According to a recent study, over 94% of new businesses fail during the first year of operation. Lack of funding turns to be one of the common reasons. Money is the bloodline of any business. The long painstaking yet exciting journey from the idea to revenue generating business needs a fuel named capital. That’s why, at almost every stage of the business, entrepreneurs find themselves asking – How do I finance my startup?
1) Bootstrapping your startup business:
Self-funding, also known as bootstrapping, is an effective way of startup financing, especially when you are just starting your business. First-time entrepreneurs often have trouble getting funding without first showing some traction and a plan for potential success. You can invest from your own savings or can get your family and friends to contribute. This will be easy to raise due to fewer formalities/compliances, plus fewer costs of raising. In most situations, family and friends are flexible with the interest rate.
Self-funding or bootstrapping should be considered as a first funding option because of its advantages. When you have your own money, you are tied to the business. On a later stage, investors consider this as a good point. But this is suitable only if the initial requirement is small. Some businesses need money right from the day-1 and for such businesses, bootstrapping may not be a good option.
Bootstrapping is also about stretching resources – both financial and otherwise – as far as they can. Check out these 30 tips to save money and improve your business cash flow.
2) Crowdfunding As A Funding Option:
Crowdfunding is one of the newer ways of funding a startup that has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. It’s like taking a loan, pre-order, contribution or investments from more than one person at the same time.
This is how crowdfunding works – An entrepreneur will put up a detailed description of his business on a crowdfunding platform. He will mention the goals of his business, plans for making a profit, how much funding he needs and for what reasons, etc. and then consumers can read about the business and give money if they like the idea. Those giving money will make online pledges with the promise of pre-buying the product or giving a donation. Anyone can contribute money toward helping a business that they really believe in.
Why you should consider Crowdfunding as a funding option for your business:
The best thing about crowdfunding is that it can also generate interest and hence helps in marketing the product alongside financing. It is also a boon if you do not sue if there will be any demand for the product you are working on. This process can cut out professional investors and brokers by putting funding in the hands of common people. It also might attract venture-capital investment down the line if a company has a particularly successful campaign.
Also keep in mind that crowdfunding is a competitive place to earn funding, so unless your business is absolutely rock solid and can gain the attention of the average consumers through just a description and some images online, you may not find crowdfunding to work for you in the end.
Some of the popular crowdfunding sites in India are Indiegogo, Wishberry, Ketto, Fun line and Catapooolt.
3) Get Angel Investment In Your Startup:
Angel investors are individuals with surplus cash and a keen interest to invest in upcoming startups. They also work in groups of networks to collectively screen the proposals before investing. They can also offer mentoring or advice alongside capital.
Angel investors have helped to start up many prominent companies, including Google, Yahoo and Alibaba. This alternative form of investing generally occurs in a company’s early stages of growth, with investors expecting an up to 30% equity. They prefer to take more risks in investment for higher returns.
Angel Investment as a funding option has its shortcomings too. Angel investors invest lesser amounts than venture capitalists (covered in next point).