There’s never a good time to run out of money, is there? If there was, people would be able to eke out their cash until that perfect time when it was fine to not have any. But, there’s no good time to run out of money.
More than this, trying to secure a bank loan nowadays is like trying to get blood from a bank manager-shaped stone. In fact, it’s probably even more difficult.
After the financial meltdown of 2008, banks have been somewhat reticent to dish out loans to companies that look shaky. Ironically, it’s the fading companies that need money the most.
As the banks shut themselves off, however, numerous other doors have opened, creating a previously niche portion of the finance sector known as alternative funding.
Over the past couple of years, this field has muscled it way into the mainstream, with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and factoring companies grabbing headlines and giving SMEs the finance they need to thrive.
But, what other alternatives are on offer to you if you’re looking to sidestep the banks and keep your SME afloat?
Grab Cash From The Government
The government usually plays host to a raft of funding opportunities in numerous business sectors, including the arts, technology and pretty much anything that could be a shot in the arm for the economy.
Naturally, the process of gaining a government grant requires a little bit of give and take, meaning you might have to compromise on a few of your business aims to fit the remit of the grant in question.
A vast number of these grants are opening up to meet the needs of SMEs, meaning that one to suit your business needs is inevitable.
Win Big At A Competition
There are always tons of competitions open to businesses that have strong ideas and even stronger business plans. Generally, these are set up by larger companies to facilitate and nurture smaller enterprises that could aid them in the future.
Competitions such as Shell Springboard, for example, offer up to £330,000 for a lucky winner, while also granting a company the prestige of winning a top prize.
Get A Partner Who’ll Keep Schtum
It’s never easy to share success with someone else, but in business sharing the responsibilities of funding with a partner can allow you more freedom than you’d necessarily get from a bank.
With a partner who’ll facilitate your project with cash, you’ll also gain a sounding board who you can bounce ideas off and maybe even gain some sage advice from.
If you’re still not keen on the idea, then you could possibly even consider a silent partner, who’ll pony up cash and keep their nose out of your business affairs.
The last options to consider is crowd funding. Whether you are looking to start a business or something to improve your financial well being crowd funding can be a great way to achieve this.
With sites like Kickstarter all you have to do is sign up for an account, share your story on why you want to raise the money, and if you can raise the money you need you will get it all.
Think of it like people who want to invest in your opportunity and they can give even just $1 to help you out and in return you may give them something for helping.
In fact I recently heard of a group of people who started a conference with crowd funding and people donated a certain amount got something like a T-Shirt, while others who donated more got a ticket to attend that conference.
So when it comes down to it the opportunities are there you just have to be willing to look for them and best of all you don’t have to deal with a bank or lender and there hard lending rules.
Sow what are your thoughts? Have you ever considered any of these funding ideas?