Guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, an SBA loan is a way for financial institutions to provide funding to small businesses at very competitive interest rates in situations where a small business might not qualify for a regular bank loan.
These SBA-backed loans are designed to help small businesses start up or grow. Loan guarantees can range from $500 to $5.5 million and can be used for most business purposes, including long-term fixed assets and working capital. Very often a new or even existing young business can underestimate the amount of money they need to start and sustain the business until it can be self-sustaining, which can have devastating effects. Just as bad, a business can overestimate how much capital they need and end up giving up too much equity or paying more in interest than the company can bear.
SBA loans are provided through approved lenders and come with competitive terms, lower down payments, and do require collateral. SBA loans can also be combined with outside funding sources, in the event your company needs additional working capital.
An important component of any SBA loan is having a sound business plan with input as needed from outside resources like finance experts, business leaders, and market strategists. A sound business plan, adequate funding, and the ability to bring your business plan to fruition are the keys to your company’s success.
To learn more about funding through the SBA program, visit www.sba.gov.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and Acquisitions can offer a variety of opportunities for financial and business growth. Purchasing a business, a portion of a business, or the assets of a business can make a positive impact to your company’s bottom line. In times of slow economic growth, mergers and acquisitions act as positive alternatives for companies looking to streamline, grow, or expand in a difficult marketplace.
Mergers and acquisitions are powerful opportunity funding alternatives for a company on the move, particularly during times of financial difficulty. Companies attempting to streamline or consolidate their business may sell assets or less profitable business lines, which could be acquired by other businesses to the benefit of each. Capital obtained from an outside lender to conduct the merger or acquisition is referred to as opportunity funding because the money is used to fund an opportunity for your company.
Opportunity funding requires a significant amount of due diligence and can take months to conclude. The right funding source and partner can make a difference in every aspect of your deal, from consultation to execution. The right partner can help you through the lending process to be assured you obtain the capital you need, instead of wasting months waiting for approval, only to find out your company did not qualify for the loan.
The Funding University is your resource for opportunity funding. We can help you find the right partners and avoid pitfalls during market volatility. Our team is here so you can make smart choices.
Leveraging Debt and Equity: How to make the right choice for your business.
As financial professionals, we’re charged with the fiduciary responsibility of making sound recommendations to your company’s leadership. At times, those choices can be perplexing, especially when you are trying to balance your company’s long-term financial goals with the short-term monetary needs of the business. The right strategy can make all the difference and sometimes, those strategies require out-of-the-box thinking.
Accounting and financial classes can only get you part of the way because as we all know, the real world is very different from what they teach you in school. In fact, most accountants understand the difference between debt and equity, but they do not necessarily understand how to make them both work to a company’s benefit. Most financial leaders spend more time reviewing budgets and managing debt than they do utilizing or leveraging their debt. When it comes time to consider the best source of working capital or cash infusion so they can expand or start a new line of business, they reach out to traditional banks. Even for the most seasoned financial team, it’s nearly impossible to stay up on the latest trends and the way funding was conducted 10 years ago has changed dramatically.
As credit markets shrink, banks issue fewer loans and tighten existing lines of credit, causing companies to pull back on their growth and expansion plans.
For a business to operate, it has to have capital. Banks can provide capital to a company in the form of traditional loans and credit lines. This capital is extended based upon a company’s credit rating, tangible assets, and possibly even corporate investments. Very often the loan review can take months and even after the review, the bank can turn down the loan, which can result in wasted time for a company, causing delays in acquisitions or new product rollouts.
Alternative lenders provide capital much like a bank in the form of loans or lines of credit, however, the requirements for the loan could be very different. Instead of a credit rating review, an alternative lender may be more concerned with outstanding accounts receivable, expansion plans, and inventory. Where a bank loan can take months and require years of financial documentation, alternative lenders tend to be more interested in growth plans and business strategy and as a result, approval times are much faster than banks. In exchange for this, your alternative lender may charge a slightly higher interest rate than a bank, require a seat on your board, or even require a personal guarantee if dealing with a privately held company.
Lending generally breaks down into two categories:
Debt financing is capital obtained from a loan. There is an expectation that the borrower will need to repay the loan according to the lender’s terms, but the business owner doesn’t give up any portion of the ownership or control of the company to receive this capital. Very often there is a collateral component to debt financing either in the form of inventory, accounts receivables/invoices, real estate, or business assets.1
Equity financing comes from the funds obtained through a sale of a portion of the business’ equity to an investor. Equity financing is generally the type of funding provided to a company by venture capital or angel investors. Unlike debt financing, there’s no expectation or obligation for the business owner to repay the investor for this purchase. Depending on the arrangements made during the investor’s acquisition of a percentage stake in the business, the investor may obtain partial (or even full) control of the business or the board of directors. 1
The most important part of the funding process is finding the right partner to help you meet the needs of your business. The right lender will put together a package to meet your needs and be there as a partner to your company through both the good and lean times.
The Funding University is an academic and educational resource for financial leadership and CPAs. Our mission is to help you stay up to date with the latest funding information so you can make the best and most appropriate decisions for your company.
About. Seth Block CPA
Seth Block is a founder and board member of ThermoCredit, LLC. Seth has been working with the management and development of service based companies for more than 30 years. In his time with ThermoCredit, Seth has coordinated the funding for hundreds of companies in the Communications and Technology verticals. Prior to starting ThermoCredit,
Seth was a cofounder at Smoke Signal Communications,
one of the largest pre-paid competitive telecommunications carriers in the US. At Smoke Signal, Seth was CFO for two years and Senior Vice-President for 5 years. Seth’s areas of expertise are corporate development, consulting, regulatory affairs, provider relations, start-ups, and delivering funding solutions for hard to finance companies. Seth holds a degree in Accounting from Southwest Texas State University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Seth is a well known and respected speaker at industry events, sharing insights about funding and funding options. During his career Seth has been involved in hundreds of business funding opportunities, with a total value in excess of one billion dollars. He is also the author of the soon to be published book about business finance.
“I’ve been in the world of finance for a while and I’ve acquired the business acumen to be able to share what I’ve learned. Most companies have financial leadership that understands accounting, but not the nuances of funding. There are significant differences between Banks and Credit Unions when it comes to financing. The SBA has 11 different programs. How do you know which one to utilize or even if you should utilize them? Schools teach about debt and equity, but I created The Funding University to teach companies how to leverage debt and equity in the real world, using easy to understand methods. There’s a big difference between what we learn in school and how the world of finance really works. The Funding University is here to close that gap.”
—Seth Block, Founder and Host of The Funding University