Hustlers of the world, you know what I’m talking about. You can have all the brilliant ideas and the amazing design interface. But it’s not going to go anywhere without some of that cold, hard cash.
Read on to find out how you can raise it fast!
1. Get a grant
Disclaimer. Getting a grant is not easy. But for those who are in the know, this can be a great resource for some essential funding to get your startup off the ground. There are a few different types of grants out there – from a ‘direct grant’ – which gives straight up cash for things like recruitment, training and capital investment. One of the main direct grant agencies in the UK is the Technology Strategy Board and there are a few others too.
You can also get a soft loan – which is basically a repayable grant, with lower, or no interest, and sometimes a longer repayment period. The Prince’s Trust is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are aged between 18-30.
Want to find out more? Check out the UK Government’s own page on grants to see what’s available in your neck of the woods.
Everyone’s all a-flutter about crowdfunding these days. If someone can get their all-inclusive round the world trip crowdfunded, then why shouldn’t your startup? And in fact, a lot of fledgling businesses have really benefited from crowdfunding. As well as just giving them some capital, as a regular loan might have done, crowdfunding also helps startups to gain more visibility, and get potential customers seriously interested in your product, before you’ve even begun. This can gain momentum by itself – and get the ball rolling for your business, by getting media attention, early adopters and a growing number of backers.
Check out this handy guide to crowdfunding for lots of pro tips on how to go about it!
3. Friends and family
Ok, so this is a bit of a mixed one – but when done right, it can really change the fortunes of a budding startup. Asking friends and family to help financially is always going to be a bit risky. Judge for yourself how much is reasonable to ask for. But remember that you’re also blurring the lines between personal relationships and your business life. If you end up struggling to repay those debts, you could seriously compromise those ties – so tread with caution!
4. The Bank of You
Last on the list – but in reality, it’s probably the first one you’ve thought about. It’s your own pocket. And this is the place that most entrepreneurs start. It could be your savings. It could be money you’ve taken from credit cards or loans. The advantage of funding your startup yourself is that you’re going to pay much keener attention to keeping those unnecessary costs down, and trim down your overheads. Do you really need that fancy loft showroom just yet? Didn’t think so.
It also means that the only person you upset if you don’t repay your debt is yourself.