To Win Business Financing, Treat It as a Marketing Campaign

Jun 9, 2016 | Uncategorized

Diane WeklarBy Diane Weklar

The role of marketing is to grow the business. To ensure the company’s expansion, most businesses will look at obtaining financing. While women own 30 percent of businesses, they receive only 5 percent of equity capital, and loan approval rates are 20 percent lower than those for men.

It is imperative that women business owners understand that approaching a financing source is selling in its highest form. This presentation needs to be a showstopper that highlights all your strengths and business growth opportunities. The objective here is two-fold: Getting the money you need and building a long-term relationship with your financing source.

Remember that lenders and investors review hundreds, if not thousands, of presentations. You need to ensure that your presentation stands out from the competition and motivates the financing source to want to be part of your success. This is marketing’s strength, yet very few businesses take advantage of that skill, leaving this process to the finance department.

Treat This as the Most Important RFP Ever!

Manage your presentation to a financing source in the same manner that you would for the most important prospective customer and prepare for it just as you would if you received an important Request for Proposal (RFP).

And that starts with a comprehensive understanding of what that prospective customer—your financing source—wants and needs in terms of requirements.  

The essential thing that financing sources are looking for are well-run businesses. If you can effectively show financing sources that you are a company that is building maximum equity, that strategy will translate into successfully securing money for your firm. 

Be Prepared                                                     

Financing sources complain that most businesses are unprepared when they present to them.  This means you need to do more than just present your business plan and print out some QuickBooks reports.

This is a marketing event, and you need to be creative in the way you present. You want to highlight your strengths, but you do not want to lie or hide any serious issues. This will require that you put together an interdisciplinary team when creating this presentation to ensure all parts of the company are brought into the strategy process.

To dramatically improve your chances for success in winning business financing, you need to go beyond the business plan. The business plan is invaluable when applying for financing; however, it is not the whole picture. Your business plan is the foundation of your business; it defines your vision and mission and serves as a roadmap as you move forward. But most business plans are for internal consumption. Financing sources want and need more. 

The key point is that you must be as prepared as possible. You need to demonstrate that your company understands all the requirements of the financing source and that you can not only meet, but also exceed, their requirements. Give them your map to success and profit and make that the aim of selling your proposal to them.

Your Presentation Should Sizzle! 

Remember that you are selling a financing source to “buy” you. Every section should sparkle more substantially than a business plan designed as a planning tool. So what do I mean by this?  Make sure the look and feel is professional and electrifying. Motivate the financing source to pick your presentation out of the many on his/her desk because:

  • It seems more interesting and successful than the others
  • It looks professional in its use of pictures and graphics
  • Your cover letter stimulates them to want to read more

The way you do that is by personalizing this presentation to your unique situation and the financing source’s requirements. It must be personal, using specific discussions that you have had with the financing source and noting any verbal understandings.

Financing sources review hundreds of presentations, so strategize how you can make yours stand out from the crowd. Make sure that your cover letter and executive summary excite them to want to learn more. Give more than just the salient facts and present your numbers from a selling standpoint and rethink how you show the interpretation of the important numbers. But, most of all, provide the passion and the dream to get them to buy in to your joint success.


Diane Weklar is Membership Chair for NAWBO-Inland Empire. She is the CEO of the Weklar Business Institute and author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller, Mastering the Money Maze: 10 Secrets to Winning Business Financing, which provides practical insight for business owners and managers who need to raise capital. Learn more at

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