More than 580 million entrepreneurs worldwide decided to start their own businesses because they were unhappy with their regular jobs. But creating a successful business is one of the hardest things entrepreneurs will ever do. How do you go about funding your startup?
According to some sources, the biggest challenge for new small businesses is a lack of financial resources. If you find yourself in the same boat, don’t give up just yet. As the culture of start-ups thrives, so do opportunities to fund those start-ups.
If you need some money, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll go over ten ways to keep your business afloat. From small business loans to Shark Tank, the beloved business-savvy TV show, we’re here to help you reach your business dreams!
1. Small Business Loans
Most banks and lending institutions offer small business loans. It can be challenging to qualify for such loans, as banks tend to be careful about giving out money to up-and-comers, but if you’re successful, you’ve got yourself a stream of income from a trusted institution!
Get in touch with your local banks to evaluate whether a small business loan is the right fit for you and your business, or reach out to lending institutions. However, if you plan to do the latter, it’s important to stay vigilant, as some places tend to be predatory.
Bootstrapping, the idea of funding your start-up from your own wallet, is the oldest trick in the book. You’d be using your own funds to run your business. This money may come from personal savings, low or no-interest credit cards, or mortgages and lines of credit on your home.
Getting a free credit report card will help you assess where you financially stand. Being aware of this will help you figure out the interest rate you will get on loans, which can give you access to affordable credit.
If you’re concerned about borrowing money from your friends or family or are apprehensive about taking out a business loan from a bank, crowdfunding may be the best choice for you. If you have a community that believes in your vision, you could ask them for help.
If your community isn’t able to afford to help you, invite them to support you through CareBuzz – an innovative donation platform that offers the opportunity to support a project without spending a penny.
4. Trade Services
If your business’s website requires a little bit of help with something like graphic design, and you know a person with such a skillset, why not trade your services? They help you with graphic design, and you use your skills to help them with something in return.
In the world of emerging small businesses, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a community of like-minded people willing to help each other out with little to no cost.
5. Keep Your Day Job
This strategy isn’t innovative or original in any way. But people have been doing it for centuries. Keeping your day job and building your savings account are safe bets to build your small business slowly but surely.
The only real downside of this funding strategy is that it leaves you with only a limited amount of time and energy to work on your start-up, meaning that progress will be slower. However, you won’t have to worry about loans and being dependent on an institution.
6. Local Contests
Before you take a leap of faith in Shark Tank (more on that below), why don’t you try your hand at a local small business-oriented contest? Do some research on grant competitions organized by your local government, business accelerators, or other organizations.
Since these events are locally focused, their criteria aren’t impossible to reach, meaning that you and your start-up idea have much better chances of securing enough funding to achieve your dream.
7. Shark Tank
Shark Tank, the fifteen-season American business reality television series, is the dream of many entrepreneurs and business owners. Entrepreneurs present their ideas in front of a panel of venture capitalists and ask for financial support in return for a percentage of the profits.
The show has high standards for entry, like being a U.S. citizen, having a spotless criminal record, having no association with the TV station that produces the show, and not having any plans to run for a government position a year after your episode would air.
However, if your idea passes through their careful inspection, you can anticipate success in one way or another. Even if the venture capitalists (known as sharks) refuse to invest in your business, there’s a high chance that someone from the show’s viewership will be interested in what you have to offer. This kind of exposure is priceless!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 10% of startups fail within the first year. This means that 90% of startups succeed and go on to become full-fledged successful businesses.
Before you get discouraged, remember that businesses like Grammarly, Spanx, TOMS shoes, YouTube, and Apple were once small businesses, too. So, while the journey may be challenging, it’s worth working for!