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Finance Your Business

This section helps you map out your business financially and find financing. It offers advice on how to put your financial house in order, assess your finance needs, and approach lenders. Find out what lenders are looking for, compare financing options, and get advice on presenting your business plan.

Organize Your Finances

Before you do anything else, take stock of your current financial situation. Collect information on your assets and liabilities, as well as your current resources. Your asset column should include cash and any items that may be sold for cash. The liabilities column should include all your outstanding debts.

If you are already in business, your current assets include cash, marketable securities, and any items that can be sold within the current 12-month period. Your current liabilities include accounts payable, accrued expenses, income tax payable, short-term notes payable, and the current portion of long-term debts payable. 

Determine Your Current Resources

If you ask business owners how they initially financed their businesses, you will find that most met their start-up needs through a patchwork of savings, credit cards, loans from family members and friends, and from trade agreements with vendors or suppliers. Depending on your start-up and growth strategies, consider exhausting your current resources before turning to outside financing.

Explore your options.

Obtain Your Credit Report

Regardless of whether you are going to rely on your current resources or obtain commercial financing, you will need to obtain a copy of your credit report for several reasons:

  • You can ensure accuracy by reviewing your report before potential investors or suppliers do.
  • You can find out about any outstanding issues related to previous debt before your suppliers or potential investors do.
  • You can show family and friends that you are serious about treating their investment professionally.
  • You can show potential suppliers and investors your positive payment history.

Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the three major credit bureaus. Each of the credit bureau has a process by which you can request and obtain a copy of your credit report. 
Request copies of your credit report from the three major vendors and clear up any inaccuracies.

Pro Forma Financials and Templates

Use these business and financial templates to help organize your finances.

Pro Forma Balance Sheet View (16 KB)
Balance Sheet Template View (14 KB)
Pro Forma Cash Projections View (38 KB)
Cash Projections Template View (32 KB)
Pro Forma Profit and Loss View (24 KB)
Profit and Loss Template View (22 KB)

Review Your Business Plan

The business plan is a crucial part of the loan package you will eventually present to investors or lenders. After you have your financials in order, review your business plan to ensure that the expectations and projections:

  • Support your goals and are realistic
  • Show how you will exponentially grow your company
  • Support your plan to minimize the risks
  • Demonstrate clearly how you plan to pay your investors back, with a profit

Find Additional Financing

Learn about the various bank loans and funding options you may want to use to grow your business.

Learn About the Loan Process

Develop a detailed loan package that will address any concerns of the lender.