No matter the stage you are at with your business, you might be heading for success and growth. However, for you to achieve your goals and beat the competition ahead, you need to have funds to ensure that your business meets its needs.
Despite how good you might be at running a business, your cash flow might stunt, make, or break the success of your business. This makes funding your small business important when it comes to ensuring that its finances are healthy.
It can help you achieve the goals of your business. However, it is not easy for all small business owners to achieve success with their businesses. Running a business does not just revolve around funding the business.
That notwithstanding, here are a few options for funding your business at whatever stage to help it thrive;
Business grants are one of the ways through which small business owners can get free money to fund their businesses. This is money that does not have to be paid back. Unfortunately, getting business grants is not easy due to high demand.
You can, however, apply for one anytime throughout the year when the opportunity arises. All you have to do is to check grant programs at CFDA (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance). These grant programs are offered by the government.
Checking through these programs, you will easily find out what is required for your business to be eligible. You can also talk to SBDC (Small Business Development Center) or SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) for connections for business grants.
Sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where you do not have enough working capital. This does not necessarily mean that you should get a loan. Instead, you can use business credit cards to cover things like purchases, monthly bills, and operational costs.
Credit cards provide small business owners with short-term funding, depending on their set monthly limit. This funding, however, has to be paid, whether partially or in full, within the month. Paying the full amount is always good and helps in raising the credit score of your business.
Different financial institutions provide both business and personal credit cards. They all come with different limits and requirements for eligibility. When choosing a credit card provider, make sure that the one you choose meets the requirements of your business.
Crowdfunding platforms provide funds for entrepreneurs who have a business idea but would not like to spend a lot of time going through loan application processes. It allows entrepreneurs to get funds from the public using sites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe.
These funds can be used to cover business start-up costs or costs of launching a service or a product. However, small business owners need to understand that contributors fund small businesses in exchange for something such as a product or access to a software application.
Contributors might even ask for some equity in your company. The higher the amount of money an individual contributes, the better the reward that they get. You, however, have the option of choosing not to reward anything to those who contribute.
Small business owners can fund their businesses through lines of credit. Lines of credit are better than credit cards in that they have lower APRs (Annual Percentage Rates). In addition, they have higher limits compared to credit cards.
Unfortunately, they only last for a couple of years, unlike credit cards which can last for as long as you want. This means that lines of credit are best suited for small business owners with short-term funding requirements.
There are different funding opportunities offered by the federal government specifically for small businesses. Among these, small business owners should look at those coming from CDLF (Community Development Loan Funds) and SBA (Small Business Administration).
SBA loans can be accessed from lending partners such as credit unions and banks. Small business owners can use these loans to increase their working capital and finance the purchase of working equipment.
CDLF loans, on the other hand, are designed for small business owners coming from low-income communities. They are offered through select lenders including banks and non-profit organizations. The lenders are funded by grants or the US government.
As you can see above, there are different options for small business owners to fund their businesses no matter the stage they are at. It is, however, important for them (business owners) to ensure that they are choosing a funding option that meets their requirements as well as those of their businesses.