How To Get Funding For A New Business Without A Bank Loan.
How To Get Funding For A New Business Without A Bank Loan.
The #1 question new business owners have is “Where / How do I get funding?”
The quick answer would be having good credit & applying for a loan or having money saved and investing in yourself. Since you’re here I'm assuming those aren’t an option or you don’t want to go the traditional way so it’s time to get strategic and creative. Skip to the tea.
First, you need to build the foundation of your business or at the very least plan it. No one is going to invest in something they don’t understand and the best way to help them understand is by giving them a well thought out vision plan with the goals, risks and how you will achieve them. If you’re struggling to get your words on paper use our “Plan My Small Business Workbook” to create your business plan.
Secondly, but still kind of first because it’s included in the business plan is determining what you need funding for and how much. Remember funding your business is more than cash/loans. And you need to narrow it down by asking yourself… “Do I need Seed Money?” or “Do I need Startup Money?”.
Seed Money helps cover the beginning expenses you need to get started like licenses, insurance, prototypes. Start Up Money is the money you raise through investors, banks, lenders to help with operating expenses. Once you’ve determined what you need and how much it’s time to find a source to fill the gap.
Are there any Net 30’s available to cover the cost of supplies/equipment? Example: Office supplies from Quill, Cleaning Supplies from Grainger, Foldable Table & Shipping Supplies from Uline.
Rent Vs. Buy- Can equipment be rented for now and purchased later? Lowe's & Home Depot rent out a lot of tools/machinery.
Barter- Is there any person or business that you can barter services or products with?
Once you’ve exhausted the ways that don’t require access to actual cash funding- it’s time to find a way to get the funding still needed. Now these ways will require work and aren’t overnight but they will help you reach your goal if you’re really determined. But remember the big goal will always be to both fix your personal credit and build your business credibility, cash flow and credit up. That way when it’s time to grow or an emergency pops up you’re in a position to handle it. Until you get there...
Check out these 6 Ways to fund your new business:
1. Check with your local Economic Development or Chamber of Commerce Chapters. This should be one of the first moves to make anyhow because both are great for networking which leads to jobs/sales and/or connections. Last time I checked the City Of Portsmouth alone has grants ranging from 2k-10k. SUPER EASY TO APPLY FOR! If you have a 757 Small Business click the city your business operates out of. If you're not in the Hampton Roads area then google "Your City + Economic Development"
2. Side Hustles fund big dreams. Side hustles will always be my number one answer because they are honestly the way to go and a great way to keep extra cash on hand. Don’t stop the side hustle once you get the funding you need. Keep going so you can keep growing. My cleaning company started off as a side hustle and evolved into a business. It's also how I funded both my Wellness & Business Center and every other business I had. Doordashing is how we stayed afloat during slow times and made some upgrades. We live in a gig economy so there's always something to do to earn money. Identity your skills and monetize them. Check out these 23 Side Hustles to try.
3. Fundraiser- Yeah that sounds...different but you can absolutely host a fundraiser/business shower for yourself. These are successful when you have a good network or have been transparent about your business journey and have built a following of interested partners/supporters. Invite family, friends, strangers to come support the opening of your business. You can make an amazon registry and post it for people to purchase different supplies for your business. Remember to keep it inexpensive because the purpose is to raise money not spend it.
4. Crowdfunding Sites- There are several crowdfunding sites that offer ways to get money for your business but be sure to read the fine print. Some sites allow donations from people who just want to help....while others are looking to invest in exchange for equity or monetary payback. Kiva is one of the platforms that is a little more structured with rules and Angel investors. The big rule: you pay the loan back. This one takes more time to get so it’s something to work on while pursuing another avenue too. Learn more about Kiva , Kickstarter, Indiegogo.
5. Join a Business Incubator/Program: Business Incubators help individuals navigate through the stages of planning and opening a small business by offering education, mentorship and office space. These programs are normally government funded and have money set aside for participants.
6. Grants- There are so many grants available and not as hard to obtain as people make it seem. Of course it takes a little work with applications and essays or presentations depending on the requirement but if you can’t do a little work for some free money do you even have what it takes to be a business owner?
Where to find grants:
Employer- If you work for a corporation they often have funding for small businesses. Look into it but I would hold off on telling your coworkers or supervisors anything. Haters gone hate.
Hopefully 1 of the 6 above ways help get you a little closer to open your business. A tip before I go…Do not spend hours, weeks, months searching for ways to just build business credit and avoid banks. A smart business owner will strengthen every path they may take including having to leverage their personal credit. Use these options to get started but don’t avoid fixing your personal credit for too long. You could be a couple credit points or months away from a 100,000 bank loan.
Last tip: Sign up for NAV ! Nav helps build business credit but can also be connected to your business bank account to help create cash flow reports and match you with loan/credit card lenders. Good Credit, Bad Credit, No credit…you can sign up and start building today!