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Convenience Store Advice

PAGE 3
Busine$$ Planning

Have you put pen to paper to see what you need financially, Lucette? What you would already have, what your cash flow projections would be, and what financial challenges or seasons your store and gas station need to be prepared for? For example, be prepared for a couple of years for performance to be in the red since this is a pretty common way to start out when you own your own biz. Researching and figuring what it will take to start and maintain your business venture is extremely important, and I wouldn’t take another step forward without completing this crucial first step.

So start researching and developing your business plan. A business plan is your map to bringing your dream to reality successfully. Not having one will lead you in the opposite direction…if you know what I mean. With your accounting expertise, organizing these figures and projections into valuable financial statements will be much easier than for the rest of us! (For a quick review of what's in a business plan, go here.)

You’ve mentioned that the owner is willing to finance $150K and that you can scrape up another $15K and possibly another $15K in real estate. That's a problem.

First, it seems you’re putting up the only collateral you can to get another $30K together. That leaves you with an outstanding balance of $120K. A bank isn't going to be willing to finance a start-up business because they never do unless you have all of the collateral to back up the loan…but then, if you did, why would you need a loan, right?

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) will only guarantee a loan up to 80%. You still have to have some sort of collateral and even have good credit to get that approved. They'd still work with your local bank to get you the money.

I hate to rain on your parade and tell you that this can’t be accomplished…I’d say that you have to exhaust all of your avenues first.

Find out what your local financial resources require of you and determine if you can meet those requirements. If you can, start out on your business plan and formally present this to your financial resources. You can go from there. continued

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