Financing a business can be a big obstacle for new startups and established companies alike. It isn’t always easy or even possible to obtain funding through the usual channels, especially if you have no track record to show lenders or investors, and without the money required, it can mean that the business simply cannot succeed. However, there are some ways to obtain the money you need, and if you want to start or grow your business and need funds to do it, you can look at these options to see if anything will work for you.
1. Your Savings
It’s true that not everyone has any savings put aside, but if you do and there is enough, then you might consider using that money to fund your business. This can work out perfectly because there is no requirement for you to borrow the money from anyone else, and therefore your business won’t be in debt (although, of course, you will want to have the money paid back to you over time). You won’t be giving away any equity either, which is something that some business owners don’t like the idea of. Plus, if you do need to borrow more at a later stage, your business’s credit won’t be affected.
2. Your Investments
For those who like to make investments and trade, the profits made in this line can be something you can use to start your business or add funds to it when you need to purchase something specific that will, in turn, help you to make more money in the long-term. Investing doesn’t automatically mean that you will make a profit, which is why checking out the gold and silver price regularly and finding a good broker will help you. However, when you do make money, it can be ideal for your business.
3. A Business Loan
Possibly the first thought that will come into a business owner’s mind when it comes to finding money to fund their project is a business loan from a traditional lender such as a bank. It can work out very well, and with enough research, you will be able to find a variety of different loans with varying interest rates and special deals. You may not be eligible for all of them, however, and applying for too many loans all at once can damage your credit rating. Therefore, it is wiser to make appointments to speak to bank managers or investment advisors to find out what you can and can’t do, and what will work best for you. It may be exciting to find that you can borrow tens of thousands of dollars, but remember that this money must be paid back, and that can be the part that causes problems. Think things through carefully and only borrow what you know you can afford.
4. A Personal Loan
If your business has no trading record, it might be difficult to obtain the loan that you want, in which case a personal loan, assuming your credit rating will allow it, could be the ideal alternative. You take out the loan and then make a director’s loan to your company. The company pays you back each month, and you then pay your own lender back too. This way, you aren’t ever out of pocket, and you don’t have to worry about making repayments.
However, the vital thing to bear in mind with this kind of loan is that you are ultimately liable for it. It means that if the company cannot pay you for any reason, you still have to make the repayments for your loan. Make sure you have two or three months’ worth of repayments in a savings account just in case you need to pay the money back yourself.
5. Angel Investors
Angel investors are groups of people or individuals who use their money to fund businesses and projects that they think are interesting, have potential, and will bring them a profit. This last point is the most important of all because although angel investors do have the business’s interests at heart, their main aim is to make money from whatever they invest in.
The first step in obtaining an angel investor is to write an interesting and informative (and truthful!) business plan as this is what they will want to see before making any decision. You should also work out how much equity you are willing to give away in your business, and how active a role you want the angel investor to take. Some simply want to give you their money and leave you to get on with running the business, and others will want to have a more active role. It is essential you know how you want to do things before agreeing to anything, and don’t get carried away if someone offers you money; make sure you are happy with the deal first.
6. A Credit Card
Credit cards can be supremely useful, or they can be disastrous, and which outcome will depend on how sensible you are with their use. Funding an entire business on a credit card, especially if it is a personal one, is not a good idea; this can leave you in vast amounts of debt that you find difficult to pay off. Plus, the interest rates on credit cards tend to much higher than on other forms of borrowing such as a loan from a reputable company. However, for smaller business expenses a credit card can be ideal, as long as you pay as much off the balance as possible each month. Paying just the minimum amount will mean you spend a lot more than you would need to otherwise, and it will also take you longer.
7. Friends And Family
A loan from a bank or other lender might not be possible if you or your business don’t meet specific criteria, and an alternative might be to borrow money from friends and family. Ideally, you should have a loan agreement drawn up so that everything is legal, and so that everyone knows what is expected of them. This way, there can be no disputes, and you will know how much to pay and when, just as your friend or family member will know how much of a return they should be able to make.