Private Investors Have An Abundance of Cash and Want to Invest
Warren Buffett famously said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy only when others are fearful.” After the Federal government's rescue of the economy avoided a complete collapse of the capital markets during the last Great Recession there was an abundance of greedy investor capital looking for devalued businesses to invest in or acquire outright. New research from the JP Morgan Chase Institute finds that many small businesses are living month to month, and the median small business has only enough cash in the bank to last 27 days without additional funds. "It is well known that small businesses are a critical driver of economic growth, but the consistency of their growth is in question if they're living month to month," Diana Farrell, president and CEO of the JP Morgan Chase Institute, said in a statement. Now, it's becoming apparent that the amount of cash sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right moment is even larger than the last time. The targets will be your stressed business that may be running out of cash.
While we still do not know the depths our economy may go to during this "Great Social Distancing" we do know that the government will do whatever is necessary to avoid depression like economics and provide an opportunity for a swift recovery. At least that is the intent otherwise 22 million unemployed Americansand counting don't go back to work. We end up with 10% plus persistent unemployment, an enormous national debt and a stagnated economy creating the real possibility of sovereign debt default or a currency devaluation event (but this is another topic).
Whether the current stimulus package will succeed or not is yet to be seen but there is enough support for a vaccine within a year and therapeutic treatment before that to create optimism for a faster than normal recovery from the depths of the current crisis. Now is the time to engineer your financial plan for the recovery using income models based on the best case of rapid recovery, the worst case of extended recovery and something in the middle that resembles a start stop approach to the recovery of economic activity. The intermittent activity model accounts for the likelihood of waves of social distancing that might occur until a widely available vaccine or therapeutic drug is available.
A key part of the financial plan is a solid optimistic valuation model that will be the basis for any negotiation with a private investor. Valuation is the determining factor of percentage ownership you have to give up to get the capital you need to support your recovery business model. Additionally, private investors want a clear picture of how they get their capital back with a multiple of yield over a given period of time. You must have a viable exit strategy built into your financial model which tracks the valuation adjustment over time as your business recovers and grows. The realization event for the new valuation may be a merger, sale or IPO.
Private capital is available to rescue your company and support a relaunch but don't be taken advantage of by a lack of preparation.
Questions to Ask
How long can I last with current cash on hand?
How much capital do I need to restart my operation?