| Beyond Your Financial Statements
If financial statements were sufficient for gaining all the access to capital that a business deserves, we would not have many clients. Financial statements handed over to a banker as the primary and often only presentation document do not communicate the real strength of your business. They are written primarily to meet the rules of accounting and tax reporting, whether you are promoting your business prospects to a lender, investor, or buyer.
Your financial statements must be augmented with a complete set of supporting documents that portray the real value and opportunity you have built. Our clients and indeed most business people have a strong positive feeling about their business. The goal of your presentation is to communicate in a way that others can base their lending, investment, or buying decision on that feeling, even get the feeling themselves.
What is the story of your business? Where has it been, where is it going, and what is exciting about your enterprise? Do your best job of writing a narrative introduction that communicates the context that you want readers to appreciate as they read your presentation and financial statements. Then continue the narrative as you introduce the supporting documents that constitute the full picture of your company. You’ll want to provide readers with insight into your strong customer relationships, outstanding project management, staff experience, and all the other aspects of your company’s stability and potential.
You and your business are much more than your financial documents. Remember, no one goes to a restaurant to eat the menu. The path to making compelling presentations begins with your willingness to communicate proactively about your business with all of its strengths and opportunities as well as its weaknesses and challenges overcome. All businesses have warts. In the process of promoting the strengths and opportunities of your business, it is also critical to illuminate the warts. Think about presenting the company missteps through a coherent explanation that includes data and documentation on how you have addressed the problems.
Challenges overcome typically become the strengths of your business. Your forthrightness and willingness to communicate proactively will instill in bankers and businesspeoplea sense of trust in your presentation. They are then more likely to accept your asset valuations.
Our next issue in the “Winning” series will provide specific ways to present assets that enhance others’ appreciation of their value. If you would like to discuss a debt or equity raise, email us here If you would like to discuss a business acquisition or sale, email us here