Every startup needs capital, but not every entrepreneur has access to venture capitalists or investors. Fortunately, there are alternative ways to fund a new business with resources and financial avenues that are available to just about everyone.
Here are six startup financing ideas and options you might not have considered:
1. Your Own Credit Cards
If you have a high-limit credit card or two, this could be all you need to start a small business. Consider calling your credit card companies to ask for lower interest rates and higher credit limits if you require it. Keep an eye out for 0% or low interest credit card offers to sign up for, and your self-funded loan could be very low-cost.
2. Benevolent Relatives
No matter how old you are, Mom, Dad and other family members are still in your corner. If you need a loan, why not seek help from those who love you and want you to succeed? It doesn’t hurt to ask. Swallow your pride and present your business idea along with ideal loan payback terms. They may just surprise you with their enthusiasm and willingness to help make your dreams come true.
Numerous nonprofits and private companies offer small loans (microloans) as an alternative to bank financing to help promote entrepreneurship. Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) loans and Patriot Express are just a couple of examples. Look beyond the traditional bank loan and see what’s possible.
Crowdfunding is another viable way to raise startup funds for your fledgling venture. There are numerous crowdfunding interfaces to choose from with different parameters and terms, so you’re likely to find one that will fit your needs perfectly. Kickstarter, Indiegogo and CircleUp are three of the top crowdfunding sites around right now, but there are many more to choose from. The JOBS Act now allows for making small equity investments as well.
5. Peer-to-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer lending is another example of non-traditional startup financing. Although it’s been around for many years, you can now find these kinds of lenders and organizations more easily online. There are groups geared toward just about every sector. Connect with like-minded people and get the startup funds you need to make your business dreams a reality.
6. Vendor Financing
Another creative way to finance a new business is by approaching key vendors. Ask them to defer payment until you start making sales and bringing in revenue. Just being allowed to pay in 60 or 90 days versus just 30 can make all the difference. Whether it’s for materials to create your product or finished products that you will be reselling, the extra time to pay can function as a loan that helps get your business off the ground.
As you can see, traditional financing avenues aren’t the only way to get a business off the ground. There are many creative, innovative ways to fund a new business, and they could be as close as a few clicks on the Internet. Consider these six options when financing your next entrepreneurial project.
“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer