You’ve got the idea, the drive, the know-how: how about the capital? Funding is an essential part of any business, as without the seed money you’ll be unable to fire the starting gun on your, er, start-up.
Read on to find out the best ways of obtaining financial backing for your start-up business idea.
1. Pursue a grant
The less monied cousin of a bank loan is a grant. While you shouldn’t expect to be cut a massive check, there are dozens of grants available, offered by national and state governments (as well as private enterprises) in the interests of stimulating the economy and growing the jobs market so it’s worth checking out your options for funding your startup.
Crowdfunding is a favorite of the digital economy, and probably the quickest way of obtaining finance for a new business. You don’t even have to be massively tech-savvy to launch a crowdfunding campaign, but what you do need is a compelling pitch, one which strongly references your start-up’s potential for growth, as well as a knack for interacting with your cash-rich community. If all goes to plan, you’ll have capital you don’t need to pay back, without ceding any operational control.
3. Family and friends
The idea of hitting friends and family for cash doesn’t sit well with some entrepreneurs, but many of the world’s top magnates readily admit to borrowing from their social network early in their careers. As such, you should have no compunction about doing the same. Soliciting short- or long-term loans from friends and family might lead to some domestic squabbles down the road, but you won’t usually have to pay them back with interest added.
4. Seek venture capital
Finding a venture capitalist who shares your vision, or at the very least believes in your ability to turn your idea into a successful, profitable venture, is a good way of raising cash. Of course, you will need a fine-tuned business model, ideally one that’s ready to scale.
5. Ditch the bank in favor of micro-finance
Small-scale entrepreneurs can access capital via microfinance, circumnavigating the bank entirely. This is an especially good option for people with a bad credit score or track record, as micro-finance institutions like Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) are more willing to green-light loans to individuals normally deemed high-risk.