Here are some things for you to consider when putting together a business plan for a lender. Gordon has been a senior decisionmaker on the Lending side for many years and has kindly put this together for you.
Gordon is looking for good businesses that have been turned down by their bank. The interest rates are higher, but if you have a good proposition that will generate cash, then he is well worth a call. Please do not call him for general advice.
The key when approaching finance providers to raise funding? Business Plan Preparation
When looking to raise finance for your business, it is the role of the finance provider (Bank Manager / Investment Manager / Credit Manager) to assess what could potentially go wrong with your proposed business plan, how to model and present to you what that scenario may look like and any impact it could have on not just your business, but your ability to repay that finance.
When putting your business plan together to raise finance, it will be beneficial to bear the following points in mind. They will help to keep your preparation focused and stand you in good stead to achieve the best outcome of raising the required capital when approaching your finance provider.
BUSINESS PLAN PREPARATION
- BUSINESS STRUCTURE AND OPERATING MARKET
- Have you identified a problem in the marketplace which exists and can your business provide a solution for it?
- If customers were to use your business, what advantage over other businesses do you have that you can provide to them?
- In which markets and sub-sectors do you operate and what do they look like in terms of growth / prospects?
- Who are your competitors? How does your proposition compare to theirs?
- What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)? – Why would people use your business as opposed to competitors
- Do you have any protected Intellectual Property (IP)?
- Management Structure – Include Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) outlining experience and strengths to demonstrate that your business has the skills required (or a plan in place to acquire them) to deliver the plan
- Operational Structure – Outline the infrastructure that you have as well as any more that you need to create the capacity to deliver your proposition
- BUSINESS FINANCIAL HISTORY AND FUTURE GROWTH PLANS
- Business History – Demonstrate and explain how you have grown the business to where it is now
- How has the business been financed to date – Include any owners investment, outside investment, loans and grants. If you have any existing finance include the terms
- Include historic financial performance – Year end accounts and the latest set of management accounts
- The Proposed Journey – Where do you want to go? Set out future goals and milestones and if applicable include an exit strategy
- Normally you will be requesting a part of the finance which you require in total. Include from where the balance will be sourced
- This finance raise – For what will the money be used and what benefit would it provide to the business?
- Explain any future plans for further funds
- Include two or ideally three years of projected figures for the businesses Profit and Loss Statement (P&L), Balance Sheet and importantly cashflow.
- If projected sales come in below expectations, what is the impact on the bottom line and cashflow? Can you make savings if required to offset this scenario?
- Margins – Explain your forecast and how this will help you to make better margins in the future than previously
- Terms of trade – What agreed payment terms are in place for suppliers and customers?
- Undertake and include a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Refer especially to weaknesses and threats and be able to mitigate and have a contingency plan for each one. What would plan B or even Plan C look like?
- Security – What are you prepared to give and what is it worth, including Personal Guarantees
What the finance provider thinks of your proposed business plan will form part of their assessment of you as a manager. It is worth putting in the preparation to ensure it does you justice. It will show that you have thought about all the necessary aspects and have an eye to downside risk management if / when things do not go completely to plan.
For more information about how The FSE Group could help your SME scale-up, please contact:
Gordon Brock, Investment Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org / 07818 088021