Money for your business isn’t just going to fall out of the sky. Solution: tap into your inner hustler and get the funding you need.
We’ve all heard “it takes money to make money,” but what do you do if you keep coming up short when trying to get money for your business? Get creative and tap into your inner hustler.
Now, we’re not financial advisers, so be sure to run these solutions by your accountant. However, we work with a number of small businesses and have our “ears to the street” when it comes to business growth.
After all, if you can’t afford marketing (which should have a budget of at least 2 percent of your revenue), then you really can’t afford to own a business.
Back to hustling. So we all have that voice that helps us get out of rough situations and owning a business is no different. Here’s a few ways to help you get your hustle on.
1. Take a Hammer to Your Piggy Bank
More than 80 percent of money used to start a business comes from personal investment. The reason is simple: if you’re not willing to take a risk on your own venture, then why should others? Most lending institutions and investors require business owners to use a portion of their own funds to cover business expenses.
2. Get a Business Partner
The amount of money needed to start a business can, at times, exceed your assets. Partners can not only fill in the gap, but also bring complimentary skills and areas of expertise to the table. Of course, having a partner will leave you with only a portion of the business income, but isn’t 50 percent of something much better than 100 percent of nothing?
3. Apply for Small Business Grants
Finding grants applicable to your business requires a great deal of research. You can find grants for small businesses by searching Grants.gov, the Small Business Association (SBA) website or contacting your local SBA office. You can also visit your local business library, reach out to the Urban League and contact your county’s economic development department. Lastly, you can hire someone to do the research for you.
4. Participate in Business Education Programs
Business education programs helps small business owners learn the ins and outs of running a company and will often help you find money for your business. For example, Ohio-based Bad Girl Ventures (BGV) is a micro-lending and education organization focused on funding women startups in the Greater Ohio region.
BGV selects up to 10 finalists in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati to participate in its nine-week business course and awards a $25,000 business loan to one finalist in each city at the end of the program. The courses are offered twice each year. Bad Girl Ventures is accepting applications for its fall business class in Cleveland through Sept. 1.
You could also participate in the Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses program. To qualify, you must be an owner/co-owner of a business, have been in business for at least two years and have earned between $150,000 and $4 million in the most recent fiscal year.
5. Apply for a Small Business Loan
Microlending organizations tailor small business loans to individuals who can’t meet credit and asset requirements of traditional banks and lending institutions. For example, the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) provides loans up to $100,000 to startups, newly established and growing small businesses in Central, Northeast and Southwest Ohio.
Last year, the organization opened its doors in Cleveland, Ohio to provide Greater Cleveland entrepreneurs with small business loans up to $50,000 and referrals for training and assistance with writing business plans.
You may also consider rounding up some cash on crowdfunding sites where they literally put meat behind “it takes a village.”
What’s the Word: Now that you’ve read this blog, I’m hoping you’ve given up on money growing on the tree in your backyard. But there’s still hope. If you’re aggressive and committed to building a profitable and sustainable company, a little hard work, focus and creativity will help you get money for your business.