Choose the right finance

There are many financial products available to raise money to export. The right financial product will depend on what it’s for and the size and stage of your business. You can either borrow money or get someone to invest in your business.

Options for borrowing include:

  • export finance
  • bank loans
  • alternative finance platforms
  • peer to peer finance
  • asset-based lending

A person or company may invest in your business for a share of the profits. This is called equity finance and can include:

  • venture capital
  • a business angel
  • an initial public offering (IPO)

Borrowing versus equity

Equity investment is usually sought by businesses that want to grow quickly. The investor will:

  • want a share of the business
  • want some control or input into the business
  • often bring useful knowledge, contacts and expertise

Equity could be a good option if you don’t have the credit history to borrow through other means.

If you borrow money you keep full control of the business as long as you make the loan repayments. You should factor debt repayments into your finance strategy.

Reduce Payment Risks

Once you have started trading, there are various payment methods available to you. Different payment methods have different risks. Make sure you know the warning signs before sending or receiving payments. You or your finance team should create a payments checklist to include:

  • an understanding of exactly what you are paying for and what to do if in any doubt
  • a hospitality, gifts and expenditure policy
  • a risk assessment to determine the most appropriate payment method
  • appropriate payment terms in your contracts prior to signature
  • payments coming from an expected company, jurisdiction or currency
  • invoices issued by entities other than the one you initially engaged

Discuss any concerns with your bank.

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