Many small business owners are concerned with getting financing to scale their enterprises. Usually, one of the challenging things they face is choosing from the numerous financing options at their disposal. Making the right financing decision is one of the crucial keys to achieving business success.
One of the common options that startup owners love to explore is small business loans. However, asides from this financing option, we will look into other equally profitable ones that small business owners can use to scale their venture.
Aspects to consider before applying for financial support
Before seeking financial aid, you need to consider some factors to ensure you are on the right path and not making mistakes.
- Get a business plan
If you don’t have a business plan, it would be almost impossible to seek funding for your small business. A business plan is a paper that contains basic details about your business and how much you would need to get started.
Potential funding sources love to see your business plan to assure themselves that they will be investing in a profitable company.
- The goal of your business
You need to have short and long-term goals for your business because it will determine the kind of financing you will opt for. Therefore, it is important to articulate your plans and goals and paint the big picture in your heart. For instance, if you need to achieve this goal in the next year, find out how much capital you need.
- Your personal resources
Sometimes, before you get financing for your business, potential investors want to know the volume of your resources that has gone into scaling your business. If you have invested a huge chunk in your business, some of them will be impressed.
Great online lenders to get financing for small businesses
Many small businesses prefer to get loans from online lenders because they don’t come with bureaucracies like traditional loan options like banks, etc. Before you get financing from any online lender, you need to check their reputability, terms, and conditions.
Here are some online lenders to try out for your small business
Many small business owners like Lendio because of its uniqueness. It is not your regular loan company. Rather, it matches you with a potential lender.
When you register on Lendio, filling an online application that takes about 15 minutes is mandatory. Then, Lendio uses the information on the form to find prospective lenders with loan conditions that align with your organizational goals.
- Funding Circle
Another reliable and top-notch lender you can rely on is Funding Circle. This is a lending marketplace that targets well-established startups. Funding Circle has stringent lending requirements like having a high credit score, a minimum of two years in operations, etc.
However, these tough requirements are why Funding Circle offers higher financing with a longer repayment duration.
On Fundera, you can compare several loan offers and select the convenient one. You will find some of the loan options and lenders that Lendio has on Fundera. Interestingly, you can apply for SBA microloans on Fundera.
When you opt for SBA loans on Fundera, you are entitled to low-interest rates, quicker funding times, and an extended repayment duration with quite flexible terms. You can also apply for personal loans, provided they are for business means.
BlueVine is notable for fast funding. If you don’t have enough time on your hands, BlueVine is a lending platform you should check out. To get started on BlueVine, submit an application process that contains business information and other details.
You will receive an update on your loan application status in some hours.
Some grants you can opt for financing support
Business grants can be regarded as free money that startups need for a head-start or sustenance purposes. You don’t have to pay back when you get grants because it is free financial assistance.
- COVID-19 Grants
In some countries, COVID-19 relief grants were set up to combat the adverse effects of the pandemic. Some of these COVID-19 grants were doled out. So, if some pandemic grants have closed, you can still research those that have additional funding rounds.
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
Asides from the loans that SBA provides, there are some grants available for small businesses. Small Business Innovation Research, Small Business Technology Transfer Program, State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), etc., provide some of the primary grants
Small businesses can opt for other grants: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Grants, Department of Education Grants, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), etc.
Other funding options for small business owners
These days, there are several options you can explore when getting funding for your small business. Yes! Small business loans and grants are great, but you can consider the other options.
Family and Friends
If you need financial support at the early stages of a business, getting from family and friends is a good option. Your loved ones would give you flexible repayment terms for loans, or they can support with grants that would be useful.
This is a means of funding where you plead with people online to contribute money to your startup. With online crowdfunding, you can generate much attention in a short time. All you need to do is to be strategic about your publicity.
Angel investors are wealthy people who give funding for a business. Usually, Angel investors provide funding at the early stages of a company to provide the venture a jumpstart.
Not all Angel investors make it compulsory to have a stake in an organization because some provide financing support as a freewill. In addition, you are likely to get free mentorship from an Angel investors.
Venture capitalists are investors who give a huge chunk of money to a business. Just like Angel investors, they want to see a business grow. But, they are after getting their returns in a short time. When you get funding from a Venture Capitalist, you will have to give them equity in return.
Starting a business and maintaining it can be challenging, but the rewards are bountiful if you put in the right efforts. Small business loans are a great way to keep your enterprise afloat, but you can consider other financing options to achieve success.