Capital Compass: Your GPS for business finance
CONCORD – Strong businesses shouldn’t have to shelve growth plans just because they can’t find the right kind of financing.
"Most business owners I know are experts in their fields, but they're not experts in all of the types of financing available to them," says John Hamilton, Vice President for Economic Opportunity at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.
“If they knew more about each type of loan or investment, and especially about what factors make each option more−or less−suitable for their business, they might be able to dust off those business plans."
Capital Compass is a free, confidential, online tool that business owners can use to learn more about which financing options might fit their needs, and why.
Capital Compass takes only about 10 minutes to complete. It poses 14 multiple-choice questions about the company and its ownership. As each answer is submitted, its numerical score is reflected in three dials representing the main types of business financing: debt (traditional bank-type loans), royalty, and equity.
As the dials recalibrate following each answer, Capital Compass also displays that specific answer’s numerical weight. “Plus” answers push the dials toward green, indicating greater suitability for that type of financing; “minus” answers push them toward red (less suitable).
At any time, users may change their answers, return to previous questions, or even start again, to see how changing their answers changes their scores. With one click, they can also learn why a certain answer affected their score.
After finishing, users land on a page that displays all of their answers and scores. They can then email the results to themselves, or start over. Businesses located in N.H. may also request a 30-minute phone consultation to discuss their results with a member of the Community Loan Fund’s Business Finance team.
Capital Compass asks for no identifying information. And while it’s not designed to make financing decisions for business owners, Hamilton says the results can be very helpful to discuss with their lenders.