4 Ways to Fund Your Startup
By Samuel Rodriguez, Founder, BizDiversity
No matter where you come from or what your story is, every small business startup needs money and most new business owners aren’t always lucky enough to have one hundred percent of the funds available out of their own pocket. Plus, there are many barriers that exacerbates your standing if you are not from the region.
Additionally, entrepreneurs can be anyone, from being culturally-competent to multi-millionaires who already have big successful business empires. Creativity is key.
Below are four options that you can use to fund your startup and to simultaneously increase your business growth.
- Get a partner – Find someone else who can contribute to your business; strategically from another culture or background. This may be purely a financial contribution, but hopefully you’ll find someone who can provide knowledge or expertise in an area that you don’t already have. Running a business is hard and it’s so much easier if you aren’t doing it alone. Abroad opportunities are not far away perhaps you may see them on the h
- Ask a bank for a loan – This is a harder proposition, in this day and age, when banks are still recovering from the financial crisis of 2008, but it’s still possible. Make sure you have your financial projections and personal finances in order before you go knocking, however. You can download financial projection worksheets for free from Score, which is a non-profit division of the Small Business Administration. Take the necessary time to work on your projections. Although, they’re just projections and not real figures, they need to make sense. Make sure you know the figures backwards and forwards, and that you’re able to answer whatever questions the loan officer throws your way. Keep up with online business profiles and recommendations from your clients. Testimonials play an increasing role and show a different angle about your whereabouts and are beneficial to showing community involvement.
- Apply for a grant – There are many grants and micro-lending organizations for everything from women-owned businesses to minority-owned businesses to family owned businesses, just to name a few of the options out there. What is important to convey is your outreach is inclusive and your business is making a transformation in your local community and in your customers’ lives. Research which grants are available and apply for all the ones you qualify for. Some of them, like the FedEx Grant Contest or the Score Grant Contest allow you to get your friends and family to vote for you via social media, which increases your chance of winning if you already have a large network.
- CrowdFunding – Another thing you can do with a large network is crowd fund. Sites like GoFundMe are becoming increasingly popular, specifically if your startup requires a prototype, patent, or testing. You can promise certain incentives for dollar amounts donated and it will enable you to really get your brand going. This type of funding is for serious business owners whose vision extends to benefit the community, social, local and/or international outreach efforts.
Dream! And Act Upon what is most important because, it all starts with your decision to make a little bit of change in this world.