4 Things you Should Know when Applying for FEC Financing
As you’re getting ready to open a new family entertainment center you’ll face many challenges. One of the biggest and most complex of those challenges is FEC financing.
What types of financing are available to me? How do I know which is the best option? What can I do to help my chances of approval from a lender? This week we asked Spencer Norton, sales executive at Firestone Financial, for his best advice for anyone seeking FEC financing.
#1 – Types of Financing
What is the best type of loan for a family entertainment center? Understanding the various financing options available to you is the first step in determining that. A good lender will want to hear about your business and your goals.
Finding a lender who specializes in the family entertainment center industry can provide invaluable information in the challenges you may face. They will then walk you through the various options to help you accomplish goals.
Equipment financing versus leasing, commercial real estate loans, and SBA loans are just some things to consider. Be open to various options you may not have been aware of and listen to what your lender has to say.
#2 – Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! To ensure you are choosing the best lender and loan for your needs, you need to ask lots of questions. Borrowing money is not only complicated, but it may not be something you have a lot of experience in. Any lender should be able to answer the below questions and explain specifically how their answers impact you:
- What is the rate?
- What is the payment and under what conditions would the payment change?
- How much cash is required upfront? Don’t forget to ask about advance payments, deposit, down payment, processing fees.
- What are the depreciation/tax implications? (Your tax advisor is the only one to answer this question for you.)
- Who are the points of contact before, during, and after the application process?
- What happens if you want to pay the loan off early?
- What experience does the lender have in FEC financing? Ask for references.
#3 – Make a Financial Plan
If you want a lender to take you and your business seriously, you need to show them you’re serious about your building your business. And a financial plan is a great way to that. The financial plan can help determine if your business is viable and attractive to investors and lenders.
Any good financial plan has a few key areas, including key performance indicators (KPIs) to help measure the business, projected cash flow, and projected balance sheet and profit and loss statement. You should also include a longer term plan that projects more than one year out.
Projections should be reasonable and conservative. It’s also okay to have a high/medium/low set of assumptions to help build the model.
Include a budget. It will help you understand how you are performing. You should measure performance against budget every month, plan for contingencies, and include plans for replacement and upgrading equipment. It also shows lenders that you’re planning for various scenarios and have knowledge of the FEC world.
#4 – Speak the Lenders’ Language
When you talk to a lender, it’s important to help them understand your business. They don’t have the personal connection to the project that you do. In addition to the financial plan you made, lenders will need more specifics on your financials and how you plan to use the borrowed funds, such as:
- How much debt, where is it coming from, and what are the terms?
- Are there any investors?
- What is the use of funds for the project – equipment, leasehold improvements, marketing, training, start-up payroll?
- How much working capital is needed to run the business until you reach breakeven?
Finding a lender who specializes in family entertainment center financing can help guide you. They know where to expect roadblocks and delays and will advise you on the best way to move forward. While there are many considerations as you apply for a loan, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed. Leverage the expertise of your lender to learn as much as possible.
About Firestone Financial
Since 1965, Firestone Financial has provided equipment financing and vendor finance programs to help businesses grow. We offer equipment financing for a wide range of products including coin-op amusement, fitness equipment, carnival rides, kiddie rides, new amusement rides as well as used rides. Visit www.firestonefinancial.com to learn more.
About Spencer Norton
Spencer Norton joined Firestone Financial in 2005 as an inside sales representative and has worked his way up within the sales organization. He plays a critical role for the organization in developing and growing relationships with family entertainment centers across the U.S.
Prior to joining Firestone, Spencer was an executive recruiter with Commonwealth Resources, responsible for recruitment and placement of commercial general contractors in New England. A native of Peaks Island, Maine, Spencer earned his BS degree in Finance from Babson College in 2004 and graduated from the AMOA-Notre Dame Management Development Program in 2012.
For help financing your family entertainment center, contact Spencer Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-641-9248.