The primary difference between business dreamers and successful entrepreneurs is in the way they handle their finances.
Business is more than just coming up with a million-dollar idea and putting it to life. At the same time, you have to make sure that you have enough capital to keep your company afloat during the first few months as you work toward gaining a profit.
In many cases, even the simplest business ideas require a considerable amount of capital to get your company off the ground. You have to think about buying products or equipment to prepare for the official launch of your venture. Then you have to keep the business going by paying rent, utilities, salaries, and insurance during the initial lean months.
Here are seven ways that you can raise capital for your business:
Use Business Credit
Business credit operates in ways that are similar to your personal credit, except that it’s for your business enterprise. You’ll also get a credit score depending on your payment habits, history, and demographic information.
A lot of business owners are unaware that they can make use of this type of funding. While it can be challenging to raise capital through this method when the business is still in its infancy, it isn’t impossible. Search online for resources to help you learn how to get business credit for your venture.
Apply for a Loan
You can always tap your inner circle and get a loan from your family, although this can be tricky and may later create tension. You can also borrow capital is by getting a loan from banks or other types of financial institutions such as business cooperatives, credit unions, and finance firms.
A business loan is different from a business credit line because the former involves a one-time lump sum in your hands while the latter is more of a pool of money that you can use anytime you need it. Another main difference is that you must pay the full amount for a loan along with other related fees. On the other hand, with business credit, you only need to repay the money that you used.
One of the professional tech startup tips that you can use is to research the loan approval and disbursement options of a potential lender. Knowing precisely when you can get the funds can aid you in timely orders for your production and operations.
Save Capital Yourself
The most straightforward way is to fund your company yourself. If you have a decent-paying full-time job, you can always set aside a portion of your salary and dedicate it to your venture.
At the same time, you also have the option to get a side gig and save the money that you gain from that. In today’s digital world, you can do various side gigs during your spare time, such as:
- Selling Online – Since you’re aspiring to sell products or services anyway, you can start by distributing merchandise on e-commerce sites. This way, you can acquire practical experience on a small scale and use that to your advantage when you target a bigger consumer base.
- Offering Services – Another excellent way to earn extra income to fund your dream venture is by becoming a part-time driver, delivery person, or anything that you can do in your free time. The gig economy has made it more convenient to connect customers and service providers through digital platforms and apps.
- Becoming a Freelancer – If you have a knack for organizing, writing, or programming, you can take advantage of those skills by applying as a part-time virtual assistant, content writer, or web developer. You can find many project-based gigs online and help other businesses with their tasks as you save up for your own enterprise.
- Renting Out Your Space – You can also earn extra money by renting out your spare room to tourists, employees, or students in your area. This arrangement is particularly valuable if you live in a place that sees many tourists or vacationers or if you live near businesses, offices, or schools. There are online platforms and apps that connect renters to space providers.
- Starting a Blog – Another side gig option is to create a blog and monetize it by putting up ads. To hit two birds with one stone, write articles related to your future business or industry. This way, you can use your website to promote your products and services and establish a following.
Get Venture Capitalist Funding
A venture capitalist is someone who puts in money in exchange for an equity stake in the business. Since there’s a substantial risk involved in investing, venture capitalists usually have stringent requirements and prefer ventures with high growth potential.
Venture capitalists are often more involved in the business, particularly with making decisions regarding the company’s future. This is one of the tradeoffs that you’ll have to make, which may be a challenge if you want full autonomy about running your company. On the other hand, you can be guided on the ins and outs of the industry since these investors can share their knowledge and experience with you.
To attract the right investor, you have to do your research and be transparent when presenting your pitch. Trust is crucial in establishing a relationship with an investor, so you should always keep your figures accurate and realistic.
Find an Angel Investor
If you aren’t too keen on having to share decision-making with venture capitalists, you can opt for working with angel investors, also known as business angels. While some may want to have a say on how to run your business, there are those who provide the funds and leave you to run your company your own way as long as they profit from their investment.
One primary difference between angel investors and venture capitalists is that the former use their own funds to provide financial support to small businesses. The latter, on the other hand, can be individuals or firms that pool money from investment companies, corporations, and even pension.
From a business owner’s perspective, one significant advantage of turning to angel investors for capital is that they’re less risky than loans or business credit. Unlike debt financing, if your venture fails, you aren’t obligated to repay the angel investor.
Moreover, most angel investors are aware of the risks involved in an investment. Because of their experience, they may also be more understanding of the ups and downs of business.
These are some of the factors that angel investors consider when deciding whether they will fund your company or not:
- Product – Investors are interested in unique commodities that solve a specific need of particular consumer groups. Aside from explaining the technical aspect of your goods or service, your pitch should also include the issue that your merchandise will be resolving for particular consumers so that potential financiers can see the viability of your pitch.
- Market – The main point of investing is for the investor to profit. With this in mind, you must ensure that your enterprise has the potential for big exits. This means that you should aim for a bigger market since this gives your company a higher chance of success.
- Team – More than simply investing in your product concept, investors are also looking at the team that will execute your plans. Before delivering your pitch, you must have an established core group that can turn your ideas into reality. Your staff must be composed of people who have the knowledge and experience to catapult your business to the top.
Approach Family and Friends
As mentioned, one straightforward method of raising capital for your business is by approaching family and friends. If you have a solid plan and strategy for your venture, they can support you emotionally or financially.
However, asking for money from the people closest to you can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they offer an excellent opportunity to secure financing for your company. Plus, the business-minded ones can be good advisors and assets in your journey as a business owner.
On the other hand, you also have to be realistic and consider the possibility that your venture may fail. Family members who put in money in your venture may hold it against you since those funds could have been their savings or retirement nest egg.
The best way to avoid this type of complication is to clarify whether you’re asking for the money as a gift, as a loan, or in exchange for an equity stake. Put everything in writing to prevent confusion and future conflict.
Talk to the Government
The US government has a branch dedicated to helping small businesses with funding. Look for possible options such as subsidized state and federal financial support on government websites. This can include loans, investments, and even grants.
Raising capital doesn’t need to be an overwhelming undertaking. You can apply for business credit or loans to get funds that can start your company. You can also connect with venture capitalists or angel investors who can fund your enterprise. Other ways to raise money for your venture are by self-funding, by approaching family or friends for a loan, and by consulting with the US Small Business Administration for your funding needs.