How to Ask for the Money You Need
Once your business plan has been polished to perfection, you’re ready to use it as part of your campaign to get financing. If you haven’t done so already, you must decide where you’d ideally like to get the money you need. You should know whether you prefer to get financing from a lender or an investor.
Before you call people and make appointments, give some thought to a few preliminaries. Like it or not, you’re now a salesperson. Your task is to sell your plan. Don’t let this discourage you, even if your experience with selling has been negative. There are all sorts of good ways to sell things, most of which depend on a good product and an honest, straightforward presentation. I can’t tell you exactly how to sell yourself and your plan, but I can make a number of suggestions.
Write a Telephone Pitch
Since some of your preliminary selling will be done over the telephone, you’ll want to be prepared. Write a short statement of what you’re doing and why. Simply list your two or three major reasons for entering or expanding this particular business. Then write down how much money you need and how much you’ll pay the lenders or investors for using their money.
Telephone for Appointments
Avoid lengthy telephone discussions when making the call; you simple want to set up a personal appointment to discuss all the details and ask for the money. If you’re not sure what to say, read the simple telephone script below. You can adapt it to suit your style and needs.
“hello, jack? This is Antoinette. How are you today? How’s the family? Say, jack, the reason I’m calling is that I have a great idea for a new business and I’d like to meet with you and show you my business plan to see what you think of it.
“Can we get together next Thursday morning in your office? Oh, you’d like to hear a little more about my ideas before we meet.” (Antoinette briefly explains why she wants to open her business—she can read her list of reasons if she’s nervous.) “well jack, I’m glad to hear that you like my ideas.”
(Before she discusses the loan she wants, she asks jack for an appointment. If she can personally meet with him, she will wait until then to discuss money.)
“what about next Thursday? Oh, how much money do I need? I need a good-sized loan that I can pay back in three years. So we can get together next Thursday morning in your office? Good. I’ll see you at 10:00 in the morning. Bye, jack”.
Meet Your Backers
Show up to time, well-prepared to answer any questions that may arise. Then let your natural enthusiasm help you explain your business idea fully. Your basic objective in the meeting is to answer all the questions you are asked. If you can’t handle a question on the spot, do not make up an answer—promise to find the information. Then promptly write, phone, or visit with the information later.
How to Handle Past Financial Problems
What if you’ve previously declared bankruptcy or have had other credit problems, such as a lawsuit for a delinquent student loan? Don’t try to camouflage it. The banker or investor will probably find out this sort of information from a credit reporting agency anyway, so it will help you to be up front. However, you need to come up with a plausible—and true—explanation for your past credit problems. It should also reflect your determination to meet your obligations in the future.
Ask for the Money
Here’s one bit of essential advice about meeting with your backers: You must ask for the money. Don’t make the common mistake of discussing your plan in generalities and then saying “Thank you” as you walk out the door.
As part of every presentation, you must ask the potential source of funds if he will invest in your venture or lend you the money. Repeat this phrase:
“Thank you for listening to my business plan. Will you invest/lend me the money I need to get started?”
If you are turned down, don’t hang your tail between your legs and slink away in a puddle of embarrassed perspiration. Ask why. Sometimes the reasons why a person won’t help finance your business will be more valuable to you than the money.
Leave Your Plan With Your Backer
Give your potential backer a copy of the business plan after you’ve met with her. If at all possible, don’t mail copies of your business plan, or summaries of your presentation loses a great deal without your presentation loses a great deal without your personality and enthusiasm. It’s also a good idea to number each copy of your plan and keep track of who gets which plan. That way you can remember to follow up with everybody. Also, if you’re selling stock in a private offering you need to keep track of who get the plans.
After a week or ten days, telephone all of your potential backers and ask if they have any questions. If they do, you can answer them on the telephone or make an appointment to meet. Remember to ask for the money you need.
This Article is Take From How to Write a Business Plan
Written by Arshad. A