The year is quickly coming to an end and there are probably a few things you’d like to take care of before the new year begins. Maybe it’s fixing or purchasing some equipment. Do you want to hire staff for the holidays or order new products? Maybe you haven’t even started your business yet and you want to get it going.
The good news is you can still get funding before the year comes to a close if you know where to look.
Non-bank (or alternative) lendershave been all the rage for years, spurred by the recession that prodded traditional banks to tighten the purse strings on small businesses. Matchmaking websites such as Fundera and Biz2Credit have succeeded in helping small businesses connect with alternative lenders, whether for startup loans or for equipment financing. (Disclosure: Fundera is a client of my company.) Because alternative lenders have fewer regulations as to who they can lend money, small business owners often have more luck getting financing there than at traditional banks. Take note: Alternative lenders typically charge more interest than banks.
Crowdfunding is trendy and works best for trendy businesses. Start an account on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, get the word out and watch the dollars roll in. Actually, it’s not that easy. You’ll need to market your crowdfunding campaign energetically, and usually must offer some kind of incentive for donors, such as free products or early access to a service. If you don’t get the kind of money you need, you may still benefit from helpful criticism of your business.
Friends and family might be looking for a tax write-off before the end of the year, or you could always ask them to lend you money or invest in your company instead of giving you holiday gifts for the next few years. Whatever the case, make sure you get your agreement in writing. Trustleaf is an online tool that might save you headaches and arguments when borrowing from friends and family.
Retirement may seem a long way off and tapping into your retirement plan may sound like a good way to lend yourself money for your business, but be sure to talk to your retirement plan administrator or financial planner first. You need an expert to help you set up a corporate retirement account so you can invest in your own business.
Angel investors have a history of helping startups, so if you can get one interested in your business, you have a shot at success. Search for investors with an interest and experience in your industry or niche, such as Golden Seeds, which focuses on women-led startups. Most angel investors are location-based and like to invest in local companies.