STEP 6: Funding
This could be a very important step for businesses that require capital to startup and funding to keep overheads and inventories on track. Finding funding is not difficult. But getting the right funding is crucial. Of course there is a saying that goes, “beggars can’t be choosers”! Nonetheless, startup owners must be smart when seeking funding or it could turn their dream business into a nightmare.
I would normally identify my short term and long term business goals and the kind of business I am planning to launch. Once I finalize my directions, I would then identify which form of financing is right for me.
As money comes in many forms, let me tackle the available options to fund any kind of business:
* Debt Financing
* Friends and Family
* Venture Capitalists
First of all, I believe startup owners should look no further to find the funding they need i.e. savings, emergency accounts, credit cards, equity pulled from their home, extra cash from downgrading their car, etc. The upsides are owners get to maintain full control over their businesses, no equity holders to pay off if they made it big and there is no responsibility to report to anyone.Nonetheless, if the business fails, they will face a lot of personal debts, high interest to pay off that could burden their monthly expenses and it limits the growth of their business (especially when they need more outlets or inventories for strategic growth).
It refers to traditional bank loans. The lending process is inherently a tough one, but it’s also a system that has been the catalyst of success for many small-and-medium-scale business startups. The advantage of debt financing is owners don’t have to give up part of their business equity or control. Besides, they have instant access of capital when they need most throughout their business operation.
The core disadvantage – not many “new kids on the block” will qualify for bank loans because it typically goes for business with 2-5 years of history. Moreover, personal collateral is usually required to obtain any bank loan and if they failed to pay the loan they may end up filing for bankruptcy.
Grant is a very subjective form of funding because its source usually comes from government. Different governments at different times would launch different funding programs, but they all share one commonality; it is free money program designed to fuel the innovative fires of small businesses, and typically target specific groups or types of businesses. Of course the greatest advantage of getting a grant is owners need not payback even if the business failed.Then again, the competition is stiff for grants as there is a high level of rigid red tape to be complied with and the usage of the grant (after being approved) are usually well defined.
Friends and Family
Just like it describes, a simple and direct way to raise capital in exchange for equity or as a loan to be repaid. The good side of borrowing from friends and family is, it’s less hassle, quicker and has less contractual obligations. The bad sides are the fund size is limited and the consequence of losing their money could lead to a sour relationship.
They are made of individuals or organizations with large amounts of capital to invest in your business in expectation for higher returns. Getting investment from venture capitalists is equally as demanding as borrowing from the bank. They are demanding because they only invest in established companies. They usually get involved in the company’s decision making, and they must have an aggressive exit strategy to sell the business. Usually, they prefer a fast growing company i.e. Internet-based company.
Nevertheless, the upsides of venture capitalists’ funding are they can provide owners with powerful networks or contacts and owners need not payback if the business failed because they have big reservoir of money for owners to tap into.
*Note: Unproven teories to not be shown to my readers! If you need any small business startup help, feel free to visit my Website 🙂