The phrase “cash is king” is widely recognized because it is true. When you solidify cash flow you solidify your business.
Cash of course can be borrowed. For many companies, traditional sources of financing are nearly non existent. Lines of credit are being tightened and there is little or no room for loan covenants variations. In this and all situations, the sooner management accepts responsibility for the state of their business, the sooner they are in a mindset for moving the business forward. What are the primary options for restructuring a business facing these circumstances? The primary alternatives are:
1. Secure a lending facility from a source that is not a traditional bank.
2. Negotiate a new note with your existing bank – very unlikely right now.
3. File a restructuring plan under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy code – an action of last resort and very costly.
4. Sell the business: viable if your business is attractive to a strategic buyer. You will need a creative contract if you expect to get much more than having your personal guarantees removed from the debt.
5. Close the business and do something else. You may feel you may want to do that but be careful since if your business assests upon liquidation do not cover the senior debt, your personal assets may be at risk. In this environment institutions are taking homes .
You may be thinking the above is written for a business experiencing losses in market share and profits. Companies with bright pictures being painted are experiencing the impact of banks not lending. The money channeled to banks from the government is not flowing through to companies deserving loans.
For this reason, alternative sourcing of funds is often needed. A lot of time and energy can be spent finding the right deal or you can select a firm with the contacts that will get this done quickly on your behalf.
Last week I was in a meeting discussing options, strategies and pricing for services. It is very common for owners to begin calculation how much money firms make when a deal closes. This money is commonly called success fees. I explained that success fees are in proportion to the solution delivered. The right professional firms have the experience and the contacts to move quickly and get results. How valuable is that when considering the alternatives?
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