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Not exactly a “startup” -but- seeking the same answer that everyone asks-Funding w/excellent credit?

BoozeBaronBoozeBaron Posts: 1subscriber Member
Greetings. 

I’m new here and will try to make this somewhat brief as I do tend to go “into the weeds” allot with too many details. So I’ll try to give the cliff notes version with the hopes someone can assist here. 

I started a company in 2009 and for the first 2 years I reinvested every penny made back into the Company to grow and expand it. Within 4 years we’d retained 48+ clients (average sale ranges from $125k to $2M+) and things were looking grand. 

In 2013 biz was so good, we got an offer from the PM of Ireland to expand into Ireland and the UK and so I packed my bags, loaded up and basically opened our UK offices and began working there for 2-3 years (completely different federal rules than the USA and was a massive challenge but made good progress till Brexit hit. But that’s another story for another day) ...

What I wasn’t aware of, was leaving the keys to the castle here in the hands of my enept incompetent thieving business partner who within the span of 9-12 months dropped the ball with many of our key clients and suppliers whilst cleaning out our US bank account as his own personal slush fund and burning many bridges took me years to build. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about any of this till I returned for the Christmas holidays a year later just to discover an empty bank account and that he’d switched our address to his home address “somewhere” and changed all our bank logins and such. 

Long story short, he did a runner and left me holding the bag which has taken a couple of years to clean up. Thankfully we had no legal issues (that I’m aware of even now 4 years later)... 

Fast forward to 2016-2018. As I put all the pieces back together we obviously were in fence mending / damage control mode and was forced to rename the company (DBA but does stand on it’s own as a LLC in my name only to separate all his damage from my name and the company). So basically I now own 2 companies that range in age from 9 years and 7 yrs old. To make matters worse, while in Washington DC for a meeting with the Secretary of State and the PM of Ireland finalizing our deals - my back (which had been acting up for years) gave out during that trip and landed in the ER. And in short, I had 3 ruptured discs, 8 bone spurs and a 2mm gap in my spinal cord that was literally starting to paralyze me from the neck down. 

6 weeks later I was in for surgery and fusions and a myriad of other bone replacements and screws, grafts and implants. 

Today, May 2018 I’m finally back on my feet 100% and able to work again full time. I tried to return part time several months ago but between the morphine and bone grafts that had yet to take, I simply was “out of it”.... it was too much, too soon and had to step aside till I was 100% fully healed. 

This brings us to today. I have a 770 personal credit score. No debt, some money in the bank and $100K in personal lines of credit with only 6% utilized (a guy has to live when you can’t work but I managed to get by) - So I rang the SBA folk today and of course everyone wants tax returns and sales records. In 2013 we did $8.8M in contracts. Not bad for a startup that started from scratch in my basement and an idea 10 years ago. We now were global and trademarked with over 20 brands, had 21 employees (mix of F/T and 1099’ers) both here and abroad. Since I’m the creator and lead marketing and sales/ops person, basically when I went down for the count, the company went to its knees as well and I SHELVED it for 2 years. We did not close or dissolve and we have no debt. My supplier relations are restored, and am revamping our 40+ websites and making sure our trademarks and copyrights are still in place to resume work. 

All that said, we need “startup capital” to lease a warehouse with office space (or purchase a bldg I have my eye on) as we are a 50/50 Company. 50% of our biz is B2C retail and 50% is B2B. And so my search begins - 

We've never ever taken a loan because we are a “prepay” Company. Nothing begins until we get 33% up front as the entire sales cycle and project is broken up into thirds. We get the next third and continue the work thru completion. Oh, and our average profit margin is 200%GP! 

Yet when meeting with bankers between the first incident with my now missing untrustworthy ex biz partner, combined with me having to walk from an €80M euro deal with the country of Ireland due to health reasons - I’m basically being treated as if I’m a startup and starting from scratch. Grrrr. I can fully understand “why” this is. But there’s got to be a better way? 

I’ve given 10+ years of my life and blood to building this global corporation that once spanned from USA to the UK/Ireland, Toronto, Prague and New Zealand. With container exports to China thru companies like Walmart, Planet Hollywood and a major cruise line. 

Unfortunately, when the ex-biz partner basically burned everything - he took the contracts, Bank statements, and client files. Everything. And wiped me out on paper.

The good news is, we may be “rebooting” but we have no debt, and are ready to flip the switch and turn the lights back on and start operations again. And we seek capital for inventory and a place to lease. Since we’re a cash in advance operation, we’ve never had to take a note before because the first order, once paid, covered all our expenses with 200%GP to put towards the company and next projects. For 3 years I never took paycheck and even when I did, it was less than $50K a year as we always put the funds back into the companies to grow and expand and market our services and capabilities. 

Now? Now is a new day but don’t have 10 years to start from scratch again. However I do have an excellent credit rating and the companies are aged and will work on adding lines and Paydex scores with those to build up their presence again. But the 2 things I’m missing, are recent sales and any tax records for we’ve done no business while I was out on medical leave, and as said before, my ex business partner ran off with all our files - so I have no idea where any of our contracts or tax statemtemnts are or if he even did any of that whilst I was overseas. 

Okay. Time to land the plane (I did forewarn you that I was long winded!:) but it’s tough to cram 10 great years and 1 mistake into a few paragraphs here too. 

So I'm now open to suggestions from those that may have walked a mile in my shoes or something similar maybe? 

I’m pretty aware of my options and am willing to personally guarantee everything ... but don’t know who to trust or where to go these days as obviously lending tightened after the global crash but see things are getting a little better. If it weren’t for Brexit, I’d have stayed in England as they have no issues loaning money over there. But it’s apples and oranges. 2 different worlds. Their credit rating goes from 300-1000 and within 3 years was able to build a 980 credit score there with bank accounts with HSBC and Lloyds and Amex UK - but those do me no good here in the USA. 

I know everyone comes on sites like these and  posts “where’s can I get startup funding?!”. So yes, I’m asking the same.  But our circumstances and situation and profit margins are a bit different than the guy with idea fishing for pure startup funds. We are proven. I just need a leg up to get things rolling again. 

I appreciate you wading thru my lengthy missive and trust you understand my situation and why we’re a little different than most and the reasons behind each issue outlined. 

Def open to constructive suggestions and feedback. No one is tougher on me than myself. So if you’re out to troll or flame me, whilst I’ll gladly listen to constructive criticism - I don’t think anyone can tear me apart anymore than I’ve already done to myself inside. Walking away from €80M was not easy. But when your body betrays you ... there’s only so much you can do. Health and family come first in my world. But it’s now time to rise again and need some guidance here. 

Many thanks!

BB 

Answers

  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. Posts: 923administrator Site Admin
    edited May 23
    Welcome to the community, @BoozeBaron

    That certainly sounds like an intense situation. I  want to say good luck with everything. 

    My one suggestion would be to look into alternative means of funding over traditional bank loans: crowdsourcing campaigns, peer-to-peer lending, friends and family, angel investors, etc. I don't have any specific answers, but just be sure to cover all of your bases. 
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • Rebecca JamesRebecca James Posts: 4subscriber Member
    I am also looking for additional funding, I have found that platforms like Innovate UK and WorldLabs.org have been really helpful with funding and connections to investors, but keen to explore different options like small business grants. Crowdsourcing campaigns could be useful too.
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