Business Financing: Preparation Steps
By Kim Mortson | November 30, -0001
Basic Steps to Complete before Investigating Financing Options for your Small Business:
- Check your personal and/or business credit history. Call the credit reporting agency listed in your Yellow Pages. Equifax is one the largest Canadian credit bureaus and can be reached at 1-800-465-7166. To find out your personal credit history, follow the telephone instructions and you will receive your personal credit rating in the mail.
- Complete a business plan for your small business. If you need to write a business plan, CanadaOne's free Business Plan Workshop is a great place to start. You will also find books at your local library that offer helpful advice when completing a business plan.
- Have a thorough and detailed understanding of your assets, so that you can decide what you are willing to offer as security towards loans, lines of credit, etc. You should discuss these issues with your spouse, partners or any other involved parties in your business.
- Have a list of professional and personal references. Remember to contact these people to ask if you can use their name as a reference.
- Have a clear understanding of your business, your experience, your competitors, your market, and your goals to discuss with potential funders.
- Brush up on financial terminology to ensure you understand banking jargon. If you do not understand a word, always ask for clarification or meaning. Then repeat the word in a sentence to demonstrate you fully understand the context and meaning of the word. (CanadaOne's Financial Terms Glossary can help you sound like a seasoned pro!)
- Know in advance how much money you require, what it is for and when you anticipate repayment.
- Build a relationship with your banker. This affiliation will provide the basis for good communication, open dialogue and successful ventures in the future.
- Present yourself as a professional at your appointments. Even today, first impressions do make a difference. Any potential client as well as your banker will want to know they are dealing with someone who is credible and professional. Setting a positive self-image from the beginning will take you a long way.
- Keep a positive attitude!! Persistence, creativity and hard work will pay off.