If you are looking to start a small business, you need the right planning and financial support. If your business gets the right funding to implement the plan, then you have a greater chance of success. However, most business people know how hard it is to secure funding for a business. The reason is that many financial institutions and people are not willing to invest their money in a business that is just stepping into the market for the first time. Fortunately, there are so many ways through which small business owners can raise funds without dipping their hands into their savings. Read on to discover the top 13 options for funding your small business.
1. Small business start-up loans
Small business loans are a great way to fund a start-up. This type of loan offers a great opportunity for those who want to finance their small trade. There is a wide range of small business loan options on the market that are designed to help people finance their small trades. One of the most popular products in this segment is the SBA loans that can be used to pay rent for a business premise, employee salaries, and even purchase inventory for your business. The good thing is that you can use these loans in bettering many areas of your business.
Getting an SBA loan today is not a hard thing when you have all the requirements. You can find numerous SBA lenders in your area that can provide you with the loan facility that you require. Alternatively, you can access these loans online by connecting with an appropriate lending service.
2. Credit cards
If you are not looking for a commercial loan to finance your small business, you can easily turn to credit cards. Many credit card companies offer credit cards for start-ups that are far much better than personal credit cards. However, a business owner needs to know that credit cards come with higher interest rates. But if you are seriously in need of capital, this is an option that you need to consider. Before signing for a credit card, a business owner should learn all the terms and conditions of the card.
3. Family and friends
If you want to be a successful business person, you should avoid mixing business with pleasure. But if you have the opportunity to borrow money from a friend or a relative, why should you look for an outside investor? The benefit of getting funding from friends and family is that you do not have to look for commercial loans. Getting backing from your family and friends gives you confidence when looking for outside investors. If your friends and family do not believe in your idea, why would other people do? It is also important to have the friendly loan agreement written down as that can prevent disagreements and confusion in the future.
you however need to be careful when borrowing money from family and friends as that can run relationships should something go wrong in the process.
Your savings can help solve your business’s financial needs. In addition to giving muscle to your business, your savings gives you control over the funding and finances of your business. However, it is important to be careful about the amount of savings that you use in your business. This is because you need some money ready should your business not generate enough revenue in the first few months of operation. It is also important to know that you are investing part of your finances into the business and this can be tricky to manage. That is why you should consult with a financial advisor before proceeding.
5. Bank loans
Traditional bank loans are a great source of funding for many start-up businesses. However, you need to do proper research on the types of business loans to get since terms and interest rates vary considerably from bank to bank. Business loans are ideal for someone who has a good relationship with their bank and can make a well-researched business case for their business.
Crowdfunding allows you to source the entire amount of money that you need for your business from the public. In this method, people either lend you the money or purchase a stake in your venture. Crowdfunding is ideal for businesses with great growth potential and can attract a lot of attention from potential investors.
Also, you will find that the more people that you can reach, the better are your chances of getting a great deal. However, it important to note that crowdfunding is not a quick way to finance your small business as it takes a while. You need to invest a lot of effort and time in the process.
7. Business angels
Angel investors are rich people who invest money in your business in exchange for shares. There are angel investors who work in groups while others work as an individual. Although this is a viable method for raising small business funds, it is something it is not suitable for individuals who want to keep 100% ownership of their business. Nevertheless, angel investors have usually experienced business persons who will offer you valuable business advice and guidance.
8. Venture capitalists
Venture capitalists are people who put large amounts of money into a business in exchange for equity. These types of investors can pool more resources than business angels. The motive of a venture capitalist is to help a business grow at a faster rate so that it can realize a return on investment much faster.
If you have a small start-up that has huge growth potential and are willing to give up some equity, venture capitalism can be a great way to source funds. The good thing is that a venture capitalist can also offer expertise on how to grow the business at a faster rate while opening the doors to their networks and connections.
Since venture capitalists are going to invest huge amounts of money, you are likely to lose a large portion of equity from your business.
9. Short-term loans
If you do not require a lot of money for your small business, you may consider investing in short-term loans. Many institutions on the market provide pay-day loans. Such funding is very important in boosting cash flow, enhancing working capital, and starting a project.
This funding method is ideal if you are just looking to top up your funds and is sure of making repayments on time. Short-term loans are relatively fast to access if you qualify. Unfortunately, short-term loans have a relatively high amount of interest.
10. Guaranteed loans
Guaranteed loans are designed for small businesses that do not qualify for huge bank loans. This is especially if they do not have a trading history and lack the necessary security to guarantee the loans. This is a good source of lending for those who have tried other traditional routes but have been turned down. Schemes such as enterprise finance guarantee fall into this category and have lower repayments as they are subsidized by the government. However, it is important to note that guaranteed loans have strict requirements to qualify.
11. Incubators and accelerators
We cannot complete small business funding options without looking at incubators and accelerators in the market. These programs are designed to scale and accelerate start-ups with great growth potential. Incubators and accelerators provide a seed investment as well as mentoring in exchange for equity in your business. Business owners are however required to go for training on how to develop their business. However, it is important to note that the application and selection process can be very grueling.
12. Research and development grants
If your small business is involved in innovation, you could be a candidate for research and development grants from the government. These grants are a way to reward the most promising innovators in the market. You can be given cash directly or exempted from paying some taxes. The good thing with these grants is that they are free money and you do not have to repay them. Unfortunately, they are limited to businesses that only engage in innovation and technology.
13. SEIS and EIS
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) are the other way of securing funds for your small business. In these arrangements, investors who subscribe for shares in your business are given a tax back. On the other hand, if they make a loss on their investment, they are given further income tax relief. This is a highly persuasive method of attracting investors to your business.
We hope that the above small business funding options will help you make informed decisions. However, it is important to note that each of the options above comes with risks that can jeopardize the growth plans of your business. To make the most out of small business funding options, you need to look at your profit margins, creditors, debtors, cash flow, forecasts, and other aspects of your business.