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The Lenders Lens: Abdul Wahab's Ideas Expanded (Part 1)

The Main Point:

There is a lot to keep in mind when applying for credit. Allow us to do what we can to ease the process by providing templates, models, resources, and tips with the hope of making your application process and daily life more efficient:

  1. Sample Pitch (PowerPoint) Outline:

VBA Code for outline:

2. Sample Financials (Excel) CFI Template:

Download XLSX • 67KB

***This is a free template from Corporate Finance Institute on valuation/forecasting for businesses.

3. Stay tuned for the next post on this topic where we show an automated way of building these reports and presentations using BI (Business Intelligence) methods, software, and "tricks" (experience).

That is the point.

This can be automated, to an extent.

Preamble to the Article:

To view the original post in our forum please follow this link:

And if the link, for whatever reason, is not working; please click below:

The below is the original article... click to expand Mr Wahab's thoughts on loan approval.

The Lender's Lens: Unveiling the Secrets of Loan Approval

Click above to expand, and read, the original forum post. It is a concise and well written wealth of information...

Let's do what we can to add actionable tools that provide insights for your business or personal finance's to Mr. Abdul Wahab's post.

Introduction: Abdul Wahab

First, allow me to properly introduce my friend Abdul:

Who is Mr. Abdul Wahab?

In short, and to quote the CFA Institute, he acts

"To lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society."

Back to the main point(s) of his forum post; I have summarized his post in a table for ease of viewing.

Here's a google sheet link:



Main Idea

Original Text




Understanding the lender's perspective using the Borrower's Viability Assessment (BVA).

Landing the perfect loan for your business can be a game-changer. But before you approach lenders, it's crucial to understand how they evaluate your request. Here's where a powerful framework comes in: The Borrower's Viability Assessment (BVA). This framework dissects your business through four key lenses, helping lenders assess your potential for success and repayment.

- Research the lender's requirements and tailor your application accordingly. - Prepare a comprehensive business plan that highlights strengths in leadership, financial health, market position, and operations. - Gather all necessary documentation and organize it neatly to present to lenders.


The Leadership Lens

Evaluating the competence and experience of the leadership team.

The Leadership Lens: Are You the Right Team? Lenders want to see a competent and experienced leadership team at the helm. They'll scrutinize: Track Record: Do you have a proven history of achieving goals in similar ventures? Management Skills: Does your team possess the expertise and systems to monitor performance, make informed decisions, and navigate challenges effectively? Financial Strength and Commitment: Do the owners demonstrate a strong financial footing and a clear vision for the business?

- Highlight past successes and relevant experience in your industry. - Showcase your team's credentials, expertise, and achievements. - Provide references or testimonials from previous ventures or professional connections.


The Financial Lens

Assessing the financial health and debt management of the business.

The Financial Lens: Is Your Business Financially Healthy? This analysis dives into the financial well-being of your company. Lenders will pay close attention to: Financial Statements: These paint a picture of your profitability, liquidity (ability to meet short-term obligations), and leverage (debt-to-tangible net worth ratio). Debt Management: Can your business comfortably handle existing debt and the proposed loan repayments? Sales & Profit Trends: Are your sales growing, and can you consistently generate profits? If your cash flow isn't robust, lenders might require additional security measures. They might include: Personal and Corporate Guarantees: This holds owners or the company personally liable if the loan defaults. Debt Service Agreements: These agreements outline specific actions, like maintaining minimum cash reserves, to ensure timely loan repayments. Loan Participation: Sharing the loan with other lenders spreads the risk. Shareholder Loan Deferrals: Existing loan agreements with shareholders might be extended, freeing up cash for loan payments. Strong cash flow translates to more favorable lending terms with regards to additional security.

- Maintain up-to-date and accurate financial records. - Perform regular financial analysis to ensure profitability and liquidity. - Prepare detailed cash flow projections to demonstrate the ability to meet loan repayments. - Reduce existing debt where possible to improve your debt-to-equity ratio.


The Market Lens

Evaluating the external market environment in which the business operates.

The Market Lens: Are You Operating in a Favorable Environment? Lenders look beyond your business to assess the external market: Market Potential & Acceptance: Is your target market large enough, and are your offerings well-received? Competitive Landscape: How strong is the competition, and how will you differentiate yourself? Demand Stability: Are there consistent needs for your products or services, or are they prone to significant fluctuations?

- Conduct thorough market research to understand market potential and demand stability. - Develop a unique selling proposition (USP) to differentiate your business from competitors. - Prepare a competitive analysis to highlight your position and strategy in the market.


The Operational Lens

Assessing the efficiency and reliability of business operations and resources.

The Operational Lens: How Efficiently Do You Run Your Business? This lens focuses on the nuts and bolts of your operation: Inventory Management: Do you have efficient systems in place to control inventory levels, minimize waste, and ensure product availability? Supply Chain Strength: Are your sources of raw materials reliable, and how vulnerable are you to supply chain disruptions? Fixed Assets: What equipment and facilities does your business require, and are they essential for operations and easily resellable if necessary?

- Implement efficient inventory management systems to reduce waste and improve turnover. - Strengthen relationships with reliable suppliers to secure your supply chain. - Regularly maintain and update fixed assets to ensure operational efficiency.


Impact of BVA on Profitability

Explaining how each aspect of the BVA impacts profitability and loan approval chances.

The BVA in Action: How It Impacts Profitability and Loan Approval Each aspect of the BVA has a direct impact on your profitability and loan approval chances: Strong leadership leads to better decision-making, potentially increasing sales and profitability. Solid financials demonstrate your ability to manage finances effectively and generate a return on investment. Operating in a favorable market with steady demand allows you to plan effectively and minimize risks. Efficient operations ensure you can minimize costs, optimize production, and ultimately boost profits. By understanding the BVA and taking steps to strengthen your business in each area, you can significantly improve your chances of securing a loan. Lenders will be more confident in your ability to repay the loan if they see a well-managed, profitable business with a clear path to success.

- Ensure all aspects of your business are aligned with the BVA framework to demonstrate overall strength. - Highlight how strong leadership, financial health, market position, and operational efficiency contribute to profitability. - Be prepared to discuss how each area has been optimized to improve business performance.



Recapping the importance of BVA and steps to improve loan approval chances.

So, the next time you approach a lender, remember the BVA. By demonstrating strength in each area, you'll be well on your way to securing the financing you need to take your business to the next level.

- Review and strengthen each BVA area before applying for a loan. - Practice your loan pitch, focusing on the strengths highlighted by the BVA. - Seek feedback from mentors or advisors to further refine your approach and documentation.

Lets dive into each of these seven sections and expand on what you can do to help shift the odds of approval more into your or your businesses favour.

Expanding on the provided content with a focus on Canada and taking a business and individual scenario:

  1. Introduction: Research the Lender's Requirements and Tailor Your Application a) For Businesses: Securing a Line of Credit Identify Key Requirements: In Canada, banks and financial institutions have specific criteria for extending lines of credit to businesses. Start by visiting the websites of major Canadian banks like RBC, TD, and BMO to download their loan requirements documentation. Additionally, explore industry-specific forums or LinkedIn groups focused on Canadian businesses to gather insights from peers who have navigated the lending process in Canada. Attending webinars or workshops hosted by Canadian lenders or financial advisors can provide valuable information on the latest trends and lending requirements in the Canadian market. Tailor Your Business Plan: Canadian lenders often require detailed business plans that outline financial projections and strategies for managing cash flow. For example, if your business operates in Canada's seasonal industries like tourism or agriculture, emphasize how you navigate cash flow challenges during off-peak seasons. Utilize tools like BDC's Business Plan Template, tailored specifically for Canadian entrepreneurs, to create comprehensive business plans. Documentation Preparation: When preparing documentation for your loan application, ensure compliance with Canadian regulatory requirements. Create a centralized system, possibly using Canadian cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, where all team members can collaborate on and update required documents securely. Canadian lenders may also require specific documents such as GST/HST registration numbers or Canadian residency proof, so double-check the documentation checklist provided by Canadian banks. Resources: In Canada, the Small Business Administration equivalent is the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which offers valuable resources and financing options tailored to Canadian businesses. Explore their website for tools, templates, and guides designed to help Canadian entrepreneurs secure financing. Additionally, leverage Canadian business plan software like Enloop or StratPad for customized business planning tailored to Canadian market dynamics. b) For Individuals: Securing a Mortgage Identify Key Requirements: Canadian lenders, including major banks like RBC, Scotiabank, and CIBC, have specific requirements for mortgage applicants. Visit their websites to download mortgage application requirements and guidelines tailored to the Canadian market. Engage with Canadian homebuyer forums or LinkedIn groups to gather insights from individuals who have recently obtained mortgages in Canada. Attend webinars or workshops hosted by Canadian real estate agents or financial advisors to understand the latest mortgage trends and requirements in the Canadian market. Prepare Your Financial Documents: Canadian mortgage applications typically require proof of stable income, Canadian employment history, and other financial documents. Gather necessary documents such as Canadian pay stubs, Canadian tax returns, Canadian bank statements, and Canadian credit reports. Organize them using Canadian cloud storage solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive for easy access and sharing, ensuring compliance with Canadian privacy laws. Check and Improve Your Credit Score: Canadian lenders assess credit scores to determine mortgage eligibility. Obtain a free credit report from Canadian credit bureaus like Equifax or TransUnion and review it for errors. Take steps to dispute any inaccuracies and pay down existing debt to improve your credit score, utilizing Canadian credit-building strategies such as responsible credit card use and timely bill payments. Resources: In Canada, mortgage calculators provided by Canadian financial institutions like CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) or major Canadian banks can help estimate affordability and monthly mortgage payments. Explore Canadian personal finance software like Mint or YNAB (You Need a Budget) for tracking income, expenses, and savings in compliance with Canadian financial regulations.

  2. The Leadership Lens: Highlight Past Successes and Relevant Experience a) For Businesses: Leadership for a Line of Credit Canadian lenders value strong leadership and management capabilities in business loan applicants. Create detailed bios highlighting specific achievements relevant to the Canadian market, such as successfully navigating Canadian regulatory environments or expanding operations into Canadian provinces. Utilize endorsements and recommendations from Canadian business partners or industry professionals to strengthen credibility. Consider enrolling in Canadian leadership development programs or courses offered by institutions like Rotman School of Management or Schulich School of Business to enhance leadership skills and qualifications. b) For Individuals: Professional Experience for a Mortgage Canadian mortgage lenders assess applicants' stability and reliability based on their employment history and financial responsibility. Provide detailed resumes or employment history demonstrating consistent Canadian employment, especially within the same industry or role. Obtain letters of recommendation from Canadian employers emphasizing reliability and work ethic. Consider enrolling in Canadian personal finance courses offered by institutions like CPA Canada or Canadian universities to demonstrate commitment to financial literacy and responsibility.

  3. The Financial Lens: Maintain Up-to-Date and Accurate Financial Records a) For Businesses: Financial Health for a Line of Credit Canadian lenders evaluate businesses' financial health using metrics such as cash flow, profitability, and debt levels. Utilize robust Canadian accounting software like QuickBooks or FreshBooks to maintain accurate financial records compliant with Canadian accounting standards. Conduct regular financial analyses using Canadian templates for financial ratio analysis, ensuring metrics such as the current ratio and debt-to-equity ratio meet Canadian lender requirements. Prepare cash flow projections tailored to Canadian market conditions, considering factors like seasonality and economic trends impacting Canadian businesses. b) For Individuals: Financial Health for a Mortgage Canadian mortgage lenders assess applicants' financial stability using metrics such as debt-to-income ratio and credit score. Track Canadian income and expenses using Canadian personal finance software like Mint or YNAB, ensuring accurate records for mortgage affordability calculations. Regularly review Canadian credit reports for errors and take steps to improve credit scores using Canadian credit-building strategies. Utilize Canadian financial planning tools like mortgage affordability calculators or RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) contribution calculators to optimize financial readiness for homeownership in Canada.

  4. The Market Lens: Conduct Thorough Market Research a) For Businesses: Market Research for a Line of Credit Canadian lenders expect businesses to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Canadian market environment. Access Canadian market research reports from sources like Statistics Canada or Canadian industry associations relevant to your business sector. Conduct SWOT analysis using Canadian templates to evaluate market strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats specific to Canadian market dynamics. Validate findings through Canadian customer surveys or focus groups, ensuring alignment with Canadian consumer preferences and behaviors. b) For Individuals: Market Research for a Mortgage Canadian mortgage applicants should research Canadian real estate market trends and local housing markets. Utilize Canadian real estate websites like or local Canadian real estate boards for property listings and market data. Conduct neighborhood analysis using Canadian tools like Neighbourhood Scout or Canadian government websites for demographic information and crime rates. Estimate Canadian housing expenses accurately using Canadian mortgage calculators, considering factors like Canadian property taxes and insurance costs.

  5. The Operational Lens: Implement Efficient Inventory and Supply Chain Management a) For Businesses: Operational Efficiency for a Line of Credit Canadian lenders assess businesses' operational efficiency and effectiveness. Implement Canadian inventory management systems like Lightspeed or Shopify to track inventory levels and streamline operations. Optimize supply chains by partnering with Canadian suppliers and negotiating favorable terms to reduce costs and enhance delivery efficiency. Apply lean management techniques and Canadian methodologies like Kaizen or Kanban to identify and eliminate operational inefficiencies, improving profitability and sustainability. b) For Individuals: Financial Efficiency for a Mortgage Canadian mortgage applicants should focus on financial efficiency and debt management. Utilize Canadian budgeting tools like Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Budget Spreadsheet or Canadian government budgeting templates to track expenses and identify savings opportunities. Implement Canadian debt reduction strategies like the snowball or avalanche method to pay down debts efficiently. Track Canadian expenses using apps like PocketGuard or Canadian banking apps, ensuring adherence to Canadian budgeting principles and financial regulations.

  6. Impact of BVA on Profitability: Align Business Practices with BVA Framework a) For Businesses: Improving Profitability for a Line of Credit Canadian businesses can enhance profitability and loan approval chances by aligning with the BVA (Business Value Accelerator) framework. Implement Canadian leadership assessment tools like Hogan Assessments or Canadian Management Accountants' Association (CMA) assessments to evaluate leadership effectiveness. Utilize Canadian financial dashboards like Fathom or Canadian accounting software features for benchmarking against industry standards. Monitor Canadian market trends using Canadian market intelligence tools like Meltwater or Datawrkz, adjusting strategies accordingly. Optimize Canadian operational efficiency with Canadian lean management training programs or Canadian manufacturing excellence initiatives like LeanCor or Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). b) For Individuals: Enhancing Financial Stability for a Mortgage Canadian mortgage applicants can strengthen financial stability and mortgage eligibility by aligning with the BVA framework. Monitor Canadian credit scores using Canadian credit monitoring services like Credit Karma or Borrowell, focusing on improving creditworthiness through Canadian credit repair strategies. Grow Canadian savings using Canadian high-yield savings accounts from banks like Tangerine or EQ Bank, maximizing returns for down payment funds. Stabilize Canadian income with Canadian employment verification tools like ROE Web or Canadian payroll systems, ensuring reliable documentation for mortgage applications. Manage Canadian expenses efficiently using Canadian budgeting apps like Spendee or Canadian bank account features, optimizing financial health for homeownership.

  7. Conclusion: Strengthen Each BVA Area and Perfect Your Loan Pitch a) For Businesses: Finalizing a Line of Credit Application Canadian businesses should conduct a comprehensive review of each BVA area, ensuring alignment with Canadian lending requirements and market conditions. Utilize Canadian checklists or loan application guides provided by Canadian lenders like BDC or Canadian banking institutions. Practice loan pitches with Canadian presentation tools like Prezi or Pitcherific, incorporating Canadian market data and success stories. Seek Canadian mentorship and feedback from Canadian business advisors or Canadian Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), refining loan applications and pitches for maximum impact. b) For Individuals: Preparing for a Mortgage Application Canadian mortgage applicants should conduct a thorough review of BVA areas, focusing on Canadian financial stability and readiness for homeownership. Utilize Canadian checklists or mortgage application guides provided by Canadian lenders like CMHC or Canadian banking institutions. Practice mortgage interviews with Canadian mortgage brokers or financial advisors, emphasizing Canadian financial responsibility and affordability. Seek Canadian professional guidance from Canadian mortgage professionals or Canadian credit counseling agencies, optimizing mortgage applications for approval and successful homeownership in Canada.


Securing financing, whether for a business line of credit or a personal mortgage, requires a tailored approach that aligns with the lender's criteria and market dynamics, especially in Canada. The process involves meticulous research, documentation preparation, and strategic planning across various dimensions.

For businesses seeking a line of credit, understanding Canadian lenders' requirements is paramount. This involves identifying key requirements through extensive research, tailoring the business plan to showcase robust financial management strategies, and ensuring thorough documentation preparation compliant with Canadian regulations. Additionally, highlighting past successes and relevant experience of the leadership team enhances credibility.

Similarly, individuals aiming to secure a mortgage in Canada must grasp the lender's criteria and prepare accordingly. This entails gathering and organizing financial documents, improving credit scores, and showcasing stable employment history and financial responsibility. Engaging with Canadian-specific resources like credit monitoring services and budgeting tools is crucial.

Moreover, applicants need to maintain up-to-date financial records, conduct thorough market research, and implement efficient operational strategies. For businesses, this involves using robust accounting software, analyzing financial health regularly, conducting market research, and optimizing operational efficiency. Individuals must track income and expenses, improve credit scores, understand real estate market trends, and manage expenses efficiently to enhance financial stability.

Aligning business practices with frameworks like Business Value Accelerator (BVA) enhances profitability and loan approval chances. For businesses, this entails evaluating leadership effectiveness, benchmarking financial performance, monitoring market trends, and optimizing operational efficiency. Similarly, individuals must focus on improving creditworthiness, growing savings, stabilizing income, and managing expenses efficiently.

In conclusion, a comprehensive understanding of lender requirements, market dynamics, and strategic alignment with the BVA framework significantly enhances the chances of securing financing for both businesses and individuals in Canada. Utilizing Canadian-specific resources and engaging with professional guidance are essential steps toward achieving financial success.

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