Finding the money to start-up is one of the hardest aspects of launching a business. But with an increasing array of options, getting your hands on investment capital is getting easier.
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Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. An entrepreneurial outlook, idea or product that meets a need, and the financial means to execute a plan that leads to success all come into play. The latter is where many find themselves stuck, needing capital to get started, and seemingly without means to raise the desired sum.
The Traditional Way
Loans are the first route that comes to mind—visiting a bank and borrowing with either long or short term in mind is often where the journey to entrepreneurial freedom starts. Payments are made in installments, with fixed interest rates. To get the lowest monthly payments, a sizable down payment is helpful, and collateral is required.
If you are starting a niche business that has an overall appeal to the federal government or certain private bodies, grants are worth looking into as well, but are difficult to obtain and always come with very specific obligations, including strict regulation and often money being returned if the project did not use all funds, or was deemed unsuccessful.
Credit Cards are also common, and many business owners start by obtaining as many credit cards as possible and maxing them out to help them. This works if you are successful in repaying the balance swiftly, but taking this route could make you incur much debt, and often with high interest rates.
Borrowing from friends and family is theoretically ideal from a financial perspective. Interest repayment on a loan can be negotiated, and payment structure isn’t rigid, making it more flexible and less likely to negatively affect credit. Unfortunately, working with those that are close to you can also come with a price, and when things go wrong, this scenario can have the worst consequences of all—alienating meaningful relationships.
Crowdfunding offers an opportunity to raise money from strangers. Websites like Crowdcube fund projects, where entrepreneurs can tap into a new pool of investors. Effort is required to make an engaging campaign though, since campaigns are essentially competing against one another for the interest of the general public. If the goal of the pledge is not attained though, all the money is often lost, so it pays to create a meaningful story.
Another great way to raise money is to consider selling assets that aren’t being used. Large to small assets are viable options for freeing up money, from selling a second home or a used car with few miles to selling your jewellery or luxury watch.
High value items can make an enormous difference, but to be safe it is advisable to sell assets that are not in use, or that are no longer desirable, so there is no emotional regret after the transaction is made. An increasing number of people are selling assets, as a growing trend, to fund their dreams.
Selling personal stock is also an option, and a great one if timing is aligned with the stock’s worth being valuable. No new debt is incurred, which is a big plus. Selling company stock or shares is an idea too, but comes with loss of control regarding the direction of one’s business, as investors usually require involvement on company direction and board representation.
It is a Process
Many of these sources of income require due diligence and legwork on the part of the business owner. It is important to weigh all the options before considering what the best route is for one’s business direction. With attentiveness comes success, and what is gained from embarking on the journey to business ownership is worth the effort.
As Confucius said, “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”