In theory, it’s great if your business can suit everyone’s financial needs but unless you have the proper support, financial and otherwise, you can find yourself walking a very tight rope.
There are commercial training companies that will not only show you the ropes but introduce you to lenders as well. I’ve worked with the team at Commercial Capital Training Group and they are one of the best in terms of support and practical application.
Once you’ve made the decision to start a commercial finance consultancy business, there are a few important steps you should take:
• Research License Requirements – Are there any certifications or special licensing requirements that are needed? I recommend checking your state’s laws on licensing to ensure that you can advise clients on their commercial projects without violating SEC regulations. What role are you playing in your client’s business? How will you be compensated for introducing them to a capital lender? Speak with your attorney.
• Research and Establish Your Company Name – Think of a few names that convey your businesses message and research them to ensure they’re not being used by someone else. Also, unless you have the ability to directly lend money, make sure your clients know that your firm is a consultancy. Once you’ve decided on your name, register your business. Legalzoom is a great one stop shop for legally creating your corporate entity.
• Create your business plan – As boring as it may be, you must have a business plan. I’m always astonished when I speak with new consultants and ask them about their company goals and they respond with “to close more deals”, yet they have no road map for this accomplishment. One of the keys to being successful in this field is having your goals written out. A business plan is not written stone, it can and should be modified as your business grows or changes direction.
• Create your marketing plan – How do you plan on securing new business? Without customers, you have no business, so it’s imperative that you have a plan in place for securing new clients (see our article on Finding Customers). Once your marketing plan is complete, it will also give you a good indication of what your company’s website should contain.
• Meet your Lenders – Here’s where attending the commercial training classes really come in handy. Aside from ongoing support, they can introduce you to a myriad of institutional and private lenders that want your client’s business. If you’re on your own, I would start locally with bankers and private lenders who specialize in corporate finance. Once you fully understand the type of financing they offer, you can seek out clients that fit their parameters.
• Design your loan packages – Now that you have lenders, you can create loan packages for your clients. Make them clean and as succinct as possible because you may also use them as marketing material on your website.
A consultant’s job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. But what will separate you from the pack is your passion and knowledge. Take heed to the above steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful commercial finance consultant.