How Can I Get Funding for My Business With Bad Credit?
Whether you are starting a new business or need additional funds for an existing business, there are many ways you can fund a business. However, if your credit is poor, it may be difficult to get that funding.
These tips can help you get the funding you need even if your credit is not the best.
The best way to fund your business is using your own money, a process known as bootstrapping. You can turn to family and friends or tap into savings. You can even borrow against a 401k to get the funding you need. In fact, more than half of all business owners say that they received financing help from friends and family.
This type of financing is not based on your credit score and, in some cases, borrowing from family may help you increase your credit score if you use the funds to catch up late payments as well as funding your business.
Another method for funding your business is seeking venture capital from investors. This type of investment is normally provided with a share of ownership in the company. The investor may also want to take an active role in your business. There are differences between traditional financing and venture capital which include:
- Focuses on companies with high growth
- Investments have longer terms
- Investments are in return for equity and are not considered debt
- Higher risk for investor but potential for higher return
- Loss of some control and ownership
There are many venture capital firms who offer funding to business owners. You will need a solid business plan, and there will be a due diligence review. If the investors are interested, you will agree on terms and the funding is provided.
Normally, venture capital is provided as you meet milestones which means you may not get the full amount up front. You will have to meet certain goals included in the terms to receive percentages of the investment over time.
Websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe allow you to seek investments from a large number of people. The process, known as crowdfunding, lets people donate small amounts to your business to see you succeed. In some cases, you may have to give them a gift or reward as a thanks for the donation, usually a free product, acknowledgement of their contribution or other benefit.
This type of funding is best for companies that produce creative works like art or film as well as those who have created a unique product, such as a high-tech vacuum. There is very little risk to your business and, if your business fails, you are not required to repay the investors. The crowdfunding sites do take a percentage of anything you raise, however.
Loans are another popular method for funding a business. However, if there are obstacles to getting a traditional business loan, the Small Business Administration partners with banks to offer loans that are guaranteed by the organisation.
This type of loan is especially designed for those who may have difficulty obtaining a traditional loan, like those with poor credit. There are special requirements and stipulations you must meet in order to qualify, but your lender should have information about the Small Business Loans that will work for your company.
Grants and Gifts
There are many grants and gifts available to help small businesses, but it is important to be careful. Companies that offer to locate a government grant for a fee are often fraudulent and can lead to excessive costs that you will not be able to recover.
There are grants available for specific types of industries, such as technology or retail, but you will need to search in order to find one that works for you. Also keep in mind that grants are very competitive, so you may need to fill out quite a few applications before you are successful.
Gift financing may also be non-cash benefits such as free office space or free services from businesses who want you to succeed.
Further information on business loans is available if you would like to learn more about your options.