You have a great idea, that is the first step, now how to move forward? 2 quotes have stayed with me from my early days. How marketable, or readily acceptable, is your product or service? How easy is it for competitors to enter your space?
Some things to consider:
- In our office, Character is a “KEY” component in our decision making. We understand sometimes people or business fall on hard times. It is better to have full disclosure up front, as opposed to concealing a difficult situation only to be uncovered in our review.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We understand not everyone is comfortable with completing an application.
- Do your homework / research up front. There are offices that will assist in preparing a business plan. You may find the courses listing online. The WindsorEssex Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre is one that comes to mind.
- The idea you have needs to be presented in a thorough and concise manner. Taking time in the beginning will save time in the review and adjudication of the request. It also shows your commitment to the request.
- Don’t take shortcuts on the application or present an incomplete application.
- Include a SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. There should be a few points in each category. Threats should be those things that are external, and not necessarily controllable.
- A key component is the Cash flow forecast you will need to prepare. Think of it as a budget- What do I expect my monthly revenue(s) to be, and what are my expenditures/ expenses? This is usually done monthly for a full year. The proposed loan should be considered in the calculations. In the end, the annual cash flow should be positive and allow for any potential salary or draw you are expecting. My preference is to see a cash flow on the conservative side, rather than seeing an overly optimistic expectation which may not be reasonable. Remember, the process used in the calculations should be well thought out. You may be asked to explain how you came up with certain calculations.
- In certain situations, based on our review, collateral may be requested. Is there anything that could be pledged, or are there guarantors that are willing to step forward?
We like to think of our involvement as a Partnership with the clients, so communication, trust, and integrity are key to the relationship. When you succeed, we feel a shared sense of accomplishment.