We’re all familiar with the saying “You’ve got to spend money to make money,” but how do you get the money your business needs to grow? Start with passion, says Nancy Adamo, president and owner of Hockley Valley Resort in Orangeville, Ont. When looking for funds to expand her business, Adamo invited her banker to visit her resort. “The one thing he tells me, to this day, is that he was so inspired with my passion he knew that one way or another he was going to get that money for me.”
That’s just one financing tip that Adamo offered up at a recent Toronto meeting of Women Entrepreneurs of Canada and the National Association of Women Business Owners. “Despite the success of women entrepreneurs,” says Adamo, “access to capital is still the major impediment for most women business owners.”
To help tip the financing odds in your favor Adamo offers this advice:
- Prepare. Develop a detailed business plan that conveys your vision and demonstrates your ability to repay the loan. You’ll need to convince your banker on the purpose, timing and source of repayment.
- Shop around. Choose a banker who really understands your business and is prepared to give you the support and the tools you need to succeed. Try to develop relationships with other key contacts at the bank — not just the manager.
- Educate your account manager. Ensure your banker knows how you developed your business, your clientele and your reputation in the market. Keep him or her in the loop with regular progress reports, both good and bad.
- Keep looking. When one door after another is shut in your face it’s tempting to give up and throw in the towel, says Adamo. “But you’ve got to have that determination to stick it out and not take no for an answer.”
© 2003 Jennifer O’Connor