You’re trying to source multi-million dollar funding for your development or business expansion. What will give you the best outcome? Do you deal with your current Bank? Do you engage a broker? Do you shop around yourself or something else?
Big dollar funding means big variations between the best financing deal and the worst so choosing the right package is critical. The trouble is, these transactions are often quite complex and are so much more than just looking at the interest rate and the term of the loan. It can be like comparing apples with oranges.
The last thing a CEO of any organisation wants to think about with all the other things they have on their plate is organising finance even if the finance deal is a large one.
What’s more, most CEOs or CFO’s for that matter don’t have the financing background to know ALL the terms and conditions that affect the financing outcome. It isn’t just about interest rate. There are so many other factors to consider, especially when funding multi-million dollar deals.
To get the best financing deal you want someone who meets the following criteria:
- Isn’t the decision maker
- Is a trained negotiator
- Has an intimate understanding of your company and its financials
- Has a strong understanding of how financing works
- Has total and utter impartiality
- Should you use a broker?
In my opinion, a good mortgage broker is amazing for home loan finance and small commercial funding but when it comes to large, complex, multi-million dollar commercial transactions, often they aren’t the right solution.
Dealing with an accountant who is a trained negotiator is that you ensure that the deal you’re getting meets all your cash flow and taxation requirements. It also ensures you’re working with someone who is truly independent and working totally on your behalf.
When sourcing funding on very large deals, there are so many variables that can dramatically impact the profitability of the company and serviceability of the loan including the finance structure, the tax structure and the tax consequences.
Without an intimate understanding of the company’s financials it’s impossible to identify which financing deal is the best match.
- The leveraging power of resorting to a higher authority
When meeting with financiers or with any party you’re trying to buy from, they all want to be able to seal the deal then and there.
By having me as the negotiator and not having the authority to make a decision, this gave us the upper hand by putting the pressure on the institutions to present their best offer to me there and then, so I could go and present to my client.
Also, by leaving the client as the authority figure that they couldn’t get to, enabled me to negotiate all the various terms first, instead of them trying to force a decision with my client quickly.
This offered my client another important benefit. The client wanted a great relationship whoever would end up being their new financier, so by keeping him out of the negotiation process ensured he was able to start the relationship on a solid footing.
- Options give you power
There’s a fundamental principle of negotiation that states ‘options give you power’.
The more options you have in a situation and the more you let the other party know that, the more power you have. When negotiating financing this played a key role in my negotiation with these different financial institutions.
Normally, when people go to their bank they go in from an underdog perspective crossing their fingers hoping they’ll get the deal. Or when using a broker, because brokers work for all the institutions and get paid by them, they rarely play one institution off another.
- Know the consequences of artificial deadlines
How critical is your deadline for finance? I see this so often. Most business owners don’t have a good understanding of how to use deadlines. They put artificial deadlines on themselves that hurt their position in a negotiation. I always ask them, ‘Why do you need it to happen by this date.”
Urgent deadlines take away your bargaining power and compromise the finance.
5. Pushing harder
Often when you have an external negotiator working on your behalf, they’ll push harder than the client will themselves which means a greater chance that they’ll get a better result than if you were to do it yourself.
Evan Bulmer of Evan Bulmer & Associates is an Accountant and Business Advisor who is known as the ‘CEO’s Wingman’. He often acts as a key negotiator in business sales, partnership disputes and financing transactions. Evan’s strategic advice has contributed to many millions of dollars in growth for many of his clients. To find out more about engaging Evan to negotiate your funding on your behalf visit www.ebaa.com.au
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