Funding your business: Wisdom from experts
Most entrepreneurs are worried about getting funding for their startups. Every business requires funding. Startups struggle with startup costs, while established businesses require fund expansion and working capital.
There are loads of options for financing a business, each with its advantages and downsides.
Taking a loan is a standard financing option among entrepreneurs, but your financing options will differ based on the type of business you run; age, position, performance, market potential, team, and other elements comes into play. As a result, you’ll need to personalize your funding search and strategy. If you’re finding it difficult figuring out how to fund your business, it can be helpful to hear from other entrepreneurs who have been through the process.
In this article, we will be sharing insights from expert entrepreneurs on how they chose their business funding strategy:
Bootstrapping, known as self-funding, is an excellent means to get money for a startup, especially if you’re just getting started. Without any progress and a plan for possible success, first-time entrepreneurs have difficulty securing capital. However, you can invest your money or take the help of relatives and friends. This is relatively easy due to more minor procedures and regulatory standards and lower raising costs.
According to a famous entrepreneur, bootstrapping should be considered a first financing choice. You are intricately bound to your business when you have your own money. Investors will consider this a beneficial aspect whenever they want to invest at a later period. However, this is only feasible if it’s a small-scale business. Some businesses require huge funds, and bootstrapping may not be the best solution.
Crowdfunding as a Funding Option
Crowdfunding is another method of funding a startup that has recently gained much attention. It’s similar to simultaneously getting a loan, pre-order, contribution, or investment from multiple people.
This is how crowdfunding works: An entrepreneur will use a crowdfunding platform to post a detailed overview of his business concept. People can read about the business and donate money if they like it. He will state the goals of the business, strategies for turning a profit, how much funding he needs, and for what purpose. Anyone can donate money to a cause they believe in.
The best thing about crowdfunding is that it can also create awareness, which aids in product marketing and fundraising. By getting money from the hands of ordinary people, this method can eliminate professional investors and brokers. In addition, if a company conducts a very successful campaign, it may also attract venture capital investment in the future.
Furthermore, consider that crowdfunding is a competitive way to raise funds. Therefore, you may not find crowdfunding a feasible alternative if your business is excellent and can attract people with only a description and a few photographs on the internet.
Angel investors are individuals with lots of money that have a strong desire to invest in new businesses. They collaborate in groups of networks to screen proposals before investing. In addition to funding, they also provide mentoring and guidance. This type of investment is most common in a company’s early phases of development, with the angel investors expecting up to 30% equity.
“They will not only provide the funds, but they usually guide and mentor you along the process,” said Wilbert Wynberg, an expert entrepreneur. These experienced businessmen can help you save a lot of money in the long term.”
Of course, the next question is where to look for “angels” who might be interested in investing in your business. First, you can contact the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Then, you can also post your business plan on platforms that connect angel investors. The following are the two most reputable websites in this sector:
Gust Angel Network
These are shark-invested areas. Be wary of anyone or any company that claims to be able to find you startup funding.
This is where the large wagers are made. Venture capitals are large corporate organizations that invest in high-potential businesses. They often invest in a company with their money and depart when they go public. VCs provide knowledge and guidance and serve as a bellwether for where the business is headed, determining its long-term profitability and sustainability. A venture capital investment may be suitable for enterprises that have moved past the startup stage and are already lucrative.
However, there are a few limitations to using Venture Capitalists as a funding source. First, VCs have a short leash and frequently want to recoup their investment within three to five years. If your product takes time to reach the market, venture capitalists may be less interested in financing your business. They often opt for larger, more stable prospects and organizations with a strong staff and significant growth. Moreover, you must also be flexible with your business and occasionally give up some power, so this may not be ideal if you aren’t interested in a lot of mentorship or compromise.
The Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loans to small businesses, including startups. The SBA does not issue loans directly; instead, it guarantees them so that commercial banks can offer them properly. Local banks are usually the ones who apply for them and manage them. Therefore, you will most likely work with a local bank when applying for an SBA loan.
You’ll almost certainly require different funding options if you want to expand rapidly. You may be unable to take advantage of market opportunities if you bootstrap and remain without external funding. While the abundance of funding opportunities may make getting started simpler than ever, innovative business entrepreneurs should always consider how much financial support they need.