Business finance: 6 sources of finance for a business
Looking for business funding options but not sure where to start? Startups has compiled a launch pad guide signposting the available funding for small businesses
After coming up with your killer business idea and putting the groundwork in place to start it, the next stage you need to consider is how you will fund it.
Some businesses, such as eBay or online ventures, will require very little money to start; others, such as retail, will need a substantial injection of capital.
Your options for raising finance are no longer limited to re-mortgaging your house or approaching your bank manager, cap in hand – click the links below to find out more about potential business finance solutions.
1. Business loan
Despite a fall in lending, the traditional business loan route is still a popular option for start-ups, and you have the advantage of retaining equity in your business. Start off by reading Startups’ step-by-step guide to obtaining a bank loan for a clear guide to maximising your chances of approval.
The government is pushing hard to increase the availability of these loans for small business, through initiatives such as Funding for Lending, Start-Up Loans and the Business Bank. Make sure you know the ins and outs of these as they could represent a vital lifeline for your start-up.
2. Small business grants
Not surprisingly, start-up business grants are highly sought-after, and hence difficult to come by. If you can obtain one, however, the benefits are obvious and numerous – start by reading our guide to the different types of grants available, and learn about the different institutions that provide them.
There are always new business grants emerging so keep your eye on the relevant places. Stay ahead of the competition by keeping our 10 top tips for securing a grant in mind.
3. Invoice finance or factoring
Invoice finance, or factoring, is a popular option for businesses with unpaid invoices to access working capital quickly. If you’re unfamiliar with this funding method, learn what it is and how much you can raise.
As the majority of providers will make you commit to a deal for 12 months or more, make sure you know how to choose the right one.
Crowdfunding sites allow members of the public to pool their resources, investing as little as £10 each in start-ups. If you’re unfamiliar with this increasingly popular method, read more about what it is and get the lowdown on the different crowdfunding platforms available.
Startups has various guides on how to crowdfund, including Modwenna Rees-Mogg’s guide on how to make a crowdfunding campaign attractive to the public.
5. Angel investors
Angel investors can provide huge injections of capital early in a business’ life to propel it to stratospheric heights, as well as using their experience and connections within a sector to great effect.
Learn about how the government’s Seed Enterprise Investment scheme can maximise the effect of such investments, and read Guy Rigby’s 10-step guide to wooing angel investors.
If you’re still finding funding difficult to come by, don’t despair. It is possible to bootstrap your business and there are a number of low-cost start-up opportunities.
Many businesses can now get off the ground for under £10,000 – and some sectors allow you to start for as little as half that. Any entrepreneur should know the essential principles for keeping a start-up as lean as possible; read Philip Letts’ guide to spotting a lean start-up to see how you can do this yourself.