Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Startup financing: Where to get it?

Starting a business is seldom easy. Exciting yes as all you can think of at this stage are the opportunities and possibilities of the idea, how much profit you could be making and how great it will be not to have to answer to you grumpy manager any longer. With all the many perks to start a business of course there also the challenges and finding start-up finance will be one of the first that you will need to overcome. Today we know that there will be a range of possibilities from banks, to venture capital firms to business angels or private equity. Which way to turn will be the real question at this stage and probably for convenience sake the bank will be your first port of call as you know here to find it and have probably dealt with a bank before. But the benefits of other business finance sources should not be overlooked.

Once you have your business plan ready and have done a realistic financial forecast considering all the possible costs, the amount of investment you may need and how long you will talk to pay it back, should it be a lone then the next step will be to start the search for finance.

It's important that you start the search for Start up Capital with a good business plan that shows investors and lenders your company's potential. Follow your business plan with a thorough knowledge of the resources available and a determination to make your business a reality, and you should be on your way to uncovering a source that fits your new business's cash needs.

You should know that many financial institutions provide some type of small business loan program just for those like you who need Start up Capital to get their business off the ground. However in order for you to get your Start up Capital from a bank and fund your business you'll need a pretty solid business plan. You'll need to earn your Start up Capital from the bank by proving that your business will generate enough cash to make the loan payments. Each and every bank will have its own requirements that will differ from other banks, but if you will be able to articulate how exactly your business will succeed, and if you have decent credit, and maybe a co-signer as well, you may be able to get your Start up Capital through a small business bank loan.

When you're looking for Start up Capital, you should look at what the SBA or Small Business Administration has to offer. The Small Business Administration is a great resource that will provide you with information on requirements, on credit factors, on how to apply for loans and many other important things you'll need knowing. Giving them a look-see would be a great starting point before attempting to apply at a bank; the better prepared you'll be the easier it will be when you'll begin the application process.

Now let's not forget that a lot of small businesses get their Start up Capital from family and friends. Your family and friends usually want you to succeed and will believe in your business. However if they are indeed providing you with your Start up Capital then it would be wise to treat these relationships as real business relationships and plan how and when you'll repay their loans, the exact time frame and at what interest rate.

You could also get your Start up Capital form private angel investors and venture capital firms. These two work generally in the same way they will invest in the equity of your business and expect a return in the form of an acquisition, IPO or stock buy-back in the future.

The key to any of the above mentioned methods of getting Start up Capital is to have a well written business plan. Having a good business plan will show your would-be investors that you are serious about your business and that you can demonstrate the way you plan on making it successful.

Don't be overwhelmed by the process. You are in many ways bringing as much if not more to the table. Investors in what ever shape or form will benefit from your business in a big way if the venture takes of so make sure you get what is most beneficial for you and your business.

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