How can I get my business funded?

There are several ways to finance your start-up including bank loans, personal savings accounts, crowdfunding platforms, private angel networks, and venture capitalist investments. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

The most important decision when choosing how to finance your business is whether you need debt financing or equity financing.

Debt financing involves borrowing money against assets such as real estate, equipment, inventory, etc. On the other hand, Equity financing means selling shares of ownership in exchange for cash or additional stock options.

Equity financing offers more flexibility because it gives founders control over their companies but comes with greater risk than debt financing. If you choose equity financing, make sure you understand all aspects of the deal — particularly the valuation process. 

It’s common for valuations to change during negotiations, especially between seed rounds and Series A/B financings. You’ll likely agree upon a final value after closing the round.

Generally speaking, most companies require either bank loans or venture capitalist investments. There’s no single answer here – every situation has its own nuances. 

But generally, if you’re going to run out of cash during development, then you’ll likely need a line of credit from a bank. Once things stabilize financially, then you might consider raising additional capital via a convertible note or angel round. 

The key point here is that many businesses won’t survive without sufficient outside capital. So while you could technically bootstrap everything yourself, you’d probably end up having to sell off assets like real estate and equipment first. This is why we see founders taking on large amounts of debt early on 

The idea is to get as much money into the business as possible while keeping costs low. Then once the business starts making profits, you start paying back the debts using those same profits. 

In general, though, it’s often easier to obtain external funding because it means fewer headaches down the road.

Types of Business Loans

There are multiple types of loans available: secured vs. unsecured, term vs. revolving, etc. But this can all be broken down into a couple of scenarios: 

You can get a short-term “cash advance” from a lender who agrees to pay their money back over time. Or, you can get a long-term fixed-rate loan where you agree to repay the principal plus interest over a set number of years. 

Both kinds come with their own set of risks. A bad job history may disqualify someone from getting a car loan, whereas a poor payment record could cause problems with a variable rate mortgage. 

As always, do your research and make smart decisions based on your specific circumstances.  

The main difference between a bank loan and a venture capital investment is that a bank lends you money against collateral such as real property or inventory. In contrast, a venture capitalist invests their own money in exchange for shares of ownership in the company. 

A third alternative is to seek debt financing through a small local bank, although the cost tends to be higher due to lack of volume.

When should I go for Venture Capitalist Investment Vs Bank Loan?

If the goal is to raise enough money to launch the product, VCs offer better terms. They typically charge 2% – 5%, depending on the size of the fund involved, versus 10%-15% charged by banks. 

At the same time, banks do tend to prefer larger projects and will sometimes give a longer grace period before requiring full payments.

What is the best way to find a reliable source for financial advice?

You could look around for people who’ve already been successful and ask them what worked well for them. Another approach would be to talk to other entrepreneurs who’ve done similar work.

You can also try contacting companies directly about how they got started, asking if there was any particular resource they found helpful along the way.

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash