“Sorry, we can’t help you.” “Your expectations are out of line with our guidelines.” “It’s unlikely you are going to find that much money at this stage of your business.”

All funders have uttered one of these three sentences on a majority of all the proposals they have ever considered, although maybe they delivered the message with gentler phrasing. Financing is strange territory for many upstart entrepreneurs, who expect that they can ask for and receive the entire sum of money they think they need for their big idea or fledgling enterprise.

Business owners frequently ask investors or lenders for an obviously inappropriate sum of capital based on either a lack of acumen to determine their real capital costs ...

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