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7 Efficient Ways to Fund Your Small Business

7 Efficient Ways to Fund Your Small Business

Making innovative small business ideas a reality takes funding. Figuring out where to land the cash to take your life’s passion to the next level feels like a bummer in the creative process, but it’s necessary for the actual success of your business plan. A small business dream is just that until you have the cash flow needed to launch it.

Here are a few legitimate places to look for funding for your small business:

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1. Personal Loans

Many small business owners put their personal assets on the line to make their business dream a reality. It can be a risky approach – but with a smart business plan, the return on investment may be worth it. The sage advice is to never mix business and personal finances but launching your small business is an exception. Small business owners who are considering this route must have good credit that includes a track record of timely repayments.

2. Bootstrapping

In some cases, a small business doesn’t even need much initial cash to get started. Businesses that have low overhead and initial inventory costs can start selling goods or services and then use that revenue to continue to purchase what is needed to make the business successful. There are pros and cons to bootstrapping so weigh the options before diving in. One major pro is that by bootstrapping your business from the start you won’t need to give up any equity in the business to an investor. This leaves you in control of all the business decisions and gives you the greatest payout down the road when you sell the company.

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3. Business Credit Cards

If you expect a quick return on your small business investment, consider getting a business credit card. Dedicate your earliest revenue to paying off those cards so you don’t end up with interest charges that take away from your profit. A credit card that is consistently maxed out will also hurt your credit score and hinder future financial decisions. If this is the right route for you, choose from major credit card providers like Visa and MasterCard, or go with a bank business credit card.

4. Family and Friends

Many people are leery of involving friends and family in business decisions, especially when it comes to money. But with the right business plan, involving family and friends could be a benefit for everyone. Don’t expect your loved ones to hand over cash just because they like you though; give them a strong business plan to look over and present your small business idea as if they were stranger investors. Create a legal document for repayment. Make the money they lend you a priority for repayment, including whatever interest or return is promised.

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5. Banks

Speaking of banks, these traditional institutions offer small business loans. A few years ago, these loans were difficult to secure due to the state of the economy but today is it much easier to land a small business loan through a bank or credit union. Do some research into what banks and credit unions are small business loan friendly, and which ones tend to loan to your industry. You don’t want to lock yourself into a bad deal, but with some vetting you may be able to land the exact funding you need.

6. Crowdfunding

The popularity of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter has brought this form of non-traditional small business fundraising to the forefront. Usually, the small business owner offers something in exchange for the minimum investment – perhaps one of the products or another novelty item. It’s easy enough to list a small business need on these sites, but there are hundreds of thousands of projects in competition for investor funds.

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7. Retirement Funds

If you’ve been socking money away in a 401K for several years, you can tap into that money for a small business loan. Make a plan to return the money, however, because even small business owners want to retire at some point.

There are seemingly endless avenues for small business funding – but there is also a lot of competition. You’ll want to tailor your “ask” based on the format of the funding request. Figure out which one makes the most sense for your return on investment timeline and then start asking.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Ryan Kh

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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