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How to get back on track

Debt can be a useful tool in building a business, as long as you don’t spread yourself too thin trying to repay the debt, says Rob Lake, senior vice president and head of Life Sciences at Bridge Bank.

“You get to a point where it becomes challenging to raise equity,” Lake says. “Now you have all this debt and you have potential equity providers who are leery of working with you because they don’t want their money to just be used to pay back debt.”

A look at what’s in store for the business community in 2016

Two hot topics California businesses will be thinking about as 2016 gets going are a minimum wage increase and a split property tax proposal for businesses that own real estate.

Whether you view these changes as opportunities or challenges depends on your point of view, says JC Timmons, senior vice president, Southern California Corporate Banking, at Bridge Bank.

Be clear about your company’s needs before pursuing a new line of credit

One of the keys to securing an appropriate line of credit for your business is being clear about the problem you’re trying to solve, says Kelly Cook, senior vice president, Technology Banking Group at Bridge Bank.

“Are you trying to fill a cash flow gap between when you invoice for your product or service and when you actually get paid by the customer?” Cook says.

Why you need to take a long-term view when managing your working capital

Companies that lack purpose in how they manage working capital can easily find themselves responding to one funding problem after another, says Justin Vogel, vice president and business line manager for Capital Finance at Bridge Bank.

“When you don’t have a plan, you manage your working capital on a reactive basis and don’t recognize until the last minute that you’re going to run short on cash,” Vogel says. “You have to find a quick solution to get cash rather than relying on a plan that is more cost-effective and ensures that you’re operating with liquidity at all times.”

Why your search for an investor has to be about more than just money

Success in the world of biotechnology and life sciences requires a level of patience that is foreign to most types of businesses and industries.

On average it takes 10 to 12 years and over $1 billion in capital to get a new drug from the laboratory to the market to be sold to consumers, says Rob Lake, senior vice president and head of Life Sciences at Bridge Bank.

VC capital is available to entrepreneurs with a solid plan to take market share

Venture capital (VC) investment is at a 15-year high and offers no hint of slowing down, says Michael David, managing director for Equity Fund Resources at Bridge Bank.

The second quarter of 2015 saw VC investments totaling $17.5 billion, the most since the first quarter of 2000, which was the previous all-time high. Overall, $50 billion in VC funds were invested in 4,400 companies in 2014 and David expects that figure to be surpassed this year.

A look at how FX hedging can help you mitigate foreign currency risk

Global currency markets have been experiencing larger than normal swings of late and with greater frequency, CFOs are citing foreign exchange volatility as a factor when companies miss their earnings targets. Increasingly, business leaders are looking to implement hedging programs to mitigate foreign exchange rate risk and create more certainty and stability within their organizations.

Experience is key when developing your strategy to create an ESOP

The complexity of transitioning to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) can be intimidating, says Elisabeth C. Schutz, senior vice president and director for the ESOP Group at Bridge Bank.

“Many attorneys and CPAs don’t want to spend the time and energy it takes to learn about them,” Schutz says. “That’s one reason why you don’t see more ESOP companies in the U.S. today.”

Why introspection is the first step to enabling the support of your bank

Before a bank can help you identify products and services that can make your business run more efficiently, you need to have an idea of the gaps that are holding you back, says Abigail Avalos, vice president of Treasury Management Services at Bridge Bank.

“What’s important to you?” Avalos asks. “Companies have so many things that they are managing and so many different priorities. Before you meet with your bank, you need to sit down and think about treasury management services and which options would most effectively help your business.”

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