Finding the funds to start a business can be a challenge that prevents many would-be entrepreneurs from pursuing their dream of business ownership. Fortunately, with a little legwork and organization, one can find funds for their business through various means.
Here are some different ways to find the seed money to fund your business and get your dream up and running.
Borrow from Family or Friends
One way to fund your business is to borrow money from your friends if you need cash now. However, there are a lot of potential pitfalls with taking this approach. To avoid drama, you need to have very clear terms set in place and adhere to them, respecting your family and friends and the commitment you make to repay them.
If you handle this approach properly, you get the benefit of avoiding interest payments and fees, determining your own payment schedule, and avoiding the small print that comes with other forms of borrowing.
Small Business Bank Loans
After you have a proper business plan in place, you can apply for a small business loan through the bank. If you have a mortgage or bank account through one provider, you may opt to consolidate everything under one umbrella and use the same institution for your business loan. However, don’t feel restricted to taking this approach; you can shop around and find the arrangement that works best for you.
Bank loans are often strictly regulated and have rigid qualifications that not all will be eligible for. This is why many aspiring entrepreneurs investigate other means for funding their business.
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for seed funding through a non-profit organization that specializes in assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs. There are many non-profit and government-funded organizations that help honorably discharged veterans fund their business endeavors. Others help female business get started or expand in male-dominated industries.
Research local non-profit organizations and talk to your local Chamber of Commerce for direction. Not only do Chambers of Commerce have resources for funding, but they also regularly host training programs for newcomers to the business world.
Crowdfunding and Kickstarter Campaigns
These days, it seems like everyone has a GoFundMe page for something. You can take the same approach and use crowdfunding to start your business. This is a roundabout way to ask your family or community for help getting a business running. Rather than sharing a page asking for donations, use strong marketing strategies and compelling reasons to tell people why they should be interested in your business plan.
Kickstarter campaigns often give people something in return for their donation. These campaigns offer packages similar to a sponsorship program for events, with different donation increments earning different perks. This is also an effective plan for non-profit organizations looking to fund their programs.
Use a Loan Agency
There are various agencies that offer loans, whether in person or online. These agencies often offer short-term loans that are better suited to those looking to bridge a gap in expenses and pay the loan back quickly. They also offer more flexibility than a bank for those with a poor credit score.
When using a loan agency, research and talk to others who have used the same service to ensure that the agency is legitimate. While there are consumer protection laws in place, it can be hard to chase down a faceless agency from the internet who took your financial information and made a run for it. Be sure the agency you’re working with is of high-quality and adheres to best practice laws.
There are many ways to find money to fund your business. Refuse to give up hope when things seem rough and eventually an opportunity will present itself.