Having a big, billion-dollar idea for a new company or start-up is great—but now what? You probably need a website, a tech team, some office space, and, of course, at least enough cash coming in each month to pay your rent.
Which means, you need money. Whether it’s a cool new app or a swanky café, most businesses and most entrepreneurs require at least a little bit of funding to really get off the ground in their early days.
The good news is, there are quite a few places to get it. This article from luminablog.co.uk will guide you on where to look for funding, and which type might be right for you.
If you want to retain complete control of your business, but don’t have enough funds to start, consider a small business loan.
To increase your chances of securing a loan, you should have a business plan, expense sheet, and financial projections for the next five years. These tools will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to ask for, and will help the bank know they’re making a smart choice by giving you a loan.
Once you have your materials ready, contact banks and credit unions to request a loan. You’ll want to compare offers to get the best possible terms for your loan. One of the ways to do this is to read online reviews about mortgage companies and find out which one works best for you.
When first getting started, many entrepreneurs use “bootstrapping,” which means financing your company by scraping together any personal funds you can find. This typically includes your savings account, credit cards, and any home equity lines you may have.
In many cases, using the money you have instead of borrowing or raising is a great approach—in fact, some entrepreneurs continue to bootstrap until their business is profitable. This can be beneficial because it means you won’t have extensive loans and monthly payments that bog you down, especially if you run into snags along the way.
As your business reaches the next level of growth and you see steady revenue on the horizon, begin to approach sophisticated angel investors if you need more funding. This affluent individual – or a group of individuals who pool their research and resources – provides capital for a business start-up usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
These angel groups can be found in most communities – and on the Internet, with a description of their purpose and objectives.
Crowdfunding raises funds for a business from a large number of people, called crowdfunders. Crowdfunders aren’t technically investors, because they don’t receive a share of ownership in the business and don’t expect a financial return on their money.
Instead, crowdfunders expect to get a “gift” from your company as thanks for their contribution. Often, that gift is the product you plan to sell or other special perks, like meeting the business owner or getting their name in the credits. This makes crowdfunding a popular option for people who want to produce creative works or a physical product.
If you don’t have your own savings or credit cards – or you do, but your growing business needs additional funding – all is not lost. Consider inviting family and friends to invest in the company with the understanding that their money may not be returned. In most cases, these friends and family are investing in you, not your business. Both parties should think of this investment as a grant with no strings attached. If the enterprise succeeds, a reward to these risk-takers would be a nice gesture.