One misconception about starting a small business is that the only way to receive small business financing is through a bank. Though the bank is a viable option, it is not the only option. Looking towards multiple sources of financing can get your small business the financing it needs. Alternative sources of financing can be used instead of, or in addition to a bank loan. Using multiple sources of financing can help a new or veteran business owner maximize his/her business' working capital.
Listed below are a variety of small business financing sources, that small business owners can utilize when building, expanding and maintaining their businesses.
Small Business Administration
The small business administration was created to help small businesses get on their feet and remain on their feet. Their mission is "...to maintain and strengthen the Nation's economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters." So why not look to the SBA for assistance?
The most common SBA loan program is the basic 7(a) loan program. This program is specifically designed for small business owners who may not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. Other loan programs offered by the SBA include the 504 Program, which provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings, Micro-Loans that provide very small loan amounts for startup small businesses, with a maximum loan amount of $35,000. Disaster Recovery Loans, which can assist in the recovery of your business if it is involved in a disaster, and Special Purpose Loans, that can be used for any special purposes within your business.
Just like there are scholarships available for just about anything, if you do enough searching, you could find the small business grant that works for you and get free money to finance your business. Though the federal government does not offer grants to small business owners, there are numerous other grants available for small business owners. You can look to your own state to find free funding your small business. Every state has a state development agency, and many of these agencies offer small business grants, and/or information on where to find them.
Small Business Cash Advances
Though a small business cash advance is not plausible for startup businesses, it can be used after your business has been up and running for a period of time. A business cash advance can offer fast and easy-to-obtain money for your small business' financial needs. With few requirements, even business owners with average or fairly below average credit scores can qualify to receive a business cash advance.
A financial intermediary is a person who specializes in finding funds for business owners. Once you've done all you can to find money for your business, try hiring a financial intermediary to find the funds that you may have overlooked.
You can decide to use the expertise of a financial intermediary in order to give yourself the time to work on other aspects of your business, or you can use them in combination with your own expertise; as the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
Financial intermediaries can also be used to help in the start up of your business, offering help with the writing of business plans, proposals, etc.