One of the most important aspects to being a small business owner is proper financing. It’s a never ending battle, for there’s the startup capital, then there’s the funds you need to sustain your company through the lean years, the funds you need for expansion, and finally the funds you need to pay both your employees and yourself. While it can often be challenging, with the right financing options, you can be assured of your business’s financial stability.
Here are five funding options:
1. Small Business Loans
If you need a significant amount of capital or small business credit to get your business rolling, small business loans offer hundreds of thousands of dollars at a relatively small interest rate. Although you might find yourself borrowing more money than you find you actually need to sustain your company, small business loans are a reliable source of money and one of the less expensive ways to secure business funding. If your loan application is approved, talk with a business financial counselor to ensure you are on the right track to financial success.
2. Crowdfunding Platforms
The Internet is a wealth of information and potentially a source of money. Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Go Fund Me, and the like offer businesses and entrepreneurs a platform to solicit funding directly from friends, family, and others vested in the business. The tricky thing with these types of platforms is the fine print of whether or not you get to keep the money if you don’t meet your financial goal. In some cases, you do, and with others it’s an all or nothing campaign. Additionally, the transaction fees can be steep, which can take quite a bit away from your raised money.
3. Personal Assets
One of the easiest ways to garner funding for your business is to dip into your own assets and savings. Many people hesitate to do this for fear if their business goes belly up, they will have nothing left to support themselves. While it is a valid concern, especially if you are considering cashing out your 401(k) or using all of your invested money, you are also not under loan interest rates or strict repayment plans. Offering your home or car as collateral might be risky, but it can also have a big payoff in the end.
4. Advance Orders
If you already have customers lined up and ready to purchase your product or service, consider raising money through advance orders. It gives you both working capital while also validating your business.
Nonprofits and the government often provide grants for businesses. Depending upon eligibility, businesses can find funding through the Small Business Innovation Research Program or Grants.gov. High-tech, high-impact, and high-growth businesses are often offered the most incentives, especially if the business deals with some sort of energy efficient product and service, or some sort of research project. Also, consider partnering with a university to increase grant eligibility, for often these grant companies prefer a business backed by a reliable university.