Where to Get Funding to Start Your Business
Once you have a solid business plan, including how much money you need to start your business, one of the next steps is to figure out funding sources to launch your business. Here are ideas to consider to finance start-up costs.
Pulling from personal savings is a common way to invest in your business. You won’t incur any borrowing costs if you can invest some of your own money. You can also consider:
- Look at what you currently own that you could sell to raise funds for your business, such as vehicles, furniture, even sports equipment. Selling personal assets can be an effective way to increase your cash base.
- Cut personal expenses or find other ways to raise the cash you need, such as picking up part-time work.
Funds From Friends and Family
Money from friends and family is a common way of raising the funds you need. But remember, if your business fails, borrowed money from friends or family might sour personal relationships. Be sure to put any financial agreement with a friend or family member down in writing. Clarify when the money is to be repaid, along with any interest.
Borrow What You Need
There could be assets or set-up costs that you can delay paying by borrowing equipment or machinery or working with existing businesses to use any of their spare capacity until your business is big enough to buy your own.
Money From the Bank
You can borrow money from the bank to get your business started. Bank financing comes in several options. You can take out a loan and pay it back over time, an overdraft facility that lets you dip in and out of debt when you need it, finance equipment or apply for a business credit or debit card for short-term expenses. Talk to an American Savings Bank Business Relationship Manager about our range of business lending solutions.
Before you apply for business financing, it’s important to have all your financial information in hand:
- Purpose: What you want to do with the cash.
- Funding sources: How much you think you’ll need to borrow and how much you’re contributing yourself.
- Loan security: what you’ll use to secure repayment of the loan, if anything.
- Repayment plans: How you intend to repay the loan and the schedule of repayments in your cash flow.
- Existing debt: If you’ve got any other debt that may impact on your ability to repay.
There are several other ways to fund your business, such as outside investors, crowdfunding and government subsidies that can help provide essential funding to launch your business. Here’s some information on each.
You may find people you know who want to invest in your business. Often called “angel investors,” these people are usually business owners in search of investment opportunities with promising businesses. In return, they usually expect a share in your business, a percentage return on the money they’ve given you or both.
- For more information, check out the Angel Capital Association and other groups such as www.hawaiiangels.org.
Venture capital companies are professionally run businesses that look to invest in companies they anticipate will be sold to the public, or to a larger company, at a high rate of return. If your business is in a fast-growing industry with a large market potential, you may just catch the eye of an investor.
- The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is a good place to start.
Crowdfunding allows you to profile your business and attract investment—or loans—from a range of different people who wouldn’t normally be eligible to invest in new businesses without a prospectus. You receive investment in your business through a crowdfunding platform hosted online, usually in return for shareholding.
- Kickstarter is a good example of how this works.
Government grants and subsidies
The government can sometimes provide funds for businesses if you qualify. This includes loans, grants, export assistance and other initiatives. The Hawaii.gov website offers information about different grants and financing options that may be available to your business. The SBA offers loan programs to small business owners. If you are interested in applying, be sure to visit American Savings Bank, as we are an accredited SBA loan provider.
Every dollar you can save when starting your business is one more dollar you won’t have to raise. Unnecessary overhead costs are the last thing you want to deal with, so nonessential expenses should be cut from your budget. Work with your accountant to see where you can save money on start-up expenses.
- Be careful not to over-estimate your start-up expenses and under-estimate your revenue during the first year. If the reverse happens and the business succeeds early on, you will be in a favourable financial position.
- Use the start-up costs calculator at American Savings Bank to estimate how much money you’ll need to get your business up and running, and then identify your possible cash gap.
- Contact one of our American Savings Bank Business Relationship Managers to see how we can help fund your business.
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- Start-Up Cost Calculator (PDF)
- Where to Get Funding to Start Your Business