Alternative funding options for start ups and how to apply

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Date: 12 October 2020

Row of coloured piggy banks to represent different sources of start up funding

Starting a business for the first time can be daunting. It takes a lot of time, effort, and, of course, money to make it work. Money matters, in this case. You need access to sufficient funds to establish your business and you should aim to convert those start up funds into greater capital than you start out with.

Typically, you wouldn't start your business until you have enough savings to begin your business, regardless of its size, but what if you don't? There are several other ways you can fund your business. Below are five options to increase your start up business funding:

Funding from the people around you

It's not always sensible to solicit or borrow money from your family and friends. Mixing business and your personal life can be fraught with problems. But if you know someone who is willing to help you start your business, seize the opportunity. If you borrow money from family or friends, you need to present them with a plan for how the money you borrow money will be spent and when and how it will be repaid.

Another option you could consider is crowdfunding. It is another way of raising money. Individuals and investors all pitch in money until you reach your funding target - a specific amount established at the outset. Your investment opportunity is promoted through the use of the internet and social media. There are several crowdfunding sites you could try, such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe.

Angel investors

Angel investors are people with a high net worth that act as private investors in businesses, mostly start ups. They help fund businesses by investing their own money. In return, they may also ask for joint or a share of the business ownership or convertible debt.

Unless you already know one, you will need to look for an angel investor. It'll help if you look for someone with expertise in your industry. Additionally, this person should be an experienced investor with a good reputation.

Aside from looking for an angel investor, you'll need to convince them that you and your business are a good investment opportunity. Investors want to know that you're worthy of assistance by their funds. You need demonstrate a clear business idea and show that you understand the market you are entering. You also need to explain how much funding you need and for what purpose, the services and products you will be providing, and the estimated amount of profit you expect along with a plan for how your investors will realise their investment.

Credit cards

Credit Cards are another way to help fund your business. These cards issued by banks or other financial institutions to give cardholders access to money as and when required. They also allow people to purchase goods.

While credit card holders can swipe to their heart's content, they're held accountable for how much they spend. They're required to pay back the money they borrowed by a specific date, along with any interest payable. Failure to do so may result in an increased interest rate payable, a drop in credit score and in the most serious cases of failure to pay, debt collection procedures which can result in bankruptcy or insolvency.

Credit cards are convenient, accessible, and safe. If you already have a credit card, you could easily use it, but you should be careful about mixing business and personal spending. If you don't have one, you can apply to your bank. If you want a credit card solely for business purposes, you can acquire a business card. Ask your business bank account provider if your business bank account comes with a credit card or look providers up on a comparison site.

Personal loans

Personal loans are loans where the money is provided to the borrower and paid back through monthly payments with interest. Most personal loans are unsecured loans, which means there is no collateral required. You have control over how you want to spend it.

There are many financial establishments where you can apply for a personal loan. You can apply to your bank for the sake of convenience and a potential incentive. Another way is through credit unions, where you need to be a member first to transact with them. If you want to save time and want to apply for personal loans online, approaching an online lender is your best solution.

Business loans

Business loans are a type of loan granted explicitly to businesses to be used to fund capital, wages, or other business-related expenses. The process of applying for a business loan is similar to that for a personal loan but approval will depend on the company's ability to repay the loan.

When applying for these kinds of loans, you need to prepare an outline of how the loan will be used. Impressions matter to these lenders, and when they are satisfied with your presentation and you've met their requirements, you'll be granted the loan. You can apply for these by going to banks and credit unions.

There are different types of business loan you can apply for, even as a start-up. Examples of these are working capital loans, business term loans, and government-backed start up loans. Working capital loans lend cash for the growth of businesses. These are often short term with lower interest rates. You will need a  good credit score and certain documentation  in order to apply.

Business term loans provide money for a specific period of time. They have fixed interest rates and help the borrower purchase more expensive items, such as equipment, needed in order for the business to grow.

Government-backed start up loans are provided by the government to assist people who want to start a business or have just started one. They also offer mentorship programs to help business owners succeed.

Takeaway

Money is essential to run a business. Having adequate funds is necessary to building yours and making it successful. As long as you have a viable source of funds and a robust business plan, you can strike out on your new business venture confident that you have started out on the right foot for business success.

Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Tiffany Wagner

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