When it comes to the fundability meaning game, most business owners don’t even know they are playing. Even if they do know, they have no clue what the rules are. You can’t play if you don’t know the rules. You especially can’t play if you don’t even know you are in the middle of a game. In order to improve your fundability, you have to understand what fundability means.
5 Rules to Play the Fundability Meaning Game
It can help to first understand what fundability is and how you got in the game to begin with. In short, fundability is your ability to get funding for your business. Specifically, it is the ability to get loans and credit cards for your business.
In the fundability meaning game, being fundable means that lenders view your business as a low credit risk with the potential for a good return on investment. You see, lenders are not just handing out money out of the goodness of their hearts. They are in it to make money. If you want it, you have to play the game. More than that, you have to play to win. Without further ado, here are five rules to play the fundability meaning game.
Fundability Meaning Game Rule 1: It Starts Now
The truth is, you are playing the game before you even know it. While not fair, it is simply the way the game works. Since you are already playing passively before you even know the game exists, you have to start playing actively as soon as you are in the know. For many of you, that is right now. You are officially in the game.
So how do you start? You need to ensure your business has a fundable foundation. Setting up your business to be fundable is vital. Take a look at the elements of a fundable foundation and make any adjustments necessary to ensure you get the best start possible now that you know you are playing.
Elements of a Fundable Foundation
You cannot follow rule number one if you don’t know the elements of a fundable foundation. Take a close look at your business and make sure you are all set in this department.
Separate Contact Information
The first step in setting up a fundable foundation is to make certain your business has its own phone number, fax number, and address. Some are surprised to find out that doesn’t mean you have to get a separate phone line, or even a separate location. You can still run your business from your home or on your computer. There’s not even a need for a fax machine.
In fact, you can easily get a business phone number and fax number that works over the internet instead of phone lines. In fact, the phone number will forward to any phone you want it too. That means, you can just use your personal cell phone or landline.
Faxes can be sent to an online fax service, if anyone really does fax you. It may seem outdated, but it does lend to the legitimacy of your business.
You can use a virtual office for a business address. How do you get a virtual office? It’s not what you may think. There are businesses that offer a physical address for a fee, and sometimes they even offer mail service and live receptionist services. In addition, some of them offer meeting spaces for times you may need to meet a client or customer in person.
Next, you have to get an EIN. This is an identifying number for your business that is similar to your SSN. Some business owners use their SSN for business transactions. This is what a lot of sole proprietorships and partnerships do. However, it really doesn’t look professional. Also, it can cause your personal and business credit to get all mixed up. When you are looking to increase fundability, you need to apply for and use an EIN. You can get one for free from the IRS.
Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is necessary for a fundable foundation. It helps solidify your business as one that is legitimate and offers separation from the owner for building business credit. It also offers some protection from liability.
Which option you choose does not matter as much for fundability as it does for your budget and needs for liability protection. The best thing to do is talk to your attorney or a tax professional. When you incorporate, your time in business starts over. You’ll also lose any positive payment history you may have accumulated.
This is why you have to incorporate as soon as possible. Not only is it necessary for fundability and for building business credit, but so is time in business. The longer you have been in business the more fundable you appear to be. That starts on the date of incorporation, regardless of when you actually started doing business.
Business Bank Account
You have to open a separate, dedicated business bank account. There are a few reasons for this. First, it helps you keep track of business finances. It will also help you keep them separate from personal finances. This is important for tax purposes.
In addition, there are several types of funding you can’t get without a business bank account. Many business credit cards and lenders want to see a minimum average balance in a business bank account. Also, you can’t get a merchant account without a business account at a bank. As a result, you cannot take credit cards payments without a separate business bank account. Studies show consumers often spend more when they can pay by credit card.
For a business to be legitimate, it has to have all of the necessary licenses it needs to run. If it doesn’t, red flags are going to fly up all over the place. Do the research you need to do to ensure you have all of the licenses necessary to legitimately run your business at the federal, state, and local levels.
Today, you do not exist if you do not have a website. However, having one that is poorly put together can be even worse than not having one at all.
Your website is the first impression you make on many, and if it appears to be unprofessional it will not bode well for you with consumers or potential lenders.
Spend the time and money necessary to make your website the best it can be. Pay for hosting also. Don’t use a free hosting service. Along these same lines, your business needs a dedicated business email address. Make sure it has the same URL as your Website.
Fundability Meaning Game Rule 2: You Can’t Rely on Business Credit Alone
While business credit is a huge piece of business fundability, you cannot rely on business credit alone to make your business fundable. Find out more about business credit here.
If business credit isn’t all there is to it, you have to know what else is happening to play effectively.
Both your personal and business tax returns need to be in order. Not only that, but you need to be paying your taxes, both business and personal.
It is best to have an accounting professional prepare regular financial statements for your business. Having an accountant’s name on financial statements helps your business look more credible and legitimate. If you cannot afford this monthly or quarterly, at least have professional statements prepared annually. Then, they are at the ready whenever you need to apply for a loan.
Often tax returns for the previous three years will suffice. Get a tax professional to prepare them. This is the bare minimum you will need. Other information lenders may ask for include check stubs and bank statements, among other things.
Personal Credit History
Your personal credit score from Experian, Equifax, and Transunion all make a difference. You have to have your personal credit in order because it will definitely affect the fundability of your business. If it isn’t great right now, get to work on it. The number one way to get a strong personal credit score or improve a weak one is to make payments consistently on time.
Fundability Meaning Game Rule 3: You Have to Apply Strategically
Having a clear application strategy can make all the difference. Timing is important because, if you begin applying for business loans or credit cards before your fundability is sufficient, you will absolutely not get approval. However, you have to make sure you apply to the right type of lender and for the right type of product also.
For example, if you apply to a traditional lender for a business line-of-credit before your fundability will support that, you will run into problems. However, if you have some aspects of fundability and are working on others, you could qualify for a business line-of-credit from a private lender. Making these choices is all part of the game. Find more about what options are out there and which ones might work best for you here.
Fundability Meaning Game Rule 4: You Have to Monitor Your Credit Yourself
No one else is going to do it for you. You need to know where you stand with both business and personal credit to play the game well. That means checking each regularly to ensure all information is complete and accurate. You can get a free copy of your personal credit reports annually. For business credit, it isn’t quite so simple. You can monitor directly with D&B, Experian, and Equifax. However, it is quite costly. You can monitor your business credit with D&B and Experian for a fraction of the cost here.
Fundability Meaning Game Rule 5: Your Past Will Haunt You, But You Can Overcome It
You know how I said you are actually playing the fundability meaning game before you even know it? Here’s how. There are things in your past that can indirectly, or directly, affect your fundability that you may not even realize.
Other Business Data Agencies
In addition to the business credit reporting agencies that directly calculate and issue credit reports, there are other business data agencies that affect those reports indirectly. Two examples of this are LexisNexis and The Small Business Finance Exchange. These agencies gather data from a variety of sources, including public records. As a result, they could even have access to information relating to automobile accidents, liens, and other things you never dreamed could affect fundability. While you may not be able to access or change the data these agencies have on your business, you can make sure that any new information they receive is positive. Enough positive information can help counteract any negative information from the past.
There are several other agencies that hold information related to your personal finances that you need to know about. For example, personal FICO score needs to be as strong as possible. It really can affect business fundability. In fact, almost all traditional lenders will look at personal credit in addition to business credit.
Also, you have ChexSystems. Simply put, they keep up with bad check activity. This makes a difference when it comes to your bank score. If you have too many bad checks, you will not be able to open a bank account. As a result, you could run into fundability problems.
For this point, everything comes into play. Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Do you have a bankruptcy or short sell on your record? What about liens or UCC filings? Everything can and will play into the fundability of your business.
Play the Fundability Meaning Game and Finish Well
Truly, the meaning of fundability is like a game with many rules. The problem is, the rules are not widely published. If you don’t even know everything the term really encompasses, you can’t know how to build it. Hopefully, these rules to the fundability meaning game can help you understand exactly what the meaning of fundability is. Then, you can make sure your business is as fundable as possible.