So a brilliant business idea has struck, and now you’re in the planning stages to try and make your dreams a reality. This entrepreneurial phase is full of possibilities as you start to sketch out your business plan, search for manufacturers or retail locations and more. The one big obstacle that can sometimes stand in the way of an idea becoming a full-fledged company, however, is money. In other words, if you can’t raise enough capital to get your business funded, the idea might never make it off the ground, no matter how difficult it is.
This fundamental need is part of the reason why it’s so important to consult with experts like Charles Rial in this stage of business development. With adequate capital raised, you’ll have all the resources you need to fund your ideas. Still not sure how to go about finding the money you require? Try some of these capital-raising tips and tricks to find funding investors for your up-and-coming company.
1. Set Up a Meeting With a Venture Capitalist
If you have a leg up on other entrepreneurs and already happen to have the contact information for some venture capitalists in your phone, this is a great place to start. Set up a meeting and explain your business idea to see if you can get one of these investors to bite. Keep in mind that many venture capitalists like to see a good grounding for an idea before investing in the later stages. One big advantage of working with individuals is that they can be willing to take a risk on you and your startup, and may even provide a few million in funding, usually in exchange for some sort of equity in the company.
2. Search for a Traditional Loan
When you think of getting business funding, a traditional loan is probably one of the first options to come to mind. These loans are generally given out by big-name lenders like banks, but may occasionally be provided by alternative lenders like venture capitalists. What type of interest rate or term length you receive and so on depends on a number of factors, including your personal credit history, your experience in business and more. Be aware that if you take on a loan, you should feel confident that you’ll be able to pay it back, since they usually require you to start making monthly payments on them right away.
3. Pitch Your Idea on Social Media, Television or Another Large Platform
Unique business ideas may require getting a little creative with your method of raising capital. If you can get yourself booked on a major television program to discuss your idea, this could broaden your audience and potentially grab the attention of a venture capitalist. You don’t necessarily need that wide a platform, however – even just starting your own blog or maintaining a very active social media profile can get your idea the exposure it needs to attract investors.
4. Look Into Different Crowdfunding Websites
If you’ve had no luck thus far with individual investors, you might want to look into different crowdfunding websites. This option is relatively new, and has just popped up across the internet in the past several years. However, for the right project, it could be a highly effective way to raise some capital over time. Be aware that this is not guaranteed to get you a certain amount of money, or any, although you can usually set your own goals on the websites. Depending on which site you use, you could receive donations or other forms of capital, such as agreements to trade equity.
5. Consider Applying for Some Governmental Grants
If you haven’t looked into government funding already, you may want to consider this route. While it might not be for everyone, government grants can afford you the money you need, often with relatively few strings attached. The catch is that because they’re highly sought after, they might be tougher to qualify for, or the application process might be both lengthy and very competitive. However, because these are grants and not loans, you won’t have to worry about going in over your head into debt and having to pay them back. Instead, you can simply use the money as you need to. Search through relevant industry-specific grants to get started.
While coming up with ideas for a potential business is often challenging in and of itself, landing the capital and the investors to actually back your idea is another added layer of difficulty. If you truly believe in your idea and want to see it come to fruition, though, you shouldn’t let this difficulty discourage you. Instead, you can start to familiarize yourself with some of the most effective techniques for getting funding and the top places you can search for capital. As you look for capital for your next big idea, keep some of these tips and tricks in your back pocket to help you get your new business off the ground and make your entrepreneurial dreams an eventual reality.