Fortunately, there are many different methods available to you if you do need the money and many of these investment options are things that anyone has access too. So stop dreaming and start doing!
Your Options for Funding a New Business
Bootstrapping is perhaps the safest and most rewarding way to get funding for your business. Essentially this means funding your business yourself by gradually building up to your vision. In other words, you might have aspirations to become a huge publisher and fund this by initially offering your services as a proof reader. When you have enough money from that you can start publishing eBooks, and once that raises enough you can start publishing physical books.
Another DIY way to get funding for your business is to use your own cash. Save up over a period of several months or years, then quit your job and hope for the best!
Being given money to launch a business for free might seem like a pipe dream, but it’s a viable option for more people than you’d think. If you can’t find a government grant (your first port of call), try looking into private grants.
Personal credit means getting a loan on credit – such as a credit card loan. This is quick cash but limited and you risk damaging your credit rating if you can’t meet the repayment schedule.
If you need more money than a credit card can afford you, then you might want to take out a bank loan. Getting the banks to believe in you enough to give you the loan is the hard part, so make sure that you have a good business plan with a well-thought out projection for your profits. You can make this a more inviting option for your bank by securing the loan against your property.
Bonds are debts sold as individual units to a wide range of lenders. The way this works is that you promise to pay back the money at an agreed rate until the bond reaches an agreed ‘expiration’ date.
If no bank will invest in your business, then you may be able to find investment from a wealthy individual or business. There are various forms of investors such as ‘angel investors’ and ‘venture capitalists’ and this will affect the precise terms and conditions. However in most cases you should expect to hand over a percentage of your business and your profits.
The Bank of Mum and Dad:
Returning to the low-risk investment options, you could always consider asking a wealthy relative or friend to back your idea. You can sell this as a real investment opportunity and outline fair terms and conditions, but you know it won’t impact on your credit rating at the end of the day.
There are various TV programs now that offer a chance to get investment in your idea. Sure – these are longshots at best with plenty of hoops to jump through – but if you win you’ll get a lot of exposure for your business idea as well as the funding itself (and possibly invaluable business advice from a big name like Sir Alan Sugar).
Then there’s the option of crowdfunding. There are plenty of sites you can use to try and generate backing for your business idea (as well as getting a lot of free press) from the general public and not a lot to lose – you may as well give it a shot!