Black Enterprise’s Financial All-Stars: Aaron W. Smith Talks Raising Capital

Black Enterprise talked to some of the top financial planners, investment advisers, real estate professionals, tax accountants, and insurance agents to get their best advice for your money. Over the next few weeks, BE will share their tips.

Financial All-Star: Aaron W. Smith, RFC, AIF

Smith’s Advice: Raising capital for your business adequately is the key to its success. Starting a small business will require start-up funds to get the business up and running. Because some businesses tend to incur losses in the beginning months due to operating losses and personal expenses, an initial strategy would be to have at least three to six months of funds set aside to cover all expenses until the company is self-sustaining.

Unfortunately, there may not be money to cover these expenses. Two ways to capitalize your business are debt and equity. Debt by borrowing the funds. When looking to obtain a loan, look for the following: the right lender, the lowest interest rate, an institution that has an interest in a business of your type and size with an interest in servicing the various credit and non-credit needs of your company, and financial stability.

Equity is another avenue to obtain capital if you don’t mind sharing ownership and having investors to provide funds in exchange for some stake in the company. You should look for investors who are experienced or at least have an interest in learning your business; find investors you are compatible with. Equity investors do not have to be repaid, however they generally want to have some say in how the business is being run.

Ultimately, as you prepare to obtain capital, regardless of the source, make sure to consult with your financial adviser, accountant, and attorney, as all three will be especially useful in helping you run a successful business.

Stay tuned for more expert advice from our financial all-stars in the coming weeks.