I spend lots and lots of time networking to grow my company and find prospects I can help. This activity puts me in front of many different types of people with varying challenges. While some do need to finance their customers’ purchases to increase sales, I’m hearing more and more fresh ideas and plans for new startup businesses. Usually, these businesses aren’t the Facebooks and Twitters of the world; instead, they are the caterers looking to launch a new food truck idea or recently laid off managers looking to venture out on their own.
The biggest challenge with this model is access to capital. While these folks have passion for their new endeavors and are certainly ready to work hard day and night to surpass their goals, most are unable to walk into a bank to get the money they need for several reasons. First, they may have no collateral. Second, they might not have squeaky clean credit. Third, and maybe most important, they have no experience doing that for which they’re asking for money. Wow! Seems like quite an uphill battle.
Well, all is not lost. There are a few unconventional paths for these budding ‘treps to gain access to capital.
One, they can certainly borrow the money from friends and family (ugh). Second, they can use credit cards to fund their projects (not bad if you’ve got ’em). Third, they can take advantage of the crowd funding market with websites like GoFundMe. Fourth, they can try the SBA. A final option might be funding requiring little to no collateral or experience in business with a quick turnaround and little paperwork. Those are hard to find, but my company has put a program together based on its consumer financing model. Our goal is to make access to capital easier for business owners and entrepreneurs.
Whichever path you choose, keep the faith and stay the course. As the great NC State men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano said, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!”
Photo credit to North Carolina State University