optimum results in our personal finances. Making good spending decisions is critical to achieving financial wealth – regardless of how much you make.

3. Getting optimum results = Keeping as much of our money as possible
It’s not how much you MAKE that matters – its how much you KEEP that really matters when it comes to your personal finances.

This is the part of personal finance that virtually everyone finds the most challenging.

Often people who make large incomes (six figures or more) also tend to spend just as much (or more) which means they put themselves in debt and that debt starts to accrue interest. Before long that debt can start to grow exponentially and can destroy any hope they would have had to achieving wealth.

Personal Finance made simple

Personal Finance doesn’t need to be complicated if you keep this simple formula in mind:

INCOME – SPENDING = WHAT YOU KEEP

For Optimal Results you simply have to make more than what you spend and spend less than what you make so you can keep more for you and your family!

If you are not actively working towards an optimal result you will by default get less than optimal results

It really is that simple!

Now that you understand personal finance and WHAT you need to do, the next step is learning HOW to do this!

The best way to start is by following these 3 simple steps:-

1. Know what you want to achieve – “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there” has become a very popular quote, probably because it is so true. One of the habits that Stephen Covey highlights in his book “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, is to always start with the end in mind. Knowing where you want to go will be a big help in ensuring you get there.

2. Have a plan – that you can follow that will get you to your goals. Knowing how you will achieve your goals in a step by step plan is invaluable. Sometimes this is easier with the help of an advisor or a financial coach.

3. Use tools and resources – that will help you to stick to your plan and not become distracted by the things in life that could limit our incomes and make us spend more than we should. Don’t try and work it all out in your head! You will end up with a massive headache and your finances will become one gigantic dark fog!

Car Finance Company

Having a new car is one of the biggest achievements that most people can have. Other than financing education and buying a home, there is really nothing else that can compare to the huge expenditure that comes with purchasing a new car.

Therefore, only a few people can really afford to pay for a car outright. Most people rely on car financing in order to purchase a new car. But with the many car financing options available nowadays, it is wise to research thoroughly for a car financing company that offers the best rates.

Most car financing companies offer better deals compared to local car dealers. While it is convenient to have your car dealer provide you with the loan and plan, it is still better to get pre-approval from a car financing company because they offer more reasonable interest rates and payment options. To choose the car financing company with which to conduct your transactions, you have to consider two things: their rates and reliability.

Car financing companies vary on the interest rates they offer to customers. If they have seen that you have good credit history, the interest rate on your car financing loan may not be as high compared to a person with bad credit history. And if you really want to secure car financing with low interest rates, you should try looking for an online car financing company. By applying for your loan online, you save the company time and money, thus the savings from the cost of doing business are passed on to you.

In addition, you should also check the credibility of the company, especially if you want to do your transactions online. You have to make sure that the company you choose has been in operation for years. Aside from this, you can also ask your colleagues and friends who have already secured car financing from a car financing company about their experiences in loan application. They can recommend a suitable company to you.

Finding a car financing company for your loan application can be difficult if you do not know what to consider and where to start your search. But if you go online and ask trusted sources for their recommendations, you can easily compare car financing rates and select the best deal for you.

Accounts Receivable Financing Verses Purchase Order Financing

Two types of alternative business financing that often get confused with one another are Accounts Receivable Financing and Purchase Order Financing. It’s understandable that they sometimes get confused, however, they are two very different types of alternative business financing that serve two very different purposes.

Accounts Receivable Financing is used when you have outstanding invoices on your aging report and want to access that cash now instead of waiting to be paid at a later date.  NOTE:  To qualify for Accounts Receivable Financing, your product or service must have been delivered and invoiced; otherwise there are no Accounts Receivable invoices to use as collateral. 

The two types of Accounts Receivable Financing most commonly used are Asset Based Lending and Factoring:

  • Asset Based Lending - You can get traditional bank financing or alternative business financing in the form of asset based lending.  If you qualify for bank financing, go that route first because the cost of capital will always be less than non-traditional asset based lending.  You receive a line of credit from a bank or non-bank lender and use your accounts receivable invoices as collateral for the line.  Each institution has different underwriting standards; however, the important thing to remember is that the strength of your company will still play a role in getting approved.  It will be not be possible to get bank financing if your business is losing money because banks are very conservative…and rightly so; they’re not making much money on your line compared to non-traditional lenders.  These non-traditional lenders will still have to qualify your company in the underwriting process (although less stringent) and have certain covenants tied to the line in order for it to stay open.
  • Factoring – This is a form of financing where a 3rd party purchases your accounts receivable invoices at a discount so you can receive working capital today instead of having to wait 30, 60 or 90 days to be paid.  Factoring is more flexible that asset based lending in the sense that you’re qualified based on the strength of your clients, not your financial strength.

Purchase Order Financing, also known as PO Financing, is used when capital is needed to fulfill an order after receiving a PO.  Smaller companies that start to receive larger orders can turn to this type of alternative financing to help sustain growth.  PO Financing only makes sense when profit margins are large enough to offset the cost of capital.  It can be costly; however, it’s still cheaper than equity.

So remember, Purchase Order Financing is used on the front end of a transaction and Accounts Receivable Financing is used on the back-end of a transaction.  If your company needs financing for growth or survival, these two types of financing may be very helpful financing tools. 

All You Need to Know About Premium Financing

Premium financing is a process wherein the permanent life insurance policy premiums are being paid by some of the third parties or third party lenders and it is an excellent marketing idea. In other words it can also be put forward as premium financing is a process which aims to increase your insurance needs by the method of financing the insurance. Thus premium financing enables individuals, business firms and the large companies to purchase the insurance without having to sell or lock up the various assets.

The working of the premium financing works in the following way consider for example you are owning an insurance policy worth X amount of dollars and you can use the value of your insurance policy as a mode of collateral security which will enable you to finance other insurance policies. Thus in this way premium financing allows you with a wide range of insurance options open to you. There is no doubt that premium financing is very much cost effective. It is a very favorable financing option as you can secure a huge loan amount against the life insurance policy. It is quite important to understand that you are going to get a much better option or in other words you will get much better rate of interest and the term of loan for the secured and the unsecured financing.

However it is important that before getting a premium financing option you need to have a look at your financial needs and get proper advice before you go on with a financing option. There is this one question which many people have as to will it be required for them to purchase a new insurance policy or can they get the service of premium financing on their existing insurance policies. Well the answer to this simple question would be that at the time the practice of premium financing came into existence it was a requirement that you will have to purchase new insurance policies, but now this is not the case as you can get this option of premium financing on your existing insurance policy and there is no requirement for you to take the strain of going for a new insurance policy. This will again provide you with a very much better option that would not ask for your valuable possessions to be given as collateral security.

Some other people who really take the benefit of premium financing are the wealthy investors or the business owners. It is an extremely good option for the companies that do not want to tie up their assets to purchase the large amount of insurance policies. It is also a technique which is offered for the employees to be offered as a part of their wages. It allows the firms to attract new employees and help them retain their valuable employees. Premium financing is also used as a technique for estate planning, company expansion, attracting new employees and retaining their valuable employees.

The Facts of Financing

Your mother always warned, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and those words of wisdom can be applied when financing a business. There are a number of methods that can aid buyers in financing a business. Buyers must recognize their available resources such as the seller, lenders, and investors.

As a child, we’re encouraged to “dream big” and told that nothing can stop us, but ourselves. As entrepreneurial adults, this idea of dreaming big is often a part of your everyday routine, but it is inevitable that at some point you’ll come crashing down from those heights into reality. The realization that financing your particular endeavor can instantly dampen even the most impassioned enterprising individual can get you down. To put it bluntly, “Don’t let it”.

Having a reality check on the difficulty of securing financing for a business can be the first step towards making your dream an actuality. There are numerous types of financing available, some more unorthodox or obscure. If you take the time and effort to research all avenues for funding you will be rewarded.

There are two main types of financing: debt financing and equity financing. It is important to you and the success of your business that you familiarize yourself with the types of financing in order to choose, seek, and finally, obtain the right form for your needs.

Debt financing involves borrowing money that will be repaid over a certain allotted time with a set interest rate tacked on. The time of such financing can be short term or long-term. In most cases, short term financing would include repayment within one year, while long-term financing would entail repayment in a time period that exceeds one year.

An advantage of this type of financing is the fact that the lender will not gain ownership in your business. You remain in control and your only obligation to them is to make regular and timely payments. In the case of small startups, a personal guarantee is often needed to facilitate the closing of the financing deal.

Equity financing, unlike debt financing, will involve giving the financing entity a share in the business. Some business owners dislike the idea of losing any amount of control. On a positive note, this type of financing does not incur debt. This kind of freedom from debt can give a greater sense of security in starting a new business. In addition, some entrepreneurs find great value in their equity financing partners, and see their presence as an asset.

The type of financing you will choose is based largely on the needs of your business and the kind of collateral, or available assets you have to offer. A substantial amount of debt financing can lead to poor credit and a shortage of funds in the future due to an inability to apply for more financing. A business that becomes overextended, offers little collateral, and is steeped in debt is not an appealing option for many investors.

As previously mentioned, there are other more unorthodox methods of obtaining funds that can certainly prove to be beneficial to your business. Some options can be found in your own circle of friends and family. One benefit of this type of financing is obtaining the money and a silent partner who will most likely not interfere with your business. It can also eliminate some of the red tape involved with more traditional forms of financing. This does not mean you can simply use a verbal agreement or “shake on it” to signify and bind the transaction. This is still a strategic business move and you must treat it as such which means proper documentation, clear terms, and mutual understanding of those terms.

Relationships can be ruined over inept efforts with this type of financing, so value your business and the other person by treating it with professionalism, attention to detail, and respect. Don’t become the black sheep at the next family reunion over some misunderstanding or your falling behind on payments.

A few other options that are largely unknown to those who haven’t done research include unsecured loans and micro-loans. Resources such as TheSnapLoan.com or Prosper.com offer loans based on cash flow, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. Government grants are also a largely untapped resource that is made available to entrepreneurs. Simply researching the website Grants.gov can be extremely helpful in your search for funds.

Venture capital is another route that many entrepreneurs look to due to the amount of funding that can be procured. A venture capitalist will likely offer larger sums of money that can be of great assistance to your business, but they will also gain a certain portion of control and ownership. This type of funding however is usually scarce due to the assumption that many startups will inevitably fail. You will need to find someone willing to take the risk and who sees potential in your vision.

This type of person could also be found in a more palatable option known as the Angel investor. The Angel investor typically has a high net worth and like the venture capitalist, must believe in the product and the person behind the product. Their loan often converts to stock, preferred stock, or convertible bonds.

Les Brown, an author and entrepreneur, says, “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars”. This is an extremely appropriate sentiment as it encourages you to keep dreaming big and ultimately those dreams combined with perseverance and research will take you closer to where you want to be.

The following is a chart that demonstrates the normal financing options available to businesses in different stages of the business life cycle.

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