From the California Business Journal Tech Newswires.
Are you getting ready to start up a new business? It’s an exciting time and you’re bound to have a lot of questions. Of course, one of the areas where you’re likely to have many queries is in the finances department. Because without the funds to get you off the ground, your startup will never have a chance to take off. So here are ten things to consider when looking at how to fund your startup business.
1. Question Whether You Really Need the Money
This may seem a ridiculous place to start. But if you stop and think about it, you may not need as much funding as you think.
Today’s digital landscape allows for many situations that weren’t available even ten years ago. You may be able to ditch a brick and mortar location and sell your services or products completely online.
Even if you do require an office and a staff, you may not need to establish those right out of the gate. You could work from home and hire independent contractors to begin.
2. Consider When You Want to Open
If you’re just champing at the bit to get your business up and running, ask yourself if the timing is right.
Are you working a full-time job right now that could be the key to funding your startup? It may be that you just need to wait it out a bit longer while saving the funds from your current job.
Or consider taking a second job and commit that income solely to your business startup venture. Yeah, all of this takes longer. But at the end of the day, funding your business yourself gives you more breathing room at the beginning.
You won’t be as stressed about reaching your monthly income targets in order to pay off your loans. And with a full-time job, you’ll still be able to pay your current bills while working to startup your business.
3. Request a Small-Business Grant
Of course, if you’re hungry to get going on that startup yesterday but don’t have the funds, you may want to look at small-business grants.
These government funds are available to support new technologies and important causes, such as social needs, education, and medicine. The internet has a searchable directory of more than 1,000 federal grant programs.
Give yourself some time though. Requesting a small business grant is a long process. But it won’t cost you any equity.
4. Join a Startup Incubator or Accelerator
These organizations which are often connected to universities, large companies, and community development organizations are a popular way to access free resources for startups.
In addition to these resources, a startup incubator or accelerator may also provide office facilities, consulting, and even seed funding to startups. So this is a great launching board.
5. Expand Your Network
It seems like everything in the business world eventually comes down to networking. And if you’re looking for funding for your startup, it helps tremendously to have a professional network already at your disposal.
So stay in touch with past co-workers and supervisors. Attend local meetup events and conferences. Do whatever is necessary to meet new people in your network that could eventually introduce you to a loan manager or, even better, an investor. And take the time to get to know the whole person – not just what they can offer you.
6. Ask Friends and Family for Help
You may be reticent to do this. Borrowing money from family and friends can be dicey.
Yet if you’re hoping to net a few investors for your startup, being able to show them that friends and family are on board is going to give you some serious leverage and credibility.
After all, if your friends and family don’t believe in you, who will?
7. Find Venture Investors
As we just mentioned, once you have friends and family onboard, you can seek venture investors. The terms of an investment relationship vary widely though – so be sure you know everything going in.
Finding the right investor takes some work though. A good place to begin is by looking for investment groups in your local area. Or check out venture or seed capital investors that invest in your industry.
8. Trade and Barter
Do you have a special skill or commodity that you could trade or barter?
For instance, if you’re tech-savvy, maybe you can negotiate free office space by providing IT support to other office tenants. Or if you have some mad accounting skills, perhaps you could exchange equity for accounting support.
It never hurts to explore this option. And you’ll just keep growing your network while you’re at it.
9. Pull Money from Your Current Profits
Maybe your startup is less of a startup and more of an extension of an already burgeoning business.
Finding money for growing this startup’s startup, as it were, could be done through what’s known as bootstrapping.
Start by reevaluating your salary and expenses to see if there’s any wiggle room to pull profits from the business so that you can allocate it toward something that will improve it in the long-run.
10. Seek a Bank or Online Loan
In general, a bank loan is going to be proffered only to those with great credit and existing assets that the loan applicant is willing to put up for collateral. This might include your car, your home, or whatever else you can leverage in an attempt to get their help.
Traditional banks are just very picky when it comes to lending money.
On the other hand, you could apply for a loan from an online lending company. Online loans are a great alternative to traditional payday loans. And they will never make you put up anything for collateral. So consider this fantastic option.
Now You Know How to Fund Your Startup Business
When it comes to knowing how to fund your startup business, the above ten tips are a great place to start.
But don’t be surprised if you explore some of those and begin to come across additional ways to find capital. You won’t be the first.
And for more inspirational articles about running your own company, keep checking back with our business blog.