By: Jan Pinnington November 12, 2019
Entrepreneurs know all too well the challenges of ever-changing business needs, and the stress and sting of cash flow inconsistencies.
Whether just starting out with a new business venture, or funding growth to get you to the next level, money is needed to bridge the gap from here to there.
Unfortunately, not all traditional lenders understand the “here” and “there” of your business, or its financial needs, and that’s why it may be important to get creative to find the funding you need to turn your dream of business ownership into reality.
Below are a few funding options that may be considered a little outside-the-box, but usually do not require an intensive financial paperwork and investigation, or untimely or stress inducing credit checks.
- Crowd Funding Platforms – Social crowd funding platforms are the perfect opportunity to find your tribe, inspire your tribe, and get financial support from your tribe. Your tribe consists of the people who see your heart, your passion, and your “why” for doing what you do. Yes, we are all in business to make money. But if there is no “why” behind making money, then we are doing nothing more than wasting everyone’s time. What is your “why”? What is that burning passion that drives you every day? If you can paint a picture of your why and tell your story, you will find followers who will connect and support you.
- Member Discounts – If you have been in business for a while and have customers on an annual recurring billing cycle, consider offering them a chance to prepay for 2 or more years at a reduced annual fee. This will give your customers a chance to lock in at great rate, and also help your company with a quick influx of cash to help pay for current growth. Win/win.
- Friendly Angel Investor – Angel investors can ask for a ton of reports and information, but what about finding a successful and kind-hearted angel investor friend who was willing to help you out? In exchange, he/she would receive a small percentage of your company. And…drum roll please…no credit check!
- Grants – We have worked on several grant applications and although there is no guarantee, and they can take years to come to fruition if at all, our focus continues to be on the research and submission of grant applications designed for “for-profit” businesses in our niche space. Finding grants that best fit your offering is key. As one person recently told me, banks will ask “When can you pay it back?” while grant providers ask, “How can you pay it forward”?
- Family and Friends – I love the power of family and friends. They hear the struggles and they believe in the concept and are often ready and willing to help by getting in the trenches with you. My mindset has always been to pay them back as quickly as possible. Trust has already been built because of years of prior lending experience with them – they know that I will do as I say.
Sometimes it just takes a little creative planning to get the money needed to start or expand.
My suggestion is to think about who you already know, what connections you can make, and how you may be able to put your best foot forward to pursue your dream.