We Anticipate Problems to Create Solutions

Our Process Anticipates Problems, Creates Solutions

The good news is that Banks are lending again on a limited basis for non-disaster loan requests.  The bad news is that the loan products are limited and the underwriting guidelines are very, very restrictive.

Many industries/businesses are excluded from loan programs.  Banks simply cannot determine yet the viability of the businesses to survive the pandemic. Risk is too high and thus doors to the lending vault are tightly shut.

Today we spoke to a Bank on four different loan scenarios. Each of these businesses has challenges on their loan applications of different sorts, whether it’s credit, cashflow, type of business, COVID-19 impact on the ability of the business to earn income.

In the hour-long conference call with the Bank, thanks to our qualification process here at Aurora Consulting, we easily addressed the Bank’s concerns and answered their (often) difficult questions as they assessed the risk on each loan scenario. In three out of the four scenarios, we received positive feedback of interest from the Bank. While this interest does not guarantee a loan approval, this, in our experience is a giant hurdle we overcame. 

The rest of it is the loan process.

We also spoke today with a prospective new client in a follow up to our initial call last week.  This client seeks over $4Million in funding for a unique business, a business for which many Banks and Lenders do not provide funding due to their lack of understanding of how this business operates.

We had already identified a Lender for this financing request.

In our follow up call today, the prospective client indicated they would soon make a final decision on moving forward with Aurora Consulting to secure the financing. They also indicated they were working on their credit.

STOP. RIGHT. THERE….BEFORE we go any further. (Meatloaf medley playing).

A client should not “work on their credit” without proper guidance. Luckily, we provide that kind of guidance here at Aurora Consulting. While we don’t believe in credit repair/restoration, we do have decades of expertise with credit and we also know the appetite of commercial lenders when it comes to credit. Note: We have not yet seen this person’s credit.

Our process at Aurora Consulting includes running a credit report as soon as we sign a consulting agreement with a new client. We do this so that we can anticipate any issues that could slow down or prohibit the lending process. We do this upfront so that we can provide advice that leads to a positive result for our clients.

The same holds true for our entire process. We review all financial statements, business plans, marketing plans and any other pertinent items in the early days of working with a new client.  

We do this to anticipate and resolve problems a Bank or Lender may have in the future.

When you apply directly to a Bank/Lender for commercial financing, these items, credit reports, financial statements and the like, are not seriously reviewed until the very late stages of the loan application process. By then the applicant has spent time collecting and submitting documents and spent money on application fees, appraisal fees and other associated costs.

Literally most Banks/Lenders do not run a credit report until the very final stage of the application process, weeks or months after the initial application. At that point, if a credit issue arises on the credit report, all those weeks and months of work are quite literally flushed down the toilet and the loan is declined.

Our role as your financing Broker is to review all relevant documents, including a credit report, in the early stages of your request, before the application, before we’ve even considered conversing, in depth, with a Bank/Lender.

That’s why today, we hit the mark with 3 out 4 of our loan scenarios getting the green light from a Bank to move forward to the application process.  

We were prepared for every question and concern the Bank had because we’d reviewed credit and documents. We anticipated problems in advance and could converse honestly with the Bank on possible workarounds for those problems.

It’s what we do, because we are the business-owner’s advocate. We work for the business-owner. We would be remiss if we didn’t share with you that banks call us when they can’t underwrite the loan. So we understand their process.

Ask us any questions when it comes to business loans. If you want your business to survive, and THRIVE despite the worst crisis we’ve seen in our lifetime, please call us with your questions.

Email Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz

Cobble-Together Business Loan Strategies

a ballerina on her toes with an addidas sneaker on the other foot.
Click on Image to View Video

When Linda Rey was building her Independent Insurance Agency, she had a mantra that goes back 20 years ago. We think it still applies: “There’s no immediate gratification in a long term Strategy.“

Different Solutions Cobbled Together.

When confronted with challenging circumstances for our clients to find a business loan, one of the creative solutions we lean towards is to bring together different financing solutions. What do we mean?

We cobble together financing solutions to come up with a higher number. 

Maybe that number meets their original request, or maybe it only comes close, but maybe it gives the client sufficient capital to get started on a short term, “cobbled together” solution for our longer term financing strategy. 

Our thinking is that it is better to start somewhere. Follow the yellow brick road.

What it is about us that allows us to cobble financing solutions together? No, we’re not talking about shoe repair! We’re Brokers and we work for the client, not the bank. That’s first and foremost.

Secondly, as a Broker, we have access to multiple products with different lenders.

An important consideration we’re mindful of when cobbling together the financing is to be mindful of the client’s longer term horizon. Depending on what’s on that horizon, there may be risks and challenges with certain types of short term solutions today, especially with something like seasoning.

When we talk about seasoning with cobbled-together-financing, we mean if you have a short term solution today that gets you over the hump and gets you started with your financing strategy, that short term solution may have to be seasoned for at least a year and showing on tax returns and other financial documents if you want to come in with a certain type of financing product on the other end of it. 

So this is an important consideration because what solution we find today could affect your ability to access other finance products tomorrow.

We’ve discussed previously about how you should be preparing your financials with the thinking ahead of time that you may be securing financing. We think of ourselves as brokers but with a very long-term focus for our clients because we love business success stories.

Sometimes you have think short-term to achieve long-term goals. ~ Linda Rey

For example, we have a client who just purchased a commercial property recently with our assistance and our advice based upon cobbling together a short term solution on a long-term strategy. 

This client did not have sufficient down payment to qualify for a commercial mortgage to purchase the commercial property. We referred that client to a colleague of ours who does residential mortgages. That colleague refinanced the client’s house and the client paid cash for the commercial property. Now we’re working on a smaller financing package to provide some working capital to decorate the new office space and do some much needed improvements and renovations on the property including a new roof. This is a good example of a successful cobble-together-financing solution.

In the longer-term, we’re going to to find a way to finance their commercial property to take out the short-term financing, and return the client’s primary residence back to a zero mortgage replacing everything with financing on the commercial property because tax wise, it’s a smarter move for the client’s business.

When you think something isn’t possible, call us or email us and make sure because you don’t want to wait too long for something that can be done RIGHT NOW.

Email us at Solutions@AuroraConsulting.biz.

5 Mistakes Business Owners Make

5 Mistakes Biz Owners Make with Linda Rey & Trevor standing and looking perplexed

5 Mistakes Biz Owners Make with Linda Rey & Trevor standing and looking perplexedLet’s get it out of the way right now. We say 5 mistakes, but there are more. Don’t shoot the messenger. Part of the reason we post our blogs & vlogs is to raise awareness that financing doesn’t have to be as difficult. Don’t get us wrong, it can be a long process, but you have more control than you think.

These are the top 5 mistakes we’ve experienced with business owners when they are seeking financing.

1. Thinking the Bank knows everything about you.  You have all, or most, of your accounts with your local bank, including your operating account, savings, personal account, maybe even merchant services & payroll. It’s easier to bank in one place.  You think the bank maintains a detailed file on your financials, that they know how much revenue passes through your accounts every month.  This would be an incorrect assumption. The bank will still ask you for your full set of financial statements and much, much more.

2. Old Financials.  A business plan that’s five years old won’t fly. If you’re updating your Accounts Receivable aging report or your Profit and Loss statement on an infrequent basis, you will have some work to do and this most certainly will delay the process. You control the timeline when you apply for credit financing. Having updated documents at the ready lets you submit them with all speed and alacrity to move your financing request along.

3. Incomplete Financials.  No business plan? Many businesses don’t have one whether it’s a new business or an existing business. There are many, MANY financial forms that a lender will require. It will be your responsibility to provide complete, comprehensive information that many businesses, unfortunately, do not have easily accessible. Lender’s will have a debt schedule form and if this is inaccurate, it will slow down the process and delay your approval.

4. Too Busy, Too Rushed, Too Overwhelmed…Too Late. Bad decision-making often arises from lack of time and a local preparation. However, it happens that then you’re faced with a sudden, unexpected need for working capital. This sounds like opportunity, but if you’ve not been minding the store in the meantime, you will be faced with a high probability that you could be without options or very few options if any at all.

Bad decision-making begets more bad decisions by way of choosing financing options that is super expensive and over priced such as Merchant Account Financing (Merchant Cash Advance – MCA), hard money, equity investors, refinancing a personal residence and/or hitting the credit cards. This leaves you vulnerable to a lack of income & profit taking away any joy in running your business. We bet that you didn’t get into business to be broke and stressed out.

5. Failure to Fight.  Your Banker wants to make the loan work for you, because they truly value your relationship with the Bank.  When you get bad news, don’t take it lying down.  Dig in with your Banker—in person whenever possible—and get to the solution-seeking.  What do you need to do to flip this decision from a negative to a positive?

We have seen good people who own good businesses make bad decisions. We are truly fortunate and grateful that we have forged many valuable relationships with Bankers & Lenders. They know that sometimes they can’t do the deal, but they value the relationship with their client. If the Bank doesn’t make a decision favorable to your business, that doesn’t mean you should make a subsequent bad decision.

Call us for a free consultation on what options you may have available to you.

The more proactive and prepared you are, the more options you will have.

Two Most Important Documents

Click on Image to View Video

There are two documents that are the most important documents that you should include and have ready for immediate access whenever applying for financing.

First and foremost, your current Year-To-Date (YTD) Income Statement. At Aurora Business Consulting, we believe you should be updating your YTD Income Statement every quarter, but it couldn’t hurt to update it every month. With automated bookkeeping software, creating a quick YTD Income Statement should be easy to accomplish.

The second important document to have at the ready is a comprehensive marketing plan. We don’t mean a one or two page marketing statement.  A comprehensive marketing plan with a full assessment of your marketing action plan, including specific strategies, Situational Analysis, demographics, SWOT analysis and cost analysis and expected outcomes is the recommended document to have at the ready.

Realistically your marketing plan should already be in place as a foundational element of your business operations.  In the event you need to apply for financing, and if there are changes to your marketing plan, you need only update the plan accordingly.  Especially if the financing request involves working capital for marketing expenses, or equipment purchases for the potential increased business revenues generated by your new marketing vision.

Why a marketing plan when you’re applying for financing? You know your objectives on maintaining and growing your business; the lender wants to know your objectives also.

With these two important documents, when you present the marketing plan and the income statement promptly and efficiently, it says something about your way of conducting business. You’re sending a clear signal to the Lender about the high quality methods you use to run your business; you’re giving the Lender a sense of “comfort” about the risk assessment on your financing request.

What if your financials are weak in certain areas for the last couple of years? The Marketing Plan also could potentially overcome some objections the lender has to something that’s weak in your financials. The marketing plan shows the way you’re going to increase revenue either by something you’re doing already or something you plan to do which is why you’re applying for working capital or equipment capital.

If you need advice on your Marketing Plan and how to present it to a Lender with your financing request, email us at Curious@AuroraConsulting.biz