As per the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, the primary sources of initial funding for new business owners in the US are family and personal savings, personal credit cards and bank business loans. Every startup or growing business needs access to financing. That said, not all entrepreneurs have the means or resources to self-finance their business or don’t always feel comfortable requesting help from family and friends.
Entrepreneurs, in such cases, should think more creatively when it comes to obtaining funding for their business ventures. Keep in mind that there are many financing options available to you, whether you are seeking the initial capital to kick-start your business or need an additional injection of funds to grow. We will discuss some non-bank financing means that you may want to explore.
If you have a sound and practical business model, crowdfunding is one way to pitch your idea to a wide audience and raise capital. This financing strategy primarily takes place online via various crowdfunding platforms and portals. It provides a vehicle not only to market your business idea to potential investors but also to family, friends, colleagues, and others in your social network, as well as to the general public, in hopes that they will help fund your cause.
This financing option is popular with businesses that have a digital element to their services or products. With crowdfunding, you can use two main approaches to raising money: donation and reward-based models or equity and debt funding.
The first model is unregulated and, thereby, outside the sphere of conventional business and consumer protection laws. Taking loans or selling equity in your company, on the other hand, will bring you under legal and regulatory scrutiny.
These investors can be another source of financing for your business. It is worth looking into if you are a small or medium-sized company owner. If your business has the potential for an attractive return, many angel investors will be interested in providing you with funding.
Angel investors are part- or full-time investors who inject their personal funds into early-stage or new businesses. Mainly, they are hoping for a handsome future return if the business succeeds. Although you may have to give up some share of your company to angel investors, they can also benefit you by bringing contacts and relevant experience that may be difficult to find elsewhere.
Another benefit of angel investors is that your business will not be saddled with loan principal and interest repayments that could cripple your cash flow. AngelList helps connect small businesses and startups with investors.
Peer-to-Peer Lending Networks
Peer-to-peer lending networks are a third option you may want to consider. These networks take the conventional lending institutions out of the picture, and instead allow lending transactions to take place directly between individuals.
Therefore, if you are looking to use this convenient route, you could do so through online companies like Prosper.com or LendingClub.com.
In recent years, international factoring has remained in high demand. Business people and companies are choosing this alternative funding means over conventional bank loans for a variety of reasons.
International trade finance firms that specialize in factoring can solve short-term cash flow issues by purchasing your company’s account receivables in exchange for an advance on the majority of the total invoice value. The factoring firm then collects the full amount from your customer upon invoice maturity. Once the invoice is paid in full, you then receive the remaining balance. You no longer have to wait thirty to ninety days for your customers to pay you.
Factoring services are available for businesses of varying sizes to help with their short-term financing needs.
Tradewind is one of the best international factoring companies that provides tailored cash flow solutions for its global clients. Focused on the mid-market, Tradewind offers financing, credit protection, and collections for the world’s exporters and importers.