Many small businesses give up on their dreams because they fear that they will become financially crippled by high priced bank loans and credit card debt. That certainly is a fate that has befallen small business owners in the past, but you don’t have to go that route in order to get the funding that you need. Let’s take a look at a few creative ways to get your business funded without accruing massive amounts of debt.
One of the most popular ways to raise money right now is through crowdfunding. Websites like Kickstarter allow you to pitch your project to the masses, who then support your idea by making donations in various amounts. As a reward for their support, you will generally be required to add incentives at each donation level. For example, if you want to start a restaurant, a smaller donation might result in a free appetizer, while the top end of the scale might provide the person who donated the larger amount a free dinner for four.
Even if you were willing to take a leap of faith and go the bank loan route, there is no guarantee that they will lend it to you. This is where peer-to-peer lending can come into the picture, which basically boils down to a group of private investors pooling their funds to support your business. When one person or financial institution is not fully responsible for the entire amount, the chances of getting the investment that you need increases. Members of these lending networks will lend an amount that they see as useful, but not too risky.
There are a host of other creative ways to raise money, but another one worth talking about is a silent partner agreement. This usually comes in the form of one or more people who are willing to put forward the money for the business without playing an active role. They often expect re-payment of the loan with interest; just like the bank. While some will invest so that they can have a percentage of the profits that you make, there are always plenty of people out there looking to get involved in business without getting too involved in how it is run.
If you’re convinced that your business idea can’t miss and you’ve tried every other route, you can certainly think about putting your money where your mouth is. Money that has been put away in a 401K or some other type of retirement fund can be withdrawn at any time, albeit usually with a nice sized financial penalty. That money can then be used to fund your business. I usually advise against this decision. But, if you do decide to go this route, create a plan to put profits back into your retirement account so that you can protect your future.
Creative Funding Ideas
Getting approved for a small business loan or credit card can bring a sigh of relief to many business owners. That is, until they see the high interest rates that are explained in the terms. It’s a struggle to get a fair rate on capital, but there are many creative ways that you can explore to raise the money that you need. Use these creative funding ideas to get the capital you need for your small business and never give up.