We’re all for hard work and facing challenges, but boy do we respect anyone setting up a business today and looking for start up business financing . What type of company loan/ loans and finance facilities are available for the Canadian entrepreneur?
We can pretty safely say it’s always been tough to finance a start up but in more challenging economic times you can easily assume a hard job just got harder. So what types of financings are available to Canadian entrepreneurs, and as importantly, what do you need to do to get properly prepared to complete loan/loans?
Many of our clients cringe when we ask them for their business plan – its seems a daunting task for many, and certainly doesn’t have to be. Even a very strong executive summary will often do the trick – information about yourself, your background, your new business, and, most importantly, what we call the financial potential. That potential of course relates to being able to pay back your borrowings!
Want to overcome obstacle #1 then, that business plan. Simply speaking, get someone else to do it, an experienced, credible and trusted Canadian business financing advisor. That recommendation can come from a business peer or friend, a banker, or your lawyer and accountant. These people are on the front lines of start up business financing for your company and others.
So what are some of actual borrowings available for start up Canadian companies? They include the Government small business loan – commonly called the SBL. Another government crown bank provides working capital loans that are true cash loans that are in effect unsecured – they require only your promise to pay, and of course that of your new business .
Other methods of financing your start up include receivable financing, aka ‘ factoring ‘, which provides instant cash on every sale you make, albeit at a cost. But ask yourself this, whats more important to you at this time, ‘ the rate ‘or access to capital? In the majority of cases we think its access to capital. Many firms that are retail or consumer oriented have gravitated to merchant cash advance financing, in effect loans made against your future sales. (A little bit of every future sale is used to repay you loan).
Having realistic sales and cash flow projections often makes or breaks the new start up in Canada. The reality is that many clients we meet with bring us unrealistic sales projections, and, on top of that those projections don’t have realistic cash flow attached to them.
Case in point, the business entrepreneur shows revenue of 100k cash coming in of 100k in that same month. Guess what though, it’s not a perfect world, and the reality is that cash, if you are selling to a business, will come in stages in 30, 60, and we shudder! even 90 days. So get realistic on cash flow, and have your plan B ready!
Many physical assets you need can be financed via Canadian lease financing. But be careful to ensure you have the right type of lease in place, and that the rates are commensurate with your overall credit quality, and that the terms and structure of the lease… you guessed it… make sense! (Don’t lease computers for 7 years!)
Many clients we speak to don’t realize the 100% OPM doesn’t work .OPM is of course ‘ other peoples money ‘, and Canadian business owners need to address the fact that they require a reasonable personal investment into the business. Whats reasonable? That question comes up pretty quickly !There is no one single answer ; as an example the government SBL small business loan requires a 10% equity injection by the owner . In the cases of lease financing 10-20% down typically are reasonable requests from the lessor.
So whats our bottom line if start up financing in Canada. First, its boy do we respect your entrepreneurial spirit! But pay attention to those details we have discussed, and seek the services of a trusted Canadian business financing advisor who can make that road you have not traveled before a much more pleasant journey, and distance!