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Securing funding for your startup or small business isn’t always an easy task. If you’ve already sought funding through the traditional avenues, try these five places to find more money for your venture.
Try a Crowdfunding Campaign
When executed effectively, a crowdfunding campaign is a great way to get small contributions from dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people. To run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you’ll typically need a groundbreaking product that can generate a lot of buzz, a driven public relations professional on your team, and a large network. Be sure to run the numbers before launching your campaign, as the cost of fulfilling incentives and rewards for contributors can eat into your potential profit in a big way.
Join a Startup Accelerator
If you’re ready to dedicate yourself fully to your startup, joining an accelerator or incubator program could be a smart move. These highly selective programs help promising startups acquire the tools and knowledge they need to take their small businesses to the next level. In addition to getting free office space and networking with some of the most powerful business owners in your industry, many startup accelerators also include seed funding or connect you with potential investors.
Search for Investors in Unusual Places
Not every investor holds a key role at a venture capital firm. If you’ve already considered seeking a traditional investor and decided that you’d rather find an unconventional partner instead, look for angel investors in your area. These wealthy individuals may not be quite as hands-on as a typical startup investor, but they’ll still expect a return on their money. Be prepared to negotiate a deal that works for your budget while still enticing your angel investor.
Save by Sharing Co-Working Space
Having a dedicated office space for your company can get expensive quickly. In addition to paying the monthly lease, you may need to cover utilities, an internet package, office supplies, and even desks and other furniture. To cut your monthly costs and free up funding for other aspects of your business, seek out a co-working space instead. Not only can a co-working space help you trim back your budget, but it could also give you the opportunity to spread the word about your startup or even network with potential team members.
Restructure Your Own Finances
If you’d rather explore options for funding your startup independently, you can bootstrap your business. In addition to keeping major purchases to a minimum and seeking out trade-based terms with your suppliers, one of the most important steps you’ll need to take is restructuring your personal finances to free up capital for your business. Start by consolidating your student loans, maximizing your low-interest credit cards, and refinancing your auto loan. Self-funding your startup might mean slightly slower growth, plus more time and effort on your part, but it could be much more rewarding in the long run.
Don’t let a funding shortage cut your startup dreams short. Get creative, and keep these five places in mind as you seek capital for your small business.