6 Sources of Fast Funding to Help You Market and Grow Your Business
Every small business needs adequate capital to grow. Whether you’re looking to expand into new markets or locations, increase your brand awareness, or launch a new product, having access to fast funding can make all the difference.
The issue is, securing investment can sometimes be a tricky process, even if you have a very compelling idea. We live in highly unpredictable times, and lending conditions at traditional banks are only getting tighter by the year.
But the good news is, there are several different sources of funding available for startups and companies. Even if you’ve tried one and failed to secure it, go ahead and explore other sources that might be a better match for you.
Best Funding Sources to Help You Achieve Your Business Goals
There are quite a few funding sources at your disposal, but, of course, not all of them are going to be right for your company. Assuming you don’t have personal savings to fund your business, here are some of the options you may want to explore.
Small Business Loans
Small business loans are still one of the most popular and reliable choices for funding. This is because many financial institutions, including big banks and credit unions, offer loans with varying terms and interest rates, which can then be used for a variety of purposes – from expansion to marketing.
However, these loans are typically to be repaid with interest. Plus, the application process requires extensive documentation and can be time-consuming. And, as we mentioned, approval is not guaranteed as lending options are getting tighter and tighter, especially for businesses with limited credit history. On the plus side, fixed repayment schedules are predictable so they allow for accurate and precise budgeting.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Indiegogo are great choices if you’re unable to get a bank loan. By showing off your products or ideas to a global audience on these and other platforms, you can raise funds for your business by soliciting contributions from other individuals. Crowdfunding campaigns can also allow you to generate buzz around your brand while raising funds, and can even be a solid way to build a community of supporters around your brand before you even launch your product.
However, running a successful crowdfunding campaign requires careful planning, persuasive storytelling, and effective promotion to attract backers and achieve your funding goals. Needless to say, success is also not guaranteed, and many campaigns end up failing to meet their funding goals even with very compelling product ideas.
If you think connecting with individual investors might be the right option for your company, give peer-to-peer lending platforms like LendingClub and Prosper a try. They usually have quick approval processes and competitive interest rates, so the whole thing is quick and efficient. This is a good option for entrepreneurs who do not qualify for traditional loans as well as those who, for whatever reason, want to avoid the strict requirements of banks.
The downside is that these platforms usually charge higher rates compared to traditional banks (but not always, so it’s worth checking). Also, terms and conditions may vary, sometimes significantly, among different lenders, so you’d need to double-, even triple-check everything.
Business Credit Cards
If you need a source of fast funding for not-too-big projects like marketing or some growth initiatives, business credit cards might be the right choice. With these, you can access a revolving line of credit to cover expenses like online advertising and different digital marketing campaigns.
For projects like these, virtual credit cards are a good option as they’re convenient and yet very secure – no need to share your physical card details for online purchases. The best virtual credit card will have not only good security measures but also customizable spending limits tailored to your business needs and attractive payment options.
It’s important to note here that business cards require careful and responsible handling. Overspending can lead to high levels of debt and interest payments, and if you want to grow your business, this is the last thing you want.
Now, if you need a large sum of money and you’re willing to relinquish a certain degree of control over your business, seek funding from venture capitalists. These investing firms provide capital to startups and early-stage companies in exchange for equity ownership, and so, unlike traditional loans, they don’t require repayment with interest. However, what they do expect is a healthy return on their investment, so they usually go for high-growth, tech-driven businesses.
When seeking this source of funding, be sure to look for venture capitalists with good reputations and preferably those with lots of experience in your industry. This way, in addition to capital, you’ll get valuable expertise and guidance as well as industry connections.
On the other hand, make sure you’re okay with giving up some ownership or equity in your business – these investors often influence various decisions and business operations due to the fact they’ve invested a large sum of money in your company.
Angel investors are similar to venture capitalists in that they usually invest money into a business in exchange for equity ownership. The difference is that they invest their own personal capital, unlike venture capitalist firms, which invest other people’s money.
Angel investors offer flexible financing options and many are usually willing to take bigger risks and provide funding without requiring collateral or stringent repayment terms. They, too, bring expertise and industry knowledge to the table, as well as highly valuable networks of contacts.
However, unlike venture capitalists, angel investors are usually unable to invest large sums of money into a business, so if you’re seeking this source of funding, it’s likely you’ll have to secure it from multiple angel investors. Because of this, conflicts may arise between you (and other possible founders) and investors regarding strategic decisions. Of course, this is only a possibility and may be avoided with open and regular communication.
A UK-based digital copywriter, Matt is a skilled and passionate scribe with a keen interest in an array of subjects; his varied written work can range from deliberations on advances in the tech industry to recommendations about the top wildlife-spotting destinations.
When he doesn’t have his fingers attached to a keyboard, you’ll likely find him hunting down obscure soul records, professing (inaccurately) to be an expert on craft beer, or binge-watching documentaries about sharks.
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