If you are in need of business financing, you can apply for a loan from a bank or private lenders.
If your company is currently not making enough revenue to cover its expenses, a loan may not be your best option. Instead of borrowing money to grow their business, consider taking out an investment.
Diversifying the money that goes into your business allows for further growth due to the increase in the risk involved with entrepreneurship.
Banks are generally not interested in providing business loans to start-ups. Rather, they lend money to established companies with a proven business history and assets as collateral.
If you do have assets that can act as collateral, then you may be able to qualify for a loan. However, banks are hesitant to offer loans because they want you to use their money wisely – any company that fails can mean the bank has lost its investment.
2. Private Investors
Private investors usually invest in small businesses for two reasons: it allows them to become active in their community and the promise of quick returns on an investment.
When investing in a business, you need to be aware of how much money you can earn back with the amount of interest charged on loan. If you are expecting a large return on your investment, then it may be better to take out a business loan instead.
3. Credit card companies
Credit card companies offer small business loans, which typically require collateral on loans. However, the interest rates charged on credit card business loans are usually higher than those offered by banks.
A company that is not in financial trouble and has a strong credit rating is the best candidate for a business loan. Credit card businesses do not have cash flow problems, so they can afford larger interest payments. However, you should place a very low limit on your credit card. Anything above this amount will be an additional cost that may cause you to run over your budget and become insolvent if you are unable to make full payments.
4. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
CDFIs focus on sustainable financial growth in the community and offer small business loans to those who are underserved by the traditional financial system. These loans are often low-interest, long-term, and have flexible terms that make it more likely for you to gain access to capital.
These loans also typically require no collateral and very low-interest rates. This makes them a good option if your business is still new and doesn’t have a proven track record, but you have a strong business plan.
5. Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs)
SBICs are similar to CDFIs because they provide small business loans to business owners who may not qualify for other forms of financing.
However, the interest rates are a little higher than CDFI loans. To qualify for these loans, you should have a strong track record of making payments on time and an established business plan.
6. Cooperative Lenders
Cooperative lenders typically make small business loans to members of a co-op instead of making a profit for the lender. They offer loans for short-term periods with low-interest rates. Some cooperative lenders require you to have collateral or be validated by the co-op before receiving a loan.
7. Merchant Cash Advances (MCA)
Merchant cash advances are used as an alternative to taking out a loan from a bank and work similarly to credit cards – however, they do not require any additional fees and can provide as much funding as you need in small amounts.
Entrepreneurs should consider using this option because it is quick and easy, requiring little paperwork and money upfront. The interest charged on the MCA is generally higher than credit cards, but it is usually tax-deductible.
8. Entrepreneurs Fund
If you want to diversify your investments in a way that suits your risk tolerance, the Entrepreneurs Fund may be an option for you.
The Entrepreneurs Fund allows you to contribute up to 75% of your profits to a venture fund. This money can then be used to make investments in other start-up companies across various industries. If you have successful venture funds that are not being funded, they may open up an opportunity for additional capital investment.
9. Venture Capitalists
Opportunities for new entrepreneurs abound in areas across America due to the recent growth of new technology and industries.
If you are looking for funding from venture capitalists, then be sure to do your research first before introducing yourself to their investment team. Start by reading their latest financial statements, talk with the people in charge of marketing and operations and learn how the company generates revenue and expenses. If you show your interest in their company, they could offer you an investment.
10. Business Angels
As an alternative to venture capitalists, business angels are becoming a more attractive option for new entrepreneurs to obtain funding for franchising or starting up new businesses. Unlike venture capitalists and private investors, business angels may invest in their own community and know the people who work for their company on a personal level.
If you go this route when seeking funding, then be sure to do your research on the investor first before committing yourself to a verbal contract.
Franchise companies and start-ups alike can benefit from seeking out alternative loan options when searching for business financing. When looking for a business loan, be sure to research the firm prior to presenting yourself as a customer. When applying for a loan, make sure you have enough collateral or financial information to show that the company can make good on your loan.
A business loan can be applied for as long as you are in business. However, you will find it easy to apply for one of these loans if you already have a sound business plan up and running, complete with a well-defined financial target.
These plans are like guidelines that will make sure that you get the best small business loan customized according to the nature of your business. Therefore, if you want to run your business well and have it grow, start by creating a clear business plan and then apply for a business loan.