Most start-up companies have a challenge in financing. some of the best available means of raising capital is through online lending, angel investors who buy shares in the business, venture investors and invoice advances.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs have an idea for their business but lack the capital to actually start it. Brand-new businesses are often turned down for bank loans, and even if your business is established, funds can still be tough to secure. Loans funded by the Small Business Administration are usually more accessible, but they are becoming increasingly competitive.
So what options are left for someone aspiring to be a small business owner? Here are six options beyond bank loans for financing your startup.
Online lenders have become a popular alternative to traditional business loans. These platforms have the advantage of speed, as an application takes only about an hour to complete, and the decision and accompanying funds can be issued within days. Because of the ease and quickness of online lending, economist and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said at the 2015 Lend It conference that he expects online lenders to eventually reach more than 70 percent of small businesses.
Angel investors invest in early-stage or startup companies in exchange for a 20 to 25 percent return on their investment. They have helped to start up many prominent companies, including Google and Costco. Mark DiSalvo, CEO of private equity fund provider Semaphore said, “You are likely to get an investor who has strategic experience, so they can provide tactical benefit to the company they are investing in.”
Venture capital is money that is given to help build new startups that are considered to have both high-growth and high-risk potential. Fast-growth companies with an exit strategy already in place can gain up to tens of millions of dollars that can be used to invest, network and grow their company frequently.
Brian Haughey, assistant professor of finance and director of the investment center at Marist College, said that because venture capitalists focus on specific industries, they can generally offer advice to entrepreneurs on whether the product will be successful or what they need to do to bring it to market. However, venture capitalists have a short leash when it comes to company loyalty and often look to recover their investment within a three- to five-year time window, he said.
Through this process, a service provider will front you the money on invoices that have been billed out, which you then pay back once the customer has settled the bill. This way, the business can grow by providing the funds necessary to keep it going while waiting for customers to pay for outstanding invoices.
Eyal Shinar, CEO of small business cash flow management company Fundbox, says these advances allow companies to close the pay gap between billed work and payments to suppliers and contractors.
“By closing the pay gap, companies can accept new projects more quickly,” Shinar told Business News Daily. “Our goal is to help business owners grow their businesses and hire new workers by ensuring steady cash flow.”
Most banks finance businesses that are already operational.This helps to reduce risk due to the possibility of start-up companies failing to sustain themselves.
Money makes your business go, and usually banks make loans only to businesses with operating histories. In this session we will give you some alternatives, strategies, and things to think about in your search for financial help. You will learn how to locate, negotiate for, and maintain sources of money to help you start and expand your business.
First Things First
Money makes your business go. But don’t try going to a bank to get it when you’ve just started in business. Banks normally make loans only to businesses with operating histories. This section will give you some alternatives, some strategies and some things to think about as you go about finding the money to make your business work.
your credit reports.
How Much Money Do You Need?
Or, how much can you reasonably expect to get? Refer back to your business plan. If it still doesn’t answer the question, let’s go step-by-step. In Session 11, Accounting and Cash Flow, you will learn how to predict future cash needs by using a cash flow control form.
The cash flow control form will spell out all of your sources of income and expenses. For example, some expense items might include:
- Buying supplies and inventory while waiting to get paid
- Paying payroll and rent
- Buying equipment and fixtures
- Getting a computer
- Buying the business
Prioritize those areas where your options are limited to paying in cash, and review your alternatives where there may be another way. For example, it is not necessary to pay all cash for a delivery truck when you can rent or lease one. Next, review what might serve as collateral for your loans.