Sharing the 5 Ws (and 1 H) of your business


Be ready to answer these six key questions at any time.

Telling the story of your business—and where it's going—can help persuade lenders and investors to do business with you. When meeting with prospective lending partners, they may want to learn the most critical information about you upfront.

  1. WHO are you?

    Lenders will want to know about you, your team, and the passion that drives your business.

    Be sure to explain:

    • You and your team's professional background, education, and experience in the field
    • What inspired you to start the business and what sets the company apart from your competitors

    Although lenders need a strong sense of who you are, you shouldn't be the hero of your story. Remember to credit team members (and any relevant external partners) and discuss your values.

  2. WHAT'S your business profile?

    Your business's financial health is one of the most important factors in a lender's credit decision.

    Be sure to explain:

    • Your personal and company financial situations
    • Details of tax returns, credit reports, and audited financial statements

    Lenders will need to verify all information for accuracy. Check that your financial documents are current, organized, and easily accessible.

  3. WHERE has your business been, and where is it going?

    Before investing in your company's future, lenders will want to know about it's past.

    Be sure to explain:

    • A timeline of your company's history
    • What opportunities and risks you anticipate in the upcoming months and years

    Include details on succession planning so lenders know there's a strategy for the business to run smoothly, even if you retire.

  4. WHEN has your business struggled (and how did you overcome it)?

    The story of your business is likely to be more compelling if you highlight a conflict that you pushed through. If you haven't faced a struggle yet, consider sharing your approach for how you'll handle future challenges.

    Be sure to explain:

    • How overcoming a past obstacle might have positioned your business for future success
    • How you might respond to any future economic or industry challenges

    Grant your company a human voice, which can make it easier for lenders to relate to your business.

  5. WHY is now the right time to invest?

    When meeting with lenders, framing your story in genuine, consistent terms can help it resonate with your audience.

    Be sure to explain:

    • Why now is the right time to capitalize on this opportunity with your business
    • Why financing your company will help it move forward and reach its goals

    Educate your entire staff about your messaging. Keep it simple—you and your team should be able to speak about the company's value using everyday themes and language.

HOW will you follow through?

Loyalty to your lender will always be a good move. Lenders want to know that you'll be able to repay loans and that their money will be well spent.

Be sure to explain:

  • How (and when) you've followed through on prior commitments
  • How your history of repaying obligations makes you an attractive partner

Show—don't just tell. Have specific examples to back up your claims.


Do you have a good business story to share?

Reach out to Truist to discuss our lending services and options.