Not only businesses need to have funding. Many businesses can start (and grow) with cash flow from business revenue. However, some businesses are better suited for outside funding. In today’s tough market, funding can be challenging to secure. However, it’s not impossible. With research and a willingness to explore various options, you can find the funding you need to start your business. In this blog, we’ll explore several funding options and give you insight into what you can expect from each.
Remember, whatever financial deal you are looking at, always negotiate.
Traditional funding with banks
When most people think of funding their business, they often think of traditional funding through banks. If you have an excellent credit score, steady income, and collateral to offer, this may be the easiest option. However, be aware that banks have become stricter with their lending requirements, making it challenging to secure a loan. In addition, the process can be time-consuming, and you may face high-interest rates.
Funding from new, online lenders
The rise of technology has given way to new, online lending options. These lenders work differently from traditional banks, with a focus on speed and convenience. In most cases, you can receive funds within a few days of approval. However, these loans can come with higher interest rates, and you must proceed with caution regarding the legitimacy of online lenders.
Investor funding can be extremely beneficial, as investors often bring expertise and connections, in addition to funding. However, it can be challenging to attract investors and secure funding, as most investors will only invest in businesses with a proven track record of success. If you do manage to secure funding, you will need to be prepared to give up equity in your business.
Using your credit card
While it’s not recommended to use your credit card to fund your entire business, it can be used to cover small expenses that come up. Some credit cards offer zero-interest introductory periods, but again, proceed with caution. Running up high-interest credit card debt can be dangerous for your personal finances.
Having relationships is important
Networking and building relationships in your industry can make a difference in securing funding for your business. If you have connections that believe in your business idea and its potential, they may be in a position to provide funding. Word-of-mouth referrals can also be valuable in connecting you with lending opportunities.
Show a track record of making money
Regardless of where you seek funding, one thing that will remain constant is the importance of having a track record of making money. This often means having a history of revenue and profitability. You must remember that when seeking funding, you are essentially asking someone to take a chance on you, and having a solid financial history can increase your chances of securing funding.
Finally, don’t forget the option of bootstrapping your business. Bootstrapping means that you fund your business using your own personal resources, which could be savings, credit cards, lines of credit, or personal loans. While this approach requires significant sacrifice and an appetite for risk, it’s an option that can help you maintain more control over your business.
Alternative Non-Bank Lenders
- Lendio: An online service that connects small businesses with over 75 different lenders to find the best loan options. They offer a variety of loan types, including business lines of credit, merchant cash advances, commercial mortgages, and more.
- Kabbage: Acquired by American Express in 2020, Kabbage provides small businesses with lines of credit. They have a fast, automated application process that allows businesses to access funds quickly.
- QuickBooks Capital: An extension of the QuickBooks accounting software, QuickBooks Capital offers business loans to its customers. They use the financial data within QuickBooks to assess a business’s creditworthiness, which can make it easier for some businesses to get approved.
- OnDeck: Offers short-term loans and lines of credit for small businesses.
- BlueVine: Provides lines of credit and invoice factoring for businesses.
- Fundbox: Offers business lines of credit.
- Fundera: An online marketplace that connects small businesses with a variety of lenders.
- Funding Circle: A peer-to-peer lending platform for small businesses.
- Credibly: Provides various types of business loans, including working capital loans and business expansion loans.
- StreetShares: Offers term loans, lines of credit, and contract financing for small businesses, with a focus on veteran-owned businesses.
- LendingClub: A peer-to-peer lending platform that offers business loans and lines of credit.
- Accion: A nonprofit lender offering microloans for startups and established businesses.
- SmartBiz: Specializes in issuing SBA loans, which are backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- National Funding: Provides a variety of loan options, including equipment financing and working capital loans.
- PayPal Working Capital: Offers loans to businesses that process payments through PayPal.
- Square Capital: Provides loans to businesses that use Square’s payment processing
In conclusion, funding your business in a tough market can be challenging, but not impossible. By exploring all available options and being honest about your financial situation, you can find a solution that works. Whether through traditional banks, online lenders, investors, credit cards, networking, track records, or bootstrapping, you can get the funding you need to start your business. Remember that seeking funding is a process that requires persistence and patience, but with the right mindset, you can succeed.
Ramon is an in-demand small business expert, who has started 5 companies and sold 3 companies. He’s the publisher of ZoneofGenius.com and BWCDaly.com. Ramon is a motivational keynote speaker and event host. Check out his latest book, “Celebrity CEO”, all about personal branding for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Get help from Ramon for your business at CelebrityCEO.com/coaching . Learn more about Ramon at RamonRay.com