A well-funded business has a better chance to thrive and become successful. Obtaining finance could be challenging for small businesses, especially in a sluggish economy. Here are 8 ways that can help you fund your business.
1. Good old credit card
About half of America’s small businesses finance the early-stage operations of their company through credit cards. The use of credit cards is a quick solution but also a very expensive option. It can negatively impact your credit rating if payments are not made in time. Though it is an easily accessible credit line you must make sure that payments can be made on time.
2. How about Equity Crowdfunding?
Currently, there is a boom in equity crowdfunding platforms all around the world. Businesses can now obtain funds in exchange for equity via these platforms (e.g. kickstarter.com). This type of funding usually suits new/startup businesses that are looking for support to help their businesses get kick-started. These are investors who are willing to fund an idea in return for a stake in it.
3. Fund your business via invoice financing
Invoice financing is a financial product where a company sells off its outstanding invoices or accounts receivables at a discount to obtain cash upfront. Many new-age companies like InvoiceInterchange provide a flexible, fast invoice financing product with very competitive pricing to savvy SMEs.
4. Obtain a Bank loan
The lack of credit history and collateral may make it difficult in securing a loan through banks. An alternative option that is more feasible for SMEs is to apply for a microloan. Singapore Spring offers microloans to help support SMEs’ day-to-day business operations. Some banks also offer microloans as well namely DBS and UOB.
5. Product pre-sales
Consider whether it is possible to obtain payment upfront with your customer. To do this one must have a very marketable product. The business must have a clearly thought out cash flow forecast, from purchasing inventory, and paying salaries to the point where the product is delivered, as well as a timeline when the product can be delivered to the customer.
Only with a clear understanding of the cash flow requirements and the product delivery timeline will it enable pre-sales funding to become a workable option.
Governments usually give out grants to help support small businesses and help fund your business. Do get on to the local government websites or agencies to explore potential funds that the business is qualified to apply for and can tap into.
7. Through family and friends
The most common method of obtaining funds for a small, early-stage business is often by knocking on the doors of friends and family. An important consideration before embarking on this route is, that when it comes to money and family and friends, it may not end up in a happy scenario. Conduct a proper formal analysis and high-level business plan that clearly explains the business idea. The execution plan is vital. The plan must also emphasize business risks as well as the possibility that the business may fail and they may never see their investment again.
8. Angel investment
If the business idea/model is unique and has a high potential for growth, angel investments might be a way to go. However, before tapping into the angel network, be sure that the business plan is completed with a well-thought-out execution plan. Different angels will invest in various stages of the company development, from ideas to revenue generation.