As an entrepreneur or startup owner, you will agree that a major concern you face is financing your business.
With minimal experience and no business background, entrepreneurs find it very hard to get the money at the initial level. Be it working capital or provision for the troubled times, you need money to run and grow your business.
Here are some ways you can raise funds to fund your business/ideas.
Generally, there are two known ways you can fund your business – Equity and Debt.
The equity option enable entrepreneurs to fund their business by providing an ownership stake to an investor. Here, there is no obligation of repayment. But then, you need to give up a part of your ownership in the business. And you can also make you lose control over the company in the long run.
The debt option is likened to taking a loan for a specific period. You have to pay interest on the amount. Here, the ownership of your company is not at stake. But, if for some reason, you fail to repay the loan, the lender can take your company into liquidation. In such a scenario, you lose your company. The debt option is worth only when you have a strong financial backup.
Let’s get into the different funds available.
This is the safest way of funding for your startup. You can either use savings, personal debt, or both for your business. Also, you can consider selling assets like a second home or a property to generate cash for your company.
Friends and family
This is a source of both equity and debt funding. Though this seems a handy source of funding, you need to remain cautious while assigning part of your business among friends and family members. Many businesses fail because key parts of business go into the wrong hands. Also, when the capital erodes, it hurts feelings and ruins friendships.
Angel investors and Crowdfunding
Affluent investors can bring capital in the startups. They are known as angel investors as they are always willing to invest in ideas they find lucrative in the future. Angel investors can also form a group of investors to spread risks and assist you to do extensive research. Local angels and the Chamber of Commerce are also good sources for funding your business at the initial stage.
Crowdfunding is also a concept similar to angel investors. The only difference here is that there is a large number of people or investors who contribute to your startup idea as per their wish. Crowdfunding has certain norms and its success rate is lower than that of angel investment. Crowdfunding is based either on equity, debt, or rewards. You can select the most suitable platform from hundreds of crowdfunding platforms.
This is one of the strongest sources of funding for your business. Strategic partners can not only bring investment but also give new thoughts to take the business to the next level. Partners can also help your business by managing key processes. Let’s take the example of a property management company. A strategic partnership with a property maintenance company can help this company to provide 360-degree solutions.
Many lenders and organizations lend money to small businesses and startups. They lend money either at higher interest rates or ask for assets as security. Here, the interest rate is a bit tricky. For example, if the interest rate is 3% and the term is one month, then the actual annual interest rate is 36%. This is quite high as compared to a 3% rate.
Lenders are of two types- Traditional and Government lenders.
Traditional lenders can be the first choice. Banks and credit unions are included in this type. This type of lenders, however, do not fund any innovative or experimental ideas.
Government lenders work with the government arms to get more funds with some risks.
It is a type of loan that assists startups or businesses that have no collateral. Entrepreneurs with no personal or business assets are the most eligible candidates for this type of loan. However, a common man may not get this type of loan. What makes this loan attractive for entrepreneurs is the fact that the 7a loan has simple T&Cs. Entrepreneurs need to give a repayment guarantee of 85% to take this loan.
Both government and private banks lend SMEs and startups. But they need a track record and want to secure their loans by some of your assets. Banks are, however, not much friendly for SMEs and startups. Many entrepreneurs tend to stay away from banks at the initial stage because they have issues of both working capital and initial funding. In today’s time, banks have quickly become out of focus for entrepreneurs.
They are basically the innovators of the business world. They’re constantly in search of entrepreneurs with lucrative ideas. If your idea is capable of working at a small level, you can easily convince a VC (Venture Capitalist) to support your business. VCs provide funds in two ways — equity or debt. Venture capitalists can lead your business to succeed at the international level.
Some venture capitalist companies invest in businesses by offering scholarships to entrepreneurs. Techpreneurs can leverage the benefits of these scholarships and become owners of small companies or startups at a young age. What’s more, your company can get money along with qualified business mentors through such venture capitalist companies. Simply put, VCs can assist you to launch your products while guiding your company at the initial level.
The SBA (Small Business Administration) is also a considerable debt option. It has many options but these options need a guarantee of repayment.
Many options are available to fund your business at the initial level. If you have a unique idea that you think it is worth investing, you can certainly explore various options and find the ideal one for your startup. But first, be sure you have a solid business plan in place and you have done all to be sure your business is profitable and will scale.