Small businesses are extremely fragile during their start-up phase. If you would like to get your business off to a smooth start so it can survive for years to come, you’ll need to do a great deal of planning. It’s important to save as much as you possibly can before you go into business, and you will more than likely require some financing to fund large projects to help establish and legitimate your brand.
Making financing mistakes can really impact your business in the long haul, which is why you should do everything in your power to make smart financing decisions while your startup is in the very early stages. While you don’t always need outside funding, bootstrapping your business isn’t the wisest decision when you want to take on projects for accelerated growth. Here are some financing tips to keep in mind as you build your small business into something big.
Set a Budget Before You Seek Financing
You should never pitch to investors before you have a strong handle on your business. You will need to learn about your business, competition, processes, and the metrics. Give yourself a good outline of what to expect in your first year. You’ll also need to have customer acquisition costs, production costs, costs for rent, building restoration costs, conversion rates, and even retention rates ready before walking in the tank. Save money where you can as well. For example, if you can rent from an older building have it inspected by a trusted source like Sullivan Engineering first so you save on funds but still aren’t working out of a basement. When you have a detailed budget and the metrics, you are prepared to answer the hard-hitting questions.
Consider Crowdfunding before Turning to Traditional Financing
For startups without a proven track record, it can be difficult to secure loans. If you would like to fund a creative project or you are looking to fund production costs to produce your first batch of goods, consider the benefits of crowdfunding. This is a low-risk funding option for smaller businesses and can do more than just raise you capital.
By choosing to crowdfund, you’ll have a group of adopters who will push your products or your projects and who will give immediate feedback you can use. What you might not realize is that this form of financing can show other lenders and investors that your business is being adopted in the marketplace.
Get Yourself an Angel
You will need a detailed plan, a target market, and the ability to network to use angel investing to your advantage. With this being said, angel investing is becoming more and more popular. When you turn to an entrepreneur with the money to invest in the seed stage or into a big project, you will get both financial support and mentoring. The investor wants to see your business succeed but they also want a quick return. If you need help with the roll out of a project in addition to the funding, you should look for angels who have worked in your industry.
The first capital you will use to build your business will be your own. Once you have dug into your pockets to cover startup costs, you can show investors how serious you are about the success of the company. Demonstrate that you are capable of performing and have money on the line, and you can get funding for the right price.