We can guide you through the fundraising process and supply you with the marketing support that you need to sell your idea.
Raising money to get an idea off the ground can be both exhilarating and frustrating. Whether you are a tech startup looking to launch a new app or an entrepreneur seeking to expand your geographic footprint, finding enough funding can seem like an impossible task. There are more options today than ever before. There are popular crowdfunding websites, government-backed business loans, and even television shows like Shark Tank that try to match innovators with investors. If you are looking to raise capital for your business, you need to determine which avenue – or avenues – will be right for you.
Capital Strategies: Raising Money
We’ve compiled a list of seven major ways to fund a new business venture. Every option has different requirements in regards to business experience and eligibility, so make sure that you consult an expert before deciding on the path that is right for you.
- Government-Backed Loans: Through the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Federal government offers loans through Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) and via its 504 and 7(a) loan programs.
- SBICs are private companies that provide long-term loans, equity capital, and even management support to small businesses. The SBA guarantees the loans that SBICs take out to invest in small businesses, increasing the funding that these private companies have to invest.
- The 504 Program, otherwise known as Certified Development Company (CDC) Loans, offers fixed-rate, long-term financing for business improvements. This program is meant to help businesses get to the “next level” with funding for new equipment or office space.
- The 7(a) Loan Program merely backs loans for entrepreneurs and small businesses from traditional lending institutions.
- Private Bank Loans: Bank loans or lines of credit can be extremely helpful if you have been in business for over a year. Ensure that your business plan is polished and up-to-date if you are going to approach a bank for capital, though, because they tend to have very tight lending standards. If your business needs funding before the one-year mark, you may have to settle for a business credit card.
- Angel Investors: Angel investors are affluent business owners or individuals who meet the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) definition of an accredited investor. These investors can give you money in exchange for equity in your business, and can be hands-on or hands-off as partners. Many angel investors like to mentor the entrepreneurs in whom they invest. When angel investors pool their resources, it is called an angel investor group or an angel capital group.
- Venture Capital: If you are looking for a substantial sum of money, you may need to look into a venture capital investment. Venture Capital (VC) can come from a corporate arm – like Google Ventures – or from a VC firm. VC firms give you money in exchange for equity, just like angel investors, but they are always hands-on and will often take an active role in your business. VC companies tend to look at businesses that have rapid growth potential; their goal is to eventually merge your business with another, have it acquired, or have an initial public offering (IPO).
- Non-Dilutive Capital: If you don't wish to give up equity, you need to look for non-dilutive capital – or capital that doesn’t dilute your own stake in the business. The Federal government and many states offer grants that require no payback – depending on whether or not your business can qualify for them. On the private side, there is something called Royalty Financing in which investors offer money in return for a guaranteed percentage of revenue over a period of time. This allows you to pay back the loan with interest without sacrificing equity.
- Crowdfunding: You've probably heard of popular crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but crowdfunding isn't only done online. You can raise money from business partners, vendors, or even customers during a Direct Public Offering (DPO) with no financial underwriting. Regardless of how you obtain the funds, make sure you comply with all SEC regulations. Under Rule 504, there's a good chance that you won't have to file the financing with the SEC if it is under $1M.
- You: Now coined "bootstrapping," you can fund your venture yourself with business revenue and your own personal cash – and credit. Many people pull money out of their retirement funds or ask friends and family for help with this method. Keep in mind, though, that this choice is very risky if the business does not succeed.
If you do decide to pursue outside funding, make sure that you have a professional, impeccable presentation ready to prove your case. And if you need a little help, give Conveyance a call. We can guide you through the fundraising process and supply you with the marketing support that you need to sell your idea. Businesses fail every day due to lack of funding. Don't befall the same fate; contact us today!
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