Business Funding - 5 Steps To Being Your Bank Manager’s Best Friend

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Business Funding - 5 Steps To Being Your Bank Manager’s Best Friend

According to the SME Finance Monitor 50% of SMEs planning to apply for bank finance were confident their bank would agree……leaving 50% that weren’t!


Getting a new business loan or overdraft can be daunting. So how do you stack the conversation in your favour?


At Bloom our financial experts have decades of experience when it comes to helping businesses secure bank finance and one thing’s for sure, access to real-time business financials and good forecasting gives you the confidence to have productive conversations with lenders.


In addition, here are our five steps to maximising your chances for finance success…


1) Master Your Business Numbers


Aim to master your financial books. Be crystal clear on the numbers and you will be confident presenting to the lender.  If you’re struggling for time or lack experience, don’t stick your head in the sand, get someone who can help you – preferably a certified bookkeeper regulated by the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.


2) Use Real-Time Financial Information


Provide your lender with real-time management accounts – Profit & Loss, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet.  Real-time financial information is key - accessible anytime, anywhere. A number of cloud accounting solutions can deliver this – Xero is among the best.


By accessing real-time financial information, you will be equipped to have better conversations with lenders.  Prepare a clear overview of your market and business performance, supported by up to date financials, together with 3 years historicals, highlighting trends.


3) Be Clear On What You Want


Make a succinct proposal – the amount you need and the purpose:

 

  • Be clear about how the money will be used, the means of repayment and when it will be repaid
  • Spell out what you have invested in your business.  Lenders call it ‘hurt money’ and it indicates how committed you are to making the business succeed


4) Good Cash Flow Forecasting Delivers Results


Some business owners ask for loans without any financial forecasts and wonder why they can’t raise money.  They have sleepless nights worrying how to prepare forecasts, “I can’t do them, I’m busy running the business, my accountant is going to take ages and it will cost a fortune”.
Insightful forecasting is critical.….

 

  • Focus on what you will achieve over the next 3 years – in particular on Cash, Gross Profit Margin and Net Profit
  • Make realistic assumptions – sales lines, cost lines, etc
  • Demonstrate that the cash position of the business can support your plans, under ‘base’ and ‘worse’ case assumptions
  • If you want an overdraft, the lender needs to see the cash position moving intra month. A static position suggests ‘hard-core’ debt – a complete ‘no-no’ for lenders


5) Be a Confident Communicator


Key to any lending decision is whether the Bank trusts the business owner to deliver on commitments – know your market, be organised, enthusiastic, succinct and demonstrate your track record.


You’ve got to communicate with your lender – if you are about to hit overdraft limits, pick up the phone and talk to them. Explain why it’s happened and how you are going to correct it.


Don’t just call when you want something, keep them informed with the good news as well.


How likely am I to get a ‘yes’?


Your credibility rests on the quality of your financial information, your grasp of reality, how the business is currently performing and where you have demonstrated it can reasonably get to.


Tell us about your experiences trying to raise money from your lenders or other investors or contact us to discuss how we might be able to help you gain your business the finance it requires to ‘Bloom’.

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