Listen, we all want to bootstrap our business, but there comes a time and place when it’s ok to ask for a little help. Getting a business capital loan can be easy, and it could give you a push in the right direction to grow your business and give you a little breather from worrying about money all the time.
Now, there’s no need to get all worried. You don’t actually need to go to a bank to get a business capital loan. Besides, your business might not need the amount they usually dish out anyway.
You could try to get a loan from the Small Business Association, but they’re getting harder to come by. So what can you do?
Get an Invoice Advance
Sounds like every service provider’s dream come true, right?
What happens is that a company will give you the money up front for any invoices you’ve already sent out. When you receive the money from your client, you will then pay the advance back. The idea is that you don’t need to worry about your cash flow because you’re waiting for clients to pay their invoices.
Fundbox is a company that can help you with invoice advances. There doesn’t seem to be a minimum you can borrow, though check their calculator on their homepage to see how much you might need to pay in fees.
Pursue Alternative Loans
If you’ve been self-employed for a while, this might be a good option because you may not have a consistent income history (even though you make pretty good money) according to some banks. These alternative lenders are great because they’re mostly online and you can get an approval within hours and get cash typically in less than a week.
These types of lenders either give you cash directly or are a lending marketplace, which means you enter in your information and you get a wide variety of loan options from different loan providers.
This is a great way to get funding for your product before you even make it or if you’re looking for some extra money to relaunch something. You’ve probably heard of places like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where people can view different campaigns and choose to support on a multitude of levels.
To make the most out of this option, make sure you have a clear idea of what your product it, who it will serve and when you plan on delivering the goods (in other words, your deadline). Some crowdfunding sites will only fund your project if you meet your target, so keep that in mind. You’ll need to make sure you read up on processing fees or what each crowdfunding company needs from you before going ahead with a campaign. You should also be aware of any taxes that might incur as a result. You don’t want to have a tax lien on your credit report.
Get a Grant
Depending on what business you have, you may be able to get a private or government grant.
For example, the Small Business Association offers grants through programs such as the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer.
If you choose to apply for a government grant, you need to meet federal requirements and most likely will have to prove how profitable your business will be.
Keep in mind that federal grants tend to be pretty competitive, so you can always try your luck at smaller ones from the state and municipal levels. Just search for your local small business development centers, women’s business development centers, and even any economic development agencies near you.
If you’re interested in checking out private grants, look for the FedEx Small Business Grant, Mission Main Street Grants, and the Amber Grant.
Getting a business capital loan shouldn’t be difficult or stressful. Keep in mind all your options and find one that best suits your needs. Will you be taking out a loan anytime soon?
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