Stephen Friedman Offers Business Expansion Tips to Professionals at ProVisors Program
Are you planning to grow your business? According to a survey of US CEOs, 62 percent plan on hiring more people this year, so you are in good company. Growth can often mean a need for additional funding, and banks are where many business owners go to get what they need.
Regents Bank’s Senior Vice President Stephen Friedman’s recent presentation at a ProVisors educational program geared toward professionals in the distribution and manufacturing sectors offered some great tips for all business owners who are looking to expand.
Tips for everyone:
- Prepare! When seeking funding to support your growing business, do the following before you submit for the loan:
- Know your business inside and out and have a roadmap of where your business is going – financially and strategically.
- Put together a clean loan application package. Make sure your financial statements, including your balance sheet, are detailed and include resumes of your principals. As Stephen says, “You don’t want to present your banker with financials that look like a smile with missing teeth.”
- Know what you want and express your vision to your banker before you apply for a loan or line of credit. Make sure you have a relationship with your bank in which you can openly discuss your strategic plan and seek advice from your banker about how to get there.
- Lending options
- Banks, large and small, will likely offer the most affordable loan terms. Note that community-focused banks are more likely than big banks to use people rather than just computers and formulas to make loan decisions.
- Commercial finance companies lend against receivables rather than business and cash flow, but loans from these companies cost more.
- Purchase order financing, mezzanine financing and private lenders are less stringent with their requirements, but the interest cost is the highest of all three lending options.
Tips for distributors/manufacturers:
- Make sure you can explain your cash conversion cycle. With an inventory-based company, the time from ordering/creating the inventory to collecting on it could be a long window. An experienced banker can work with you to help you analyze how different sales growth scenarios will affect your business’s cash needs.
- If you sell your product internationally, domestic banks won’t necessarily lend against foreign receivables unless you have insurance to protect those receivables. Both private and government agencies offer such insurance options.
- If more than 25% of your product sales are to just one client, this can limit the amount of bank financing available. Have a conversation with your banker as to how to tackle that piece of your financing needs.
Your banker can be a valuable resource when you’re looking to expand your business. Don’t be afraid to tap their expertise and put them to work for you and your business.
Stephen Friedman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our La Jolla office.
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