Many business ventures will fail in the early stages. This is going to be caused by funding issues at the outset. Surviving the startup phase requires sufficient capital to cover both foreseen and unforeseen expenses, and a business plan to entice potential investors with your ideas. The question then becomes: how can you finance your LLC above and beyond simply having a killer concept and an efficient model? Here are a few ideas.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending Sites
Social lending websites now represent when one of the most popular ways for startups to crowdfund their ventures. Sites like these provide lending platforms for entrepreneurs providing them with easy access to both individual and institutional investors. As an alternative to traditional lending institutions, P2P crowdfunding sites are growing quickly, and represent an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to secure additional funds for their startup.
Using an ICO to Fund a Startup
This is a complex process, but it’s gaining popularity as awareness about cryptocurrencies grows. An ICO, also known as an Initial Coin Offering, is similar to a cryptocurrency insofar as it uses distributed ledger and blockchain technology to offer potential investors something analogous to an IPO. Determining whether this option is right for you will require careful consideration. Nonetheless, funding a startup in this manner is becoming more accessible and popular.
Government Sponsored Grants and Loans
Every once in a while, Uncle Sam does something useful. Government sponsored lending programs offer incentives to traditional institutions like banks and credit unions. They target three main areas:
Industries where they want to see growth (eg: green energy or energy efficient products)
- Individuals of a certain demographic (eg: military veterans)
- Certain locations (eg: struggling economic areas)
For those interested in pursuing this avenue, have a look at the Small Business Administration’s search tool.
It’s not an abnormal practice to utilize credit cards for short-term financing for your LLC, especially if you are new to the game and don’t have a lot of experience under your belt. Traditional methods of securing loans, such as banks and credit unions, may be wary about lending to inexperienced investors. Nonetheless, entrepreneurs have started ventures as massive as Google using only personal credit cards.
There is another option as well. Credit cards can be taken out in the business’s name, which is an option well worth looking into. One caveat here is that you want to avoid racking up too much credit card debt. Ideally, credit cards can be used as an option to bolster pre-existing capital.
Utilizing Your Personal Network
You’ve got friends and relatives. Don’t be afraid to ask them for loans. Just make sure you pay them back!
Loans against Collateral
One last option for those that are new to the game and are striking out with traditional institutions like banks or credit unions is to take out a loan against your personal assets. Collateral-based loans should be easier to obtain, but failure in your venture will result in the forfeiture of your assets. For some folks, the risk will be worth it.