The economy is bouncing back from the economic crisis and digital tools are providing an unprecedented wealth of resources to entrepreneurs: the stars seem to have aligned to offer the best conditions to start a business!
And yet, less than half of new firms make it to their five-year anniversary. And, it might all depend on your ability to secure the funds you need to get started. Wondering where to start?
Here are 7 pathways to secure the funds you need to grow your business.
Start With Your Own Savings — But Only If You Can Afford It
There is no doubt that you should be your business’s first investor. After all, if you believe in your idea’s potential enough to incorporate a business, you wouldn’t think twice about investing some of your savings in turning it into reality.
However, no matter the state of your finances, it is not recommendable to put all of your eggs in one basket and invest all of your assets in a single project. Instead, use tools like credit tracking and monitoring to gain insights into your finances and understand what you are comfortable losing without running into overwhelming debt.
Learn About Government Grants
If you are trying to get your young business off the ground without throwing your finances off balance, you should look for funds you are not required to pay back.
Depending on the industry you operate in, the US government makes nearly 60 grants and programs available to entrepreneurs in the process of starting a business.
Apply For a Business Loan
If your business isn’t eligible for any government grant, you might consider applying for a small business bank loan. These are regulated by the Small Business Administrations and are crafted with the needs and goals of entrepreneurs in mind, which means that you might be able to enjoy grace periods and reduced interest rates.
At the same time, banks understand the risk involved, and your lender will require you to produce a business plan as well as a financial forecast and your own credit history. Depending on the type of loan you are taking out, the lending institution might also need to secure the borrowed money with collateral.
Seek The Help of Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists
If you have launched a revolutionary startup with high-growth potential, you might find the funds you need by knocking on the door of angel investors and venture capitalists. The former are usually wealthy retired executives who invest money, expertise, and network in a worthy business in their field. Today, there are over 300,000 angels in the US.
The latter are investors looking to buy some equity out of a young business in the hope of perceiving high returns from it. While angel investors tend to finance businesses at their early stages, venture capitalists prefer to intervene later on, when large amounts of capital are needed.
Take Part In a Business Accelerator Program
Business incubators and accelerators are companies that focus on helping small businesses and startups develop. These organizations leverage the expertise of industry experts, tap into a large network of contacts and provide premium mentoring services to entrepreneurs.
If your business is set to become a disruptive or innovative force in a certain industry, these programs might be the best option to lay the foundations of a successful company.
Try Your Luck With a Crowdfunding Campaign
Crowdfunding campaigns are becoming increasingly popular and efficient. And, they certainly represent a viable option for entrepreneurs looking to collect funds and market their business at the same time.
However, before diving head-first into your crowdfunding campaign, make sure to understand the rules of each platform to avoid penalties, and create a campaign that truly stands out – the competition has never been fiercer!
Invest Borrowed Money From Friends and Family
If your family and friends believe in your business as much as you do, they will be happy to offer monetary help. When opting for this route, keep in mind that your loved ones will rarely have large chunks of money available, so you might only be able to use their loans to bulk out your own savings.
However, if you just need to keep your cash flow healthy before new customers start pouring in, this might just be a quick and easy solution to pump resources into your start-up!