As I write this column, I suspect there are hundreds and thousands of CEOs and entrepreneurs at this moment who are trying to solve a financing challenge.
Sometimes they are stuck because they are exploring one path and can’t get out of their own way. A simple tool to get out of your own way is to push for a very different solution. Usually there are a couple of ways to skin a cat. The contrast in the choices should help you make the best decision.
I want to share three examples with you.
Recently, I spoke with an entrepreneur who is working hard to get a new start-up off the ground with a partner and they need a few hundred thousand dollars to do it. He has been fighting with the bank for months to get it done and start-up loans are incredibly tough.
This entrepreneur has an alternative. He owns an existing business that is cash flowing and could easily get the loan – and then lend the money to the new company. It’s far from a perfect solution, because if they follow this approach only one partner is taking the risk.
He has a choice. Keep fighting for Plan A or reach an agreement with his new partner that compensates him for taking the risk and get going with Plan B.
Today I spoke with another business owner whose business is eligible for an SBA loan at a low rate and a long amortization. He liked the terms, but was not happy with the personal guarantee or lien on his house.
I explained that his option was to get an investor and dilute his equity in the company.
The contrast made him think.
And as a third example today, I talked to a client who has been struggling to get a term loan for his business that had a tight cash flow last year.
His option, which he didn’t realize, is to get an Asset Based Line secured with his Accounts Receivable and inventory. It will give him more money, and the opportunity to grow and expand.
Usually, there is more than one way to solve a problem. Push for Plan B, or Plan C. Consider alternatives, and you will make the best decision.