It goes without saying, really, that the life of a project or a business critically relies upon successfully arranging finance. It’s also one that tends to be underestimated or even misunderstood.
Depending on the size and complexity of the funding requirements, it can be an extremely time-consuming process, which if not given the preparation it is due, can lead to negotiation breakdown and, in turn – a deal broken.
The risks of a deal breaker turning up are higher than many expect these days, perhaps not so surprising when you consider how often lenders are moving the goal posts. Add to that how time-stretched most business owners and property developers typically are.
Based upon our experience on where things tend to go wrong, here's our take on 3 top deal breakers in business and property finance.
You don't have a relationship.
Do you know the person you're pitching to; do you understand their personality and what their drivers are? Personal factors are more important in business and finance than many people realise. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to take them out to expensive long lunches over and over, but it is certainly valuable to have met them and have had some initial conversations about your business or project, talked about what you're trying to achieve and, most importantly, gained an understanding of what is important to them.
You also want to “qualify” them to a degree – to ascertain whether they have the expertise or level of seniority to be making the decision you need. Remember, this is the person you’re entrusting to negotiate on your behalf (with the internal decision-makers) to get the deal done. To put this in perspective, imagine a computer salesperson trying to sell you a cricket bat; the same goes with finance – you need a property banker for a property deal, whilst a business M&A deal needs a business/corporate banker with experience in that space.
And never forget that every banker is in SALES – they want to write a deal, so it is not uncommon for a banker to be very positive about a deal that they don’t have the skill-set for.
You're not prepared.
We don't want to alarm you, but you'll only have one shot at the hoop (if you’re really lucky, maybe two!). Bankers will often make a decision on whether to support your deal, or whether to focus their efforts elsewhere, in about 30 minutes. If you're not well enough prepared, you'll set yourself back, and potentially make it more difficult to get your deal done.
How do you know when you've prepared enough? That's really the question, and its a difficult one to know if you're new to the game. The simple answer is that if it takes you a huge amount of your time and efforts, and you feel like you've done enough, there's probably still more to consider.
You don't understand the macro or micro factors well enough.
We get it. Planning a project or building your business is exciting. However, you can't lose sight of the macro or micro factors that will impact on its success. Macro factors such as the political environment, economics, business or consumer sentiment, not to mention the finite capital the Banks can (or choose to) deploy to certain industries. Micro factors such as supply & demand of your product, along with price elasticity (sensitivity) of your buyers. All of these factors will weigh in to a lender’s decision to give you the finance you need – if you don’t understand these factors and how they impact on your project or business, how will you be able to communicate your viability and strengths?
If you only get one crack at it, how important is it to get it right? What would be the opportunity cost of not obtaining the finance package you need or want? Do yourself a favour, engage a specialist. Focus on your business or your project, whilst letting a professional help you navigate the turbulent capital markets. Why STAC?
1. We have the relationships you need to leverage. Being active across business and property deals of varying sizes and sectors/industries, with funding needs that demand the use of banks and non-banks (such as fund managers, family offices and high-net worth individuals), we can help you build the required relationship to get the finance you need.
2. We spend time to understand your business or projects (the good, the bad AND the ugly), so that we can tailor a funding submission that is presented in a fashion that will put your best foot forward.
3. Every day we’re actively watching and involved in understanding the economy, capital markets, property markets, as well as numerous industries and types of businesses – so we see what works and what doesn’t, what will get lenders worried and what will get them excited.
Starting to feel like you might need a bit of help with your finance? Contact us today to set up a time to chat about your business or property funding requirements, and the capital you need to get your deal done.