When it comes to getting money for your business, your options always come down to either equity or loans. In other words, you can either have someone invest in your business or loan you money with the simple expectation that you’ll pay them back with interest. But that only tells half the story. The actual methods for getting money these ways can vary wildly, and the increased prevalence of the internet gives you more options for raising money than ever before. These offer creative methods that can bolster your current flow of income.
Hosting an Event
Social media and cold calling isn’t necessarily the definitive way to spread information about your company and grab funding. In fact, hosting an event can expand public knowledge of your business and its values while also serving as a good short term stream of income. The nature of your event – and your invitation list – should be tailored to the specific needs of your business.
That said, you should be reaching out far and wide. Friends, family, and colleagues can all serve as promising targets for fundraising, and you should be sure that your event highlights both the personality of both your company and your guests. While it can be a fantastic way to raise money for your company, we also suggest that you consider donating some of the profits to charity. There are few better ways to improve upon the reputation of your business.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter offer a bold way for smaller businesses to stay relevant and financially viable, and they’re only becoming more popular as the years go on. Crowdsourcing allows you to connect directly to prospective investors. It may take some work, but it’s one of the least demanding methods for seeking business cash.
But that doesn’t mean you should just toss your company name on a crowdfunding platform and hope that people are donating. A crowdfunding investment should be treated as seriously as any other investment, and there’s right and wrong ways to reach out to crowdsourced investors. But a relative lack of liability for business owners to deliver means that crowdfunding sources can be a little more wary on platforms like Kickstarter as a result. For that reason, make your goals and rewards distinct. Building out a strong social media presence can help your company succeed on a crowdfunding platform.
Seek Out Contests and Competitions
Innovative ideas and creative success offer benefits to the world, and that’s part of the reason there are so many contests and competitions for highlighting and rewarding promising startups. The last few years have seen such programs from major corporations like Amazon and Wal-Mart and from schools like Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia.
These contests normally take a pretty standardized format. Competitors will submit their business plan, and the most promising nominations will continue into more in-depth analysis of your company’s objectives, plans, and internal numbers. The ultimate goal, of course, is to get funding for your promising startup. But even in contests you don’t win, the level of scrutiny that happens through the competition process can provide you with a more realistic perspective on your company.
It can sometimes seem like money drives everything. Fortunately, business owners have more options available for fundraising than ever before. Unfortunately, it’s a competitive business. If you really want to succeed, you’ll need to seek out all of the fundraising options available to you and consider how well each is catered to your business and your customers. Explore all of these options, and you’ll eventually find a combination that works seamlessly with your unique business model.