So, you’ve got a great idea for a new product or service and you’re ready to take it to the marketplace. Chances are you’ll need to find outside funding in order to get your new idea off the ground. Certainly you’ve heard the old adage “it takes money to make money” – but never has this been more true than in the small business and start-up space. Unless your new product or service is truly the first of its kind, chances are that you are going to be competing with organizations that are much larger and have many more resources than you.
This is why it’s so crucial to find the right funding source or partner for your start up. Traditionally, entrepreneurs might obtain traditional financing through a bank or may seek institutional or angel investors in order to fund their start up efforts. While each of these avenues may be able to get you the funding you need, recent technologies have opened new avenues of funding for new entrepreneurs who might not have access to traditional forms of funding.
Apply for a Grant
What’s better than getting your new business venture funded? Getting it funded for free! Grants have been around for a long while, and are still a great way to finance your start-up business. Sure, applying for grants will certainly require some research and will likely require you to detail each aspect of your new business – but, forcing yourself to put your business goals down on paper can actually help you identify new ideas or business opportunities that can help you out in the long run.
Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have help thousands of business ideas take flight. The ability to leverage not only your own social network, but the network of your friends, colleagues, and associates, has proven to be a very successful business funding tactic throughout recent years. Try offering up small “prizes” or future products and services for the funds that are pledged to your campaign – this will help get people engaged and encourage them to share your story.
Pre-Sell your Product
If your start-up idea involves a product, pre-selling that product is a good way to build up enough funds for manufacturing and other business expenses. Pre-selling is also a great way to give your business model a “test run” by validating the market need.