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If you’ve ever read articles about how people funded their small businesses and found that many had access to either family wealth or generous investors, you might wonder how you could ever hope to find funding without access to either of these. In fact, there are a number of different ways to get money for your small business even if you aren’t necessarily the kind that appeals to venture capitalists and angel investors.
Your Own Cash
You might be tempted to skip over this section because you don’t actually have much of your own cash to spare, but keep reading. You may have more flexibility than you think. One way to get your business up and running is to stay at your day job. This ensures that you’ve got an income even in the early days when your business isn’t making much money. It might mean putting in a lot of hours, and it may not look like your dream of quitting your job right away to go and work for yourself, but it could actually be one of the most stress-free ways to get started. If you make mistakes in the early days, which everyone does, it means you won’t have to worry about the effect on your livelihood.
Crowdfunding can be an excellent model for some entrepreneurs, particularly if you can offer an exclusive product or service to your supporters. To run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you generally need to be social media savvy. This is a way of raising money for your startup that is collaborative with the community so you will need to understand how to engage on this platform to get people excited about contributing.
In addition to or instead of keeping your current job, you could also consider whether you could downsize or get rid of some of your assets entirely. Maybe you could sell your home and move into a smaller rental. Maybe you have assets you haven’t thought about, such as a life insurance policy. If you have a permanent policy instead of a term one, you might be able sell and exchange it for cash that you could put into your business. You can review a guide on what your options might be for selling your policy.
Small Business Loans
One of the disadvantages of a business loan is that you generally have to already be in operation before you can apply for one, so this isn’t necessarily the solution to get up and running. However, if you’ve been surviving on a shoestring for a while and you can show a lender solid numbers, you might qualify for a loan. If you aren’t eligible for a traditional bank loan, another option might be a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
A big advantage of grants over loans is that you don’t have to repay them. There are also grants out there that target entrepreneurs who belong to underrepresented populations, so if you are a veteran, a woman or you live in an economically disadvantaged area, for example, there may be certain grants available to you. These are just a few of the potential categories. It’s worthwhile to do some research and find out what may be available to you.