Recent studies show that more than 90% of new and unique businesses fail and are closed down within the first year of operations. The high rate of failure is associated with insufficient funding. Money in form of capital is the bloodline of every business and this means that many unique business ideas go down the financial drain.
Besides lack of capital, there is the other problem; high debt. Most millennials start businesses with high student loan balances. Despite the zealous attitude in business, the profit earned often goes to repay the high student loans.
When an entrepreneur feels like they are short of funds, the first place they run to is the bank. As a result of the student loans and the low credit score rating, you get a high interest loan but you still have high expectations in mind; your business will recover and you will earn a good return. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case always since the two loans plus other expenses will drain every penny and a business can’t grow.
To get hold of your debt situation, you think of debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is an effective debt management strategy that puts together all your outstanding debts into one. The debt consolidation loan is used to repay the debt leaving you with one affordable loan to repay monthly.
Debt consolidation loans have been effective in many cases and instead of letting your business go, you should employ other capital funding strategies. Research shows that some of the few successful businesses that have succeeded credit their success to out of the box thinking and funding. There are various non-traditional funding options in the market that can be accessed while serving a debt consolidation loan. These funding alternatives include:
The digital era has opened your world to more than a market. Through the crowdfunding sites, you can pitch your business to strangers and ask for funding. At the crowdfunding platform, lay out your business idea and give a detailed description of what the business is, your profit making plans, how much money you expect to raise, and why you need to raise funds via the platform.
Companies that raise funds via crowdfunding platforms have been able to increase their profitability since the platform benefits entrepreneurs in two ways; through the funds raised and through the marketing that products receive. Since crowdsourcing is a competitive funding option, your business must be rock solid and appealing to customers and investors.
2. Using venture capitalists
Venture capitalists are professionals who invest in companies with high potential for growth. To get the attention of a venture capitalist, your business model should show potential for rapid growth and the ability to disrupt the market.
Venture capitalists only invest in startups with extremely high potential for big returns on investments. As a result, venture capitalists evaluate the sustainability and the scalability of any business they consider investing in. To get a venture capitalist interested, you should have a disruptive product as well as a big market that will result in faster and bigger returns on investments.
You should also note that venture capitalists offer mentorship and their expertise once they sign up with you. Therefore, if you believe that your business is competitive and able to attract a venture capitalist’s interest, ask for their funding. You should be willing to give up a percentage of your company.
3. Angel investors
Did you know that Google, Alibaba, and Yahoo got investments from angel investors? Angel investors are individuals who invest in potentially profitable businesses with their surplus disposable income. Before investing in your company, the angel investors will screen your business to ascertain its worth and the potential for growth.
Just like venture capitalists, angel investors invest in a stake of your company but they offer mentorship. Their propensity for high risk businesses is what determines if your business is taken up or not.
4. Winning business competitions
While repaying your debt consolidation loan, you should take advantage of your business’ potential by getting into contests. Most of these competitions require business plans and the entrepreneur with the best idea wins a big sum of money. The funds won should be injected into the business for better investment returns.
Most of these competitions are broadcast in the media. Besides winning the reward money, you will benefit from free marketing. People remember the winning business and this gives your business a great head start.
5. Funding from business incubators and accelerators
There are numerous funding opportunities in the market. However, to know about them and to benefit from them, you should be open-minded and aggressive. Search online or ask around for business incubators and accelerators.
Business incubators provide shelter tools, network, and training just as parents do to their children while accelerators help businesses take the giant leap. To benefit, you must be willing to commit time, develop good networks and learn from your mentors, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs.
6. Government funding programs
The government supports local entrepreneurs. To reduce unemployment and to encourage self-dependency, the government has instituted departments to aid in sharing funds to the most innovative businesses. Businesses ideas that promise societal growth besides high profits always get a higher priority.
7. Online peer to peer lenders
Besides angel investors, there are groups or individuals online who often provide affordable loans to persons in search of affordable and unsecured loans. Though you will be servicing the debt consolidation loan, the loans from peer to peer lenders are affordable and if you are confident that you can repay the two loans comfortably, then you should take it up.
This is also called self-funding. It is an effective funding option when you are starting out and when you have savings. Besides personal savings, you can also ask your friends and family for funding. Though resources are stretched under bootstrapping, your business will be attractive to investors later on. Knowing that you build a business by yourself inspires confidence.
In conclusion, despite the high cost of running business, these alternatives provide sufficient funding for your business. Student loans burden many young entrepreneurs, but you can take control of things by having the student loans consolidated. Find affordable funding alternatives. Don’t let the student loans drown you.