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6 Simple Options for Financing Your Startup

6 Simple Options for Financing Your Startup

The biggest challenge in any startup is always funding. It does not matter whether you have an award winning product, or the next big invention if you don’t have the money to bring it to market.

A lot of budding entrepreneurs have seen their dreams waste away due to lack of capital and the tightening lending conditions in mainstream banks has not made things easier.

However, despite these challenges, getting capital for your startup through alternative sources is possible.

Here are some good alternative lending options that you can consider when funding your start-up:

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1. Venture Capital

Venture capital is perhaps the most popular source of funding for emerging start-ups but it has a number of challenges. With venture capital, you will get an investment from a venture capitalist in exchange for a specific portion of your company.

Venture capital firms are professionally run companies and will only invest in startups that have shown enough potential to blow over and become big in the future. However, the challenge is that sometimes you may end up giving up a significant share of your business – a decision that you might regret later.

2. Peer To Peer Loans

Although this is an option often associated with personal loans, it is now making its way to modern business lending. As a start up, you can definitely explore peer to peer lending firms that are ready to lend money to businesses.

Peer to peer loan works very easily, you get an investment from an individual or a group of individuals and they will own a portion of your business. Unlike venture capital firms, it is actually easier to negotiate equity demands with an individual and in the end, you will not have to give up a big percentage of your company in order to get the funding you need to grow.

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3. Crowdfunding

If you feel that indeed you have a good product that can sell, you can raise money through Crowd Funding and preorders. There are so many startups that have used Crowd Funding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter to raise starting capital.

The challenge is that you need to have a very good product and a strong public relations campaign in order to attract the money you need. In addition to this, you are allowed to raise as much money as you want, but it can be difficult to arrive at the target within a limited time frame.

4. Personal Credit Lines

It is not difficult to acquire this loan as you qualify for it on the basis of personal credit efforts. You can get it easily even if you do not have any history. There are several startups which have managed to build a solid financial base by getting secured personal line or credit card loans.

Personal credit lines are a good option because they allow you to retain the control as long as you are making minimum payments.

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5. Purchase Order Financing

One of the common problems that startups face is their inability to accept large orders because of lack of financial support. Manufacturing and delivering the products requires cash.

You can solve this problem by relying on purchase order financing. The companies offering PO financing give the required cash in advance to the supplier. It allows a new business to complete the transaction process and it also helps in kick-starting the cash flow of the startup.

5. Micro-Finance Loans

A lot of people tend to confuse Microfinance loans with normal bank loans. The truth is that they are quite different. Microfinance loans are aimed at small businesses and will come at much more reasonable terms compared to normal bank loans.

In addition to this, the loans are offered by microfinance institutions and will offer a good option to secure funding for your startup.

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If your startup is commercial based, make sure to do searchical SEO so that your site is optimized for e-commerce to generate sufficient initial traction and cash flows. Generating initial cash flows without external support can be biggest proof of your success as a new start up so doing focus on this too.

Finding firms or individuals that lend money to businesses is now possible and the simple options above should be quite ideal for any new business.

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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