Are You A Risk Taker?

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The final part of this risk profile series looks at “risk flexible” companies – those organizations led by entrepreneurs who are willing to take significant risks knowing that they may lead to much larger rewards.

That means they would at least consider or would be open to just about any situation. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re reckless – there has to be a clear reason (and reward) for them to consider the riskier options.

But providing a personal guarantee to obtain a larger credit facility or a lower interest rate may well be a no brainer for this kind of entrepreneur. Agreeing to commit additional collateral in order to obtain the most-appropriate funding structure for the business is also within the realm of possibility.

The same is true when the opportunity to obtain additional financing at favorable terms is presented – even if things already are going well for the company. These aren’t the type of entrepreneurs to pass up opportunities.

Another possibility includes taking on an equity partner (or partners).

And these are just the more conventional options. Depending upon the business, we might also check to see if the entrepreneur is up for factoring.

A practice that literally goes back centuries, it works like this: A business will sell its accounts receivable to the “factor,” which, in turn, advances in cash a portion of the receivables – usually in the 75-80 percent of face value range.

The factor then administers those accounts, including collections. After the accounts are paid, the borrower receives the remaining 25-30 percent, which is known as the reserve – after the factor subtracts a fee for the services rendered.

Then there are options such as convertible debt. These are asset-based loans; sometimes, these loans call for the business owner to relinquish future equity.

In recent years, something called community-supported agricultural loans (CSAs) developed. A farmer’s customers would lend money before the planting season began, receiving payment via discounted prices on the harvested product.

This model has since spread to other kinds of businesses, especially those that are food-related. It’s a good way to strengthen relationships with customers.

Obviously, this kind of lending doesn’t apply to everyone, but it gives you an example of the types of funding that are available. The financial world has never been shy in creating new funding methods, so new hybrids tend to be available all the time.

With a risk-flexible entrepreneur, the sky is the limit in terms of funding options. When it comes to lending, entrepreneurs should always have choices.

That’s not to say risk-averse entrepreneurs are wrong, but sometimes they find themselves severely boxed in when it comes to their funding options. The same is definitely not true for our risk-flexible friends.