RAIN Assessment Score Planner

Your total RAIN score is a strong indication of investment readiness and can help you determine immediate next steps.  You do not need a “perfect score” (100% / A+) to reliably secure financing at attractive rates.  However, the higher your scores, the faster and easier, the more predictable and affordable it is to do so.

Working in the renewables-related, biomass, clean energy, water, energy storage or waste conversion sectors with a score of 80 or higher?
Contact us to obtain our prequalification survey and we will provide a free financeability report.

 

So now what?  3D’s:  1.  Debrief, 2. Decide, and 3. Do.  Click on the underlined links or scroll down to start.

1. Debrief — What do your scores mean?  What do you have to show so far?  What additional actions might you take?

2. Decide — Who is available to help that can skillfully, reliably and affordably perform which task? Which tasks are worth doing (effort vs. impact)? What are the “Must Have’s” vs. merely “Nice to have’s”?

3. Do — Now that you know what needs to be done, and who can do it, take action. There are several program options, outlined below.

Click on a topic above or scroll down …

Each of these D’s are provided below as an in-depth self- or team-evaluation activity.

DEBRIEF:

Even if your RAIN score is near the ideal, you probably want to take a moment to step back and “debrief” (review) your results so far, first by yourself, using the questions shown below as a guide.  Then include other team members and stakeholders — other principals, sponsors, investor partners, intermediaries, consultants, etc. — sharing highlights of what you’ve discovered so far, explaining next steps, and asking for feedback where necessary.

Some questions to help find the “aha’s” and to get focused and organized:

1. What have you learned so far?  Recap for yourself if anything has changed … if you have gained clarity about what is considered a perfect score, if there were any surprises, or other things you noticed.

This 9-question assessment answers most of the “big picture” concerns and common challenges, but certainly not all of them.  It helps project teams avoid the common mistakes others have made, and prepares you to accelerate success, obtain financing at the best available rates and reach a closing more reliably, predictably, with fewer issues and less stress.  Learning as much as you can is absolutely key. Knowledge is power.

Still have unanswered questions?  Great!  Are they the same questions you had when you started, or  different now?  Be sure to note both discoveries and remaining questions for further discussion, as this list will support decisions about action steps.

2. What do you have so far?  Take careful account of any high scores.  When engaging others in conversation about your project’s chances for success, lead with these strengths.  Use your awareness of them to put any less-than-perfect scores — also known as “business development opportunities” or BDOs — in context.

3.  What additional actions might you take?  Is your project truly ready, or are additional actions needed?  

Review your RAIN results, paying careful attention to any low or middle scores.  Use the tips on pg. 2 of your downloaded  results report (use the “Download Results” button to save as a PDF file) to make a thorough list of all possible actions you could take to reach the ideal — 100% ready, A+.  WRITE THEM ALL DOWN (open a new file entitled “Possible Actions”) without editing or deciding for now.

DECIDE:

What you decide to do next depends on your overall readiness score in general, your team’s particular strengths and capabilities, and your work style/personality.

Go back through the list of possible actions that you just prepared (via Question 3, above), and consider:

4. Who can do what?  Realistically, do you and your involved team members have the required expertise and bandwidth to handle these items?  Who can be asked to take on specific actions?  Will that person or team get the desired results without stretching beyond their means?  Are there skill or knowledge gaps?

5. Evaluate Impact vs. Effort.  What’s the “bang for buck” tradeoff (how much work of resources are required for the potential benefit) if you were to invest in reaching the next level of readiness?  Will the results of that next layer of effort be worth it?

Some items are fairly simple (as described in the RAIN tool tips you downloaded, such as coming up with a pledge of collateral, Question #8), while others require a more serious effort (example: if you have no business plan, that will take some work).

Not sure what sort of effort would be involved?  Write down your questions or discuss with colleagues or qualified service providers (or just ask In3).

6. Finally, sort this list into two categories:  A) “Must have’s” and, B) “Helpful, but not essential“.

Now you’re ready to discuss these preliminary action items, and any remaining questions you may have, with your team.  When the time is right, involve an In3 Finance professional in the results of this conversation.  See “Do” options below.

DO!

There are three main options, depending on your response to assessment Question #3, Project Status, and overall RAIN score:

I.  Seed Stage:  If you responded to RAIN Question #3 that you do not yet have a written business plan, we have to ask:  how do you know there’s a viable, investable business?  If others have built similar profitable ventures or projects, that’s a good indication, but not sufficient.  Will you take the time to construct a business plan now, hire someone to help you do that, or … might it be best to first complete a feasibility study?

Feasibility studies are a form of focused research and development aimed at demonstrating a profitable business case — that there’s sufficient money (cash flow) to be made — to decision makers.  Pioneering entrepreneurs and many professional business planners use such studies as evidence that the business concept is valid, worthy of further investment.  Grants and technical assistance can often be used to conduct such R&D, where the principals provide management oversight, labor or other capital contributions if the study reveals a business case.  In3 Group has experience with many grants for a select set of countries.  Ask us if you happen to qualify.

You can either hire In3 to help (funding is often available for such efforts via sources like World Bank Group, sovereign grant funds from various governments and foundations, or United States Trade & Development Agency, USTDA) or, if you’re convinced that the project’s economic fundamentals are solid, get that evidence — how you know for sure — into written, business plan format before taking next steps.

II. Early Stage:  If you responded to Question #3, Project Status, that a business plan exists, but it needs work or substantial revision, you can either produce a project summary (2-4 pages; template available) yourself, or hire In3 to help.

III.  Prepared for investment:  If you responded to Question 3 that you have produced a polished, accurate business plan and financial model, please indicate if your RAIN score overall is

a) 79% (B) or below — in which case we recommend you hire In3 to carefully prepare your funding proposal (indicate program option #1), to avoid any unpleasant surprises, or …

b) 80% (B+) and above — contact In3 to move forward (program option 2: complete pre-application)

You can always go it alone, or pick a different qualified service provider (not recommended, of course); either way, you may want to first discuss your RAIN scores with an In3 advisor.

Ready to take action?  

The next step for well-qualified projects (overall RAIN scores above 90 or so): summarize your project business plan information (download template) and submit with your RAIN financeability report for a free consultation.

 

Additional Options:

  • What’s our process overall?  Visit funding process for more on how we work. 
  • Start over:  Return to RAIN assessment tool
  • What’s the difference between venture finance and project finance? (more)
  • Does your situation qualify for US institutional investor support (lowest interest rates)?  (more)
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