5 Ways To Get Funding for Your Startup
If you’re thinking about getting a startup going, you’re in good company. Many of the most successful, innovative businesses of the last 20 years have been startups. Think Airbnb and Uber. Gaining momentum is one of the most challenging tasks before you as an entrepreneur, and building positive cash flow is a big part of it. What are some ways to get funding for your startup? Read on for several.
- Credit Cards
If you want to go this way, you’ll need to use your personal cards first, as your business doesn’t have any credit history yet. It’s a fast way to get capital, but you must manage your debt judiciously. Don’t get into a situation where interest rates swamp you. If you’re a naturally careful and measured purchaser, credit cards might be a good option. If you’re more impulsive, this method carries more risk.
- Family and Friends
Who knows you well, trusts you, and believes in your business? There’s a good chance it’s family and friends. They can be a generous and reliable source of funding. Two options are available: to borrow money or allow them to be investors. Treat these transactions like you would any professional transaction to minimize friction.
- Personal Savings
Startups that use personal savings instead of credit cards or friends and family incur less monetary and personal risk. If you make this choice, you won’t go into debt or give away your business equity. When you use your savings, you’re more likely to be wise and prudent in your choices, taking fewer unnecessary risks.
If your startup is a nonprofit, it qualifies for a government grant, which can inject major capital. Even though there’s a large amount of paperwork required, it’s worth it. There are a few grants available for for-profit startups; check out the Small Business Technology Transfer and Small Business Innovation Research programs for options.
Do you have a loyal, passionate base of supporters? Then you might want to explore the possibility of crowdfunding your startup. You must have both a wide net of fans and a knack for compelling storytelling if you want to try this route. Crowdfunding generates buzz, but a relatively small percentage of startups are successful in kickstarting their business this way.
Acquiring capital for your startup requires a high level of self-awareness, a realistic appraisal of your current resources, and a willingness to do challenging things. Consider these suggestions as you create your business plan.