Written by Tejas Ajmeri

Edited by Ranelli Williams, CPA, MBA

For most aspiring business owners, the most troubling step in building their business is acquiring enough finances to start it. Whether it may be for a lack of capital, or too low of a credit score to receive a loan, many factors can lead to a person not having enough funds to begin their business venture. Thankfully, there are many different options/approaches that you can take to reach that financial goal in order to proceed with the next steps in starting a business.

Below are some of the many options that anyone can consider when financing a new business venture:

Personal Assets:

Although it may take the most amount of time to accumulate enough funding, using your personal assets to finance a new business venture means that you have total control of your business, without having to give up any equity or control of your business. There are a number of personal assets that you may have accumulated throughout your life, and if you see real potential in a business venture without wanting to take out a loan, or borrow from a friend, then using your assets is the best option for you.

It may seem risky, but many aspiring business owners tap into their personal savings and retirement accounts to get the funding they need. Not only does this keep any potential burdens of outside factors away, but it also shows to other investors and firms that you are committed to properly running your business. You can also sell stocks, real estate, or even use a credit card to purchase items needed to start. As explained, there are several personal assets that you can look towards, to bring you one step closer to starting your business venture.

Pitching the idea to friends and family:

Oftentimes, aspiring business owners are faced with a bad hand in not having enough assets to fund their own business, or a good enough credit score to get a loan from the bank. Thankfully, going to the people who know you best can result in gaining funding for your business venture. There is a common myth that mixing family/friends and business is a bad idea, but it is actually one of the most convenient options on this list. The reason being is that most business owners who receive funding from their close ones, often times don’t have to deal with interest rates, or non-flexible repayment schedules, which will relieve stress and debt from the borrower’s mind.

It is however, very important to present an established business plan and strategy to repay them in order to settle any doubts from those you are borrowing. Just because you are extremely close to a friend or relative, it does not mean that they will automatically agree to help you. Therefore, presenting a set plan is a sure-fire way to make those you intend to borrow from more optimistic about your business venture. By doing this, you can also eliminate the possibility of having a misunderstanding, or confrontation about the progress of your business.

Angel Investors:

Angel Investors can affect the growth of your business venture in a few ways. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who seek investment opportunities within an industry that they are familiar. Being that they are extremely familiar with the industry that they have worked in, and have built up a large network within it, they are able to offer guidance, and potential partners or clients on top of financial assistance.

Thankfully, it is easier to find Angel Investors than it was before, due to websites like Investors’ Circle, and AngelList that allows aspiring business owners and investors to connect. It is not easy however, to get an angel investor to invest into your business. There are several other options and ideas that get thrown at angel investors each month, so in order to gain one as investor to your business, you must provide the framework to prove that your business will be successful, if given the proper funding.

Bank Loans:

The most common approach to getting funding for your business venture is asking the bank for a loan. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to obtain a loan from the bank, and furthermore, if you do receive one, there can be a lot of financial pressure put on the borrower.

To be considered for a loan, you must have a good credit history, or be able to put valuable assets up for collateral. You can have a bad credit history, and still be able to receive a loan in some instances. However, the worse your credit score is, the more likely your interest rate will be higher. In addition, with higher interest rates, it can cause the borrower to default on a loan, or feel too much pressure repaying the due amount to the bank.

There are other ways to boost your chances of getting a loan as well, such as getting a cosigner with good credit who will be responsible for the debt in case you default, or even by applying to the Small Business Administration Program (SBA) for assistance on receiving a loan for your business.

Crowdfunding:

The internet has moved business operations to another level when considering marketing, distribution, and even financing. Websites like Kickstarter and peerbackers are revolutionary approaches to how an aspiring business owner can gain the proper amount of finances to start their business venture. It is in fact, one of the simplest and potentially easiest ways to gain funding!

In order to receive crowdfunding, you must establish a campaign on sites like Kickstarter to evoke what exactly you need funding for. On these crowdfunding sites, you can set the amount that you need, when you need it by, and can offer a service or product to those who donated to your campaign. It is however important that you build a strong one, as artists, other entrepreneurs, and seemingly anyone on the internet can also establish a campaign. Therefore, when establishing one, you must provide a good pitch to those who could potentially donate to your campaign.

Grants:

Although the process is long, a cost-efficient means of financing a business venture is by applying for grants. If you’re business does not contribute to any social needs such as medicine or education, then you must apply for grants through private groups, being that government grants are only given for important causes.

Nonprofit organizations and state agencies are known for giving people grants for their businesses. However, it is not an easy task to receive one, being that there are only a few grants available, and that they are generally geared towards very specific industries. If there are any opportunities to apply for a grant, then do so, as it is literally free money being given to you without ever needing to pay it back. However, do not get your hopes up when applying for one.

Consider every option and beyond:

Accumulating enough finances to start your business can be a timely and stressful task. There are many pros and cons to every option that is presented to us when considering which options would work best for us. That is why it is important to weigh every option and decide which ones will work best for you! Whether you are using your personal assets, using crowdfunding sites, or pitching the idea to your friends, there is at least one option that you can look towards in order to get closer to your goal. Even if some of your attempts do not work out in your favor, do not give up; consider some of the other options!
Whichever option you choose, having a solid financial plan in place is crucial.

Contact Ranelli at 570-269-5324 or info@erjservices.com for questions, or to schedule an appointment to get your financial plan done.