Securing sufficient funding for your new business venture can be a real problem.
It seems like endless application forms, banging your head against brick walls and attaching photographs of your poverty-stricken kids along with begging letters to your bank manager.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The days of relying solely on funding from your trusty financial institution are long gone, as many banks are still reluctant to loan out large sums to the inexperienced business owner.
Alternatively, budding entrepreneurs are employing some rather unconventional monetary methods in a bid to get their company off the ground – and we highlight the top five below …
Used as an alternative to the business overdraft, factoring is particularly useful to companies that are growing quickly. It involves a firm selling most or all of its invoices to factoring companies at a discount. The factor then provides finance to the seller in the form of a cash advance, typically at 70-90 per cent of the invoice value.
Crowdfunding involves raising cash by asking a large group of people for a small amount of money, as opposed to asking a small group for larger figures. Growing in popularity recently thanks to numerous successful internet campaigns, crowdfunding can be a real winner for businesses not afraid to involve the public in their capital raising efforts.
In the UK, firms can take advantage of the Funding for Lending scheme hatched by the Bank of England in 2012. This scheme offers banks and building societies the opportunity to borrow from the BoE at considerably cheaper rates, allowing them to boost their own lending power – which is obviously great news for cash thirsty business’s like yours.
An angel investor is not the commercial equivalent of the tooth fairy; typically, they are wealthy and experienced business magnates with the acumen to help small firms grow. In return for their equity and advice? They take shares in the company, of course. Remarkably, business angels pump over £800m into new organisations every year in the UK alone.
New business owners may feel a little antsy about handing over some form of control to a venture capitalist, but it can actually be a thoroughly gratifying arrangement for both parties if the investor and company are well matched. Although it can be a little dicey for those putting up the equity, the returns are often above average, which tends to make the risk worthwhile.