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We are currently in the process of opening a Distillery in Missouri and have went to our local bank and they are wanting to do a USDA loan. However the loan term in crazy and puts us in a bind in the beginning due to them not really understanding how a Distillery works. Any suggestions?

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You won't find many banks giving the loans and terms which the distilling industry requires.

Private funding is your best option.  Give away some shares and get revenue that way. If you don't have any interested parties it shows a major flaw in your plan because there's always some rich person who wants to put his money somewhere.

Funding is the easy and short term problem. Profiting is the hard and long term problem.

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Hey, get in touch with me. I looked at some of your other posts and think I've probably can answer most of your questions in a few minutes. I'm a MO distillery also. 4176585999

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Bank vs. investor - is one of those nasty: 'It depends'...

You need to ask yourself at the very, very beginning - am I creating this business to enrich myself and my lifestyle - or - am I building this business to make money for other people?

If you are wanting to enrich yourself - you are establishing a 'founder's based business'. Otherwise, you are creating an 'investment grade business'. So, here is the 'depends'...

If you are creating a founder's based business, a bank loan, although difficult to get - is the better way to go. For one reason - they are predicable. You know the payment schedule, the interest rate and the time frame. As long as you operate within these constraints, you're gold. Your goal as the business operator is to make money. The more money, the richer the happy business owner and paying the loan is no problem. Even if you have a challenging cash flow projection. A clever bank will recognize this and will structure the loan accordingly. How do you find a bank that will listen to you? Don't bother - look for a credit union instead. You will have a lot more luck with less paperwork. That being said, you better present a killer business plan and as much collateral as possible.

I won't get into the complexities of an investment grade business but, I will say in the long run it will be vastly more expensive to operate with investors and their attendant opinions and associated problems. Investors are for bigger companies with a management team that can handle them.

Don't forget,  starting a distillery will suck up cash faster than you can possibly imagine. For example, your choice of window frame color can affect the window invoice by over 30%. Handicapped bathrooms? Who knew? And that's just a few examples. No one thinks of these kinds of things when they are creating the business plan. Banks or investors not withstanding, you need to have your own money one the table and you are going to need a lot. My pico distillery is closing in on $300K and I'm month's away from opening and by the time I do, I'll probably be out $400K+. 

With that kind of a budget, you can fly around the world and amass one hell of an alcohol collection and still have $100k in your pocket. So, consider the dream carefully and double down on the business plan! Make those numbers sing!

I also should add - I operate in BC Canada - where our regulatory system is vastly superior to most American jurisdictions, featuring fewer rules, a better tax system and a clearer road to profitability. Easier for the banks to understand - something else to keep in mind. I guess. 

 

 

 

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