External sources for financing Pearlparadise.com

Let’s use Portia as an ongoing example. Portia can consider using external financing, which refers to funds invested by outside investors and lenders. External financing is divided into equity and debt financing. Portia can either borrow money with the agreement to repay the borrowed sum plus interest or can obtain funds in exchange for equity, or use a combination of equity and debt financing.

Portia can consider debt as a source of external financing. Debt financing increases her financial risk because debt must be repaid regardless of whether or not the firm makes a profit. If debt is not repaid according to an agreed upon schedule, creditors may even force the enterprise into bankruptcy. Alternatively, equity investors are not entitled to more than what is earned by the enterprise.

When borrowing from the bank, an entrepreneur has number of options. The following types of loans are generally available:

Lines of credit – this is when bank agrees to make money available to the business. Agreement is made for up to a certain amount and is not guaranteed, but only in place if the bank has sufficient funds available. Such agreement is generally made for a period of 1 year.

Revolving credit agreement – this is similar to the lines of credit but the amount is guaranteed by the bank. A commitment fee of less than 1% of the unused balance is generally charged. Therefore, such arrangement is generally more expensive for the borrower.

Term loans – such loans are generally used for the financing of equipment. The loan is generally corresponds to the useful life of the equipment.

Mortgages – such loans are long-term loans and are available for purchase of the property which is used as collateral for the loan.

Portia can also consider equity financing. Private equity investors include venture capital firms and business angels. Venture capital firms raise a fund and then select portfolio of businesses in which to invest. Portfolios generally include start ups and existing businesses.

In exchange for investment, venture capital firms obtain partial ownership of the business. Convertible preferred stock or convertible debt is usually preferred. This is because the venture capital firm would like to have the senior claim on assets in case of liquidation but still wants to have an option to convert it to common stock if the business becomes successful.

Business angels, which are also referred to as informal venture capital, are wealthy private individuals who invest in the firms in their individual capacity. A very small percentage of start ups manage to get such funding. Therefore, entrepreneurs should have other options available as well.

There are also government supported financing options available to Portia which are specific to Portia’s location.

Further, Portia can use personal sources of funds. The “personal” sources could be personal savings, credit cards, borrowing from friends and relatives or any other way of obtaining money such as selling an asset, such as a car or a summer house, to free up funds for investment in the enterprise.

Personal savings are usually the leading source of “personal” funds. Credit cards are often used but needed to be used with extreme caution as interest rates on outstanding amounts can be incredibly high.

Borrowing from friends and family is also very tricky and should be done with extreme care. If Portia’s business fails or does not perform as expected and money is not repaid when agreed than it can destroy or severely damage relationships. When borrowing from friends and family, it is a good guideline to ensure that it is seen as an investment rather than a gift by the lending side of the transaction. An agreed upon deal should be put in writing since memory is not always reliable. Moreover, the amount borrowed should be repaid as soon as possible.

Overall, Portia has a number of the sources of external financing to choose from. Portia needs to evaluate upsides and downsides of each option and consider all options in light of the unique situation of the business to choose the best option or combination of options.

 

Sources of financing

When it comes to sources of financing, firms at any stage of the company’s life cycle have three options from which to choose:

  1. Internal financing – using retained profits.
  2. External financing – using funds invested by outside investors and lenders. Investors include the common stockholders, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.
  3. Spontaneous financing – such as accounts payable, which increase automatically with increases in sales. Accounts payable, which is also called trade credit, are funds payable to suppliers.

Further, an entrepreneur needs to take into account certain variables when making a decision on optimal sources of financing. Particularly, entrepreneurs need to decide if they are willing to give up part of the voting control which will be inevitable if equity financing is chosen. Entrepreneurs also need to decide if they are willing to take on bigger financial risk which is inevitable when debt financing is selected.

Debt financing increases financial risk because debt must be repaid regardless of whether or not the firm makes a profit. If debt is not repaid according to an agreed upon schedule, creditors may even force the enterprise into bankruptcy. Alternatively, an equity investor is not entitled to more than what is earned by the enterprise.

Personal Sources of Financing

It is most likely that entrepreneurs will have to invest some of his or her “personal” money or money from “personal” sources to ensure that others will even consider investing in the enterprise. The “personal” sources of financing could be personal savings, credit cards, borrowing from friends and relatives or any other way of obtaining money such as selling an asset, such as a car or a summer house, to free up funds for investment in the enterprise.

Personal savings are usually the leading source of “personal” funds. Credit cards are often used but needed to be used with extreme caution as interest rates on outstanding amounts can be incredibly high.

Borrowing from friends and family is also very tricky and should be done with extreme care. If the business fails or does not perform as expected and money is not repaid when agreed than it can destroy or severely damage important relationships. When borrowing from friends and family, it is a good guideline to ensure that it is seen as an investment rather than a gift by the lending side of the transaction. Agreed upon deals should be put in writing since memories are not always reliable. Moreover, the amount borrowed should be repaid as soon as possible.

Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is usually a strategy that entrepreneurs follow to survive at the beginning stages of business establishment and growth.A bootstrapping or bootstrap financing refers to a situation when entrepreneur uses his or her initiative to find capital or use capital more efficiently to survive.

It includes minimization of the company’s investments and refers to such situations as leasing instead of buying, adapting just-in-time inventory system, operating business from home, obtaining free publicity instead of paying for advertising and using other people’s resources as much as possible, while paying as little as possible.

Other examples of bootstrap financing include factoring and trade credit. Factoring refers to the situation when the business sells its accounts receivable to a financial institution at a discount rate. Factor refers to the financial institution which business is to purchase accounts receivable from other companies. Trade credit refers to situations when suppliers provide their products and services on credit. Suppliers usually extend interest free credit for 30 days or less commonly for 60 or 90 days interest free credit.

Borrowing from the Bank

When borrowing from the bank, an entrepreneur has a number of options. The following types of loans are generally available:

Lines of credit – this is when the bank agrees to make money available to the business. Agreement is made for up to a certain amount and is not guaranteed but only in place if the bank has sufficient funds available. Such agreement is generally made for a period of 1 year.

Revolving credit agreement – this is similar to the lines of credit but the amount is guaranteed by the bank. A commitment fee of less than 1% of the unused balance is generally charged. Therefore, such an arrangement is generally more expensive for the borrower.

Term loans – such loans are generally used for financing of equipment. The loan generally corresponds to the useful life of the equipment.

Mortgages – such loans are long-term loans and are available for purchase of the property which is used as collateral for the loan.

When banks consider loaning money, they generally will have to consider certain requirements before they will even consider loaning the funds. Such requirements include the request of a business plan to learn whether or not the entrepreneur have their “own skin in the game”.

Other considerations include the entrepreneur’s own net worth which refers to personal assets less personal liabilities. The projected annual income of the entrepreneur is also considered.

If the company is not a start up, the historical financial statements may be requested. Further, pro forma financial statements may be requested which include pro forma income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements.

It is advisable for the entrepreneur to cultivate a good relationship with the banker since intuitive judgments also play a role when bankers decide whether or not they should lend money to the particular borrower. However, this is only valuable if all other considerations discussed above are attended to.

Banks use different methods to evaluate the appropriateness of the potential borrower. One of such methods, the five C’s method, is discussed below.

Five Cs of credit:

  1. Capital – businesses position with regards to debt versus equity
  2. Collateral – whether or not the entrepreneur has assets that can be sold to cover debt
  3. Character – borrower’s history of meeting obligations
  4. Capacity – ability to repay the loan. This is judged by such indicators as projected cash flows
  5. Conditions – conditions surrounding this particular lending opportunity such as market conditions and transaction conditions

Venture Capital

In exchange for investment, venture capitalists obtain partial ownership of the business. Convertible preferred stock or convertible debt is usually preferred. This is because venture capital firm would like to have the senior claim on assets in case of liquidation but still have an option to convert it to common stock if the business becomes successful.

Angel Investors

Angel Investors, which are also referred to as informal venture capital, are wealthy private individuals who invest in the firms in their individual capacity. Very small percentage of start ups manage to get such funding. Therefore, entrepreneur should have other options available as well.

Government Programs

There are also government supported financing options available which are specific to an entrepreneur’s location.

Other

Other less feasible options exist. One example is to obtain funding from large corporation which is willing to invest in the enterprise.

 

Optimal capital structure

Theoretically, enterprises should try to maintain a certain optimal capital structure, a perfect mix of financing (debt and equity), which results in the lowest possible weighted average cost of capital. At this combination of debt and equity, the stock price is at the maximum. Therefore, attainment of the optimal structure is in line with the main objective of the business, which is the maximization of wealth of the owners of the business. The optimal structure is also referred to as the target capital structure. However, it is important to note the optimal structure exists only in theory.

Theory does not yet offer a methodology that would allow firms’ financial managers to find the optimal capital structure. However, financial managers can determine the approximate optimal structure range, which is close to what they believe the optimal structure for the firm is.

As per above, an optimal structure maximizes the value of the firm. To find the value of the firm, we can use the following formula:

V=EBIT*(1-T)/ra

Which simplifies into:

V=NOPAT/ra

Where:

V = is the value of the firm

EBIT = is earnings before interest and taxes (see the income statement for how it is calculated)

NOPAT = is the net operating profit after taxes (calculated by formula EBIT*(1-T)/ra)

ra = is the weighted average cost of capital (WACC)

If we assume that NOPAT is consistent, then the value of the firm is affected by WACC (ra, weighted average cost of capital). WACC is affected by both, the cost of debt and equity.

The cost of equity


The cost of equity is higher than the cost of debt and increases as financial leverage increases. This is because equity suppliers will demand higher return for increasing financial risk due to increasing financial leverage.

The cost of debt


The cost of debt initially is relatively low. The major reason for this is due to the fact that interest on debt is tax deductible. This tax deductibility of interest paid on debt is also commonly called the tax shield. However, as debt increases, at certain debt ratio lenders will begin to require higher and higher interest payments from the borrower. This is undertaken in order to compensate for increasing risk due to increasing financial leverage.

There are two other costs of debt that the firm needs to consider:

(1) Debt increases the probability of bankruptcy. This is because lenders can force the firm into bankruptcy if the firm cannot meet its financial obligations to the lender.

(2) Another aspect to consider is the agency cost. This refers to the fact that lenders usually protect themselves from increases in risk of the borrower by imposing different loan provisions, which place constraints on actions and choices of the firm. Such provisions commonly include, but are not limited to, minimum levels of liquidity to be maintained, limits on compensation of the executives and limitations on asset acquisitions.

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As debt increases from a zero point onwards, WACC initially decreases to the theoretical optimal capital structure point. Thereafter, the increasing equity cost and increasing cost of debt causes WACC to start increasing again. Therefore the theoretical optimal capital structure is obtained at the point where the WACC is the lowest.

In other words, the theoretical optimal capital structure occurs at the point where the benefits from using debts are in equilibrium (in balance) with the costs of using debt. The optimal capital structure can also be seen as the balance between risk and return where the firm’s stock price is maximized.