There are several sources of finance for entrepreneurs looking to get their businesses off the ground, and you should consider some of these alternate sources before you ask friends and family members for start-up money or dip into your own savings. If you have a good business idea, then you should create a detailed business plan and explore your funding options.
Peer-to-peer lending is a system that allows anyone to invest money in your business through an administrator who handles your loan. For example, if someone wanted to invest $1,000 into a business but was unsure what business to invest in, they could deposit that money into a peer-to-peer lending website. The investor would then be able to choose what businesses to invest in and what kind of percentage return they would like on their money. The business owner would take out a loan from the peer-to-peer company and agree to pay it back at the interest rate determined by the investor.
Entrepreneurs should always investigate any grant opportunities before taking on financing they would have to pay back. The federal government offers grants, usually to companies that meet their criteria such as being minority owned. There are government websites available for entrepreneurs to search for available grants.
The private sector also offers research-and-development grants. If you feel that your company has a product that may interest a larger corporation, contact that corporation and see if they offer grants to start-up businesses.
When you are financing a business, you sometimes need to have funding available that you can use for any reason you want. Having that kind of funding available can be helpful. You will have to do research to find a credit-card provider that will offer low rates even after the introductory period has expired.
George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.