With elite athletes converging upon Red Deer this month, the spirit of competition is alive and thriving all over the province, particularly Central Alberta. On February 20, at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta, hopeful entrepreneurs will be pitching their business ideas to investors at the Winter’s Edge Investment Forum. These conversations and connections between investors and entrepreneurs will help provide the groundwork for sowing the seeds of new relationships and projects for future business prosperity and growth.
But what comes after you, as a business owner, have won the pitch, and someone is ready and willing to invest in your venture? We’ve asked Rama Alluri, Assistant Vice President & Branch Manager at CWB in Red Deer, for his perspective on what comes after the cheque has been cashed. Rama has assisted both public and private companies in a variety of industries with borrowing needs of up to $75 million.
Research is key from the outset
Before moving forward on using new investment dollars, there are many questions to be addressed. This data provides a solid foundation upon which to build your business and wisely allocate the dollars that have been invested, both short- and long-term.
“The first question that needs to be asked is if the business owner has done all the critical research and analysis in order to deliver a successful product or service,” says Rama. “Does the market want your product or service? Do you have financial projections for the next five years? Do you have a detailed business plan? Do you have vision, mission or values statements, as well as a detailed marketing plan?
There are a lot of factors that comprise business plans beyond the capital investment.”
A great idea doesn’t mean it will be successful if there isn’t a market that is ready to buy your product or service. Rama further adds that coming to a business banking advisor with both a fully developed business plan and an investor can help your advisor ensure that they are best equipped to help you manage your money sensibly.
Learn from those who have found success, and make sure you’re all in
According to Rama, successful business owners are those who have some “skin in the game.” “Be as invested in your company as possible,” he says. “Successful business owners we’ve seen in our branch have had scalable and smart business models, stuck to their budgets, managed their cash flows wisely and executed their plans to perfection. They put their own money in and paid themselves minimal salaries. They built up earnings and invested those back into the business.”
Your first business launch can be a rush of excitement with overwhelming possibilities. And it can be difficult to know which path to take. In addition to finding a banker you can trust, Rama recommends finding a mentor to help shepherd you through that initial period.
“You have to have a good network of entrepreneurs who are successful,” says Rama.
“A successful business owner who can act as your mentor can help give advice and guidance, since they’ve been there before.”
Choose the right business banking option for your situation
When it comes down to it, money is a resource that needs to be properly managed and assigned just like any other that helps further a business venture. A CWB business banking advisor has many tools and products at their disposal to help entrepreneurs begin the process of launching a new initiative or growing their business.
“We can set up an Operating Line of credit for payroll and administrative expenses to begin,” says Rama. “And Business Visa cards can be set up for an efficient and convenient way to manage cash flow and expenses. If a business owner receives capital for a real estate project, we can offer land development loans, owner-user construction and term (mortgage) financing, as well as single- and multi-tenant commercial, industrial or residential construction and term (mortgage) facilities. CWB Equipment Financing and CWB National Leasing can offer a range of financing and leasing options for used and new equipment to really get the job done.” It’s about finding the right product or investment vehicle to properly manage your newly acquired investment so that it can be used to your best advantage.
CWB is here to help business owners spend less time worrying about their finances and more time on growing their businesses. Speak to a CWB advisor today to see how they can help you to focus on what’s important — your growth and success.