If you have a great idea for a business, it can be frustrating if you don’t have the funds to jumpstart it. Luckily there are some ways to find the funding you need to help you with your startup.
From selling your stuff to applying for funding, this article will guide you through some of the best ways to raise the money you need to start your own business.
Try bootstrapping first
This means scraping together every single penny that you have. That means withdrawing everything you have in your savings account, the money on your credit cards, the pennies in your piggy bank and cashing in any other accounts like ISA’s and pensions and putting the money into your business.
Simply put, bootstrapping means funding your business with your own money without lending money from anyone or anywhere else. It shouldn’t mean you spend the money you need to live a basic life, but you’ll have to go without luxuries such as nights out and holidays for a while.
Borrowing off friends and family
If you get on well with them, you should definitely think about borrowing from your friends and family. It’s likely to be much more cost effective than getting a loan in the long run, as it’s likely you will have some friends and family who won’t charge you interest.
Make sure that you have your terms and conditions written out and agreed upon before you accept money from anyone. No matter how close you are to a person, things can go sour where money is involved, and relationships can be ruined if you don’t stick to your end of the bargain.
There are loads of platforms you can use now to ask the public to fund your business. This type of fundraising works best when you’re launching a business that’s unique and exciting. There are varying reports of success when it comes to crowdfunding, but the best campaigns are those that offer great rewards for pledging. For example, if you’re trying to open a restaurant you might offer a free two-course meal once you’re open to anyone who pledges more than £10, then you’ll hope that when they visit they’ll love the food and tell everyone they know to visit you, too. Have a look at kickstarter.com for some examples of crowdfunding campaigns. You can also read our article Top Tips For Creating A Great Crowdfunding Campaign.
Sell your stuff
If you only need a few hundred pounds, then this might be your best way of getting money quickly. There are websites now where you can sell CDs, mobile phones, furniture and random household items. There are even places you can take your clothes, and they’ll pay you for them by the kilo.
Obviously, this depends on how much money you need to raise. If you’re looking for thousands of pounds, then you’re unlikely to find this lurking in the loft.
Find an investor
Entrepreneurs love to invest in exciting new ventures. If you can find someone to invest in your business, it could be the answer to your start-up funding problems. Is there anyone you know who might want to invest in your business for a share of the profits? If not then you can look at websites like Angel Investment Network, which links startups with potential investors. There are also hundreds of networking events happening every day across the country. Take yourself along to a few and tell as many people as you can that you’re starting a business and you’re looking for an investor. Investors don’t just come with a stash of cash, they bring a wealth of knowledge and connections that can be more beneficial to your business than the initial cash they inject.
Apply for a business loan
Loans sound scary, don’t they? But there are some great options available out there for people who are looking to start their own businesses. Websites like moneysupermarket.com will let you compare the loan options available to you. You should also have a look at Start-up Loan, as they’re government-backed and offer funding alongside free business support. You can borrow up to £25,000 from them at an interest rate of just 6%.
You’ll need to have a pretty impressive business plan for this type of funding. Venture Capitalists invest in businesses on behalf of their clients (millionaires, usually), but they expect 3-10 times return on their investment. Your ducks will need to be in the straightest row they have ever been in. You’ll have to prove that the chances of your business failing are very slim if you want one of these big business boys to invest in your idea.
Need investors for your start-up? Check out our article on How To Attract Investors To Your Start-Up Here…