You spent months going over your business plan in meticulous detail. You spent hours on the phone getting realistic estimates from trusted suppliers. Your cash flow projections were a thing of beauty, precision engineered to the last dollar. Your branding was inventive, fresh and original, filling a gap in the market that only your business could operate. You dedicated yourself to weeks upon weeks of meticulous market research. Nonetheless, after all that effort, enterprise and endeavor, your request for a business loan was rejected by your bank.
It’s okay to feel frustrated. But please remember… It’s not you, it’s them! Since the global financial meltdown of 2007-2008 banks have become extremely gun shy when it comes to their lending practices. It’s unfortunate happenstance that first time home buyers and neophyte entrepreneurs are two of the kinds of people who are really feeling the pinch at the moment. Still, just because a risk averse bank wasn’t keen to offer you a business loan, doesn’t mean that your business plan isn’t perfectly viable. When the bank says no but your heart says “go!” there are some surprising sources of startup capital or cash flow funding that you may never have guessed existed.
No kidding, PayPal do business loans now. Well, to be fair the loans are operated by Swift financial who are now a part of PayPal. Nevertheless, the Paypal loan program can be extremely useful to entrepreneurs who have been operating for more than a year and have a turnover of $100,000+ a year. PayPal loans have no origination fee or other hidden charges and offer very competitive rates of interest. This can be a real boon for entrepreneurs desperate to ease cash flow. If you’re looking for startup funding, on the other hand you may want to consider…
If you have confidence in your idea, and have already drummed up significant interest in your branding and your social media presence, you may well find the answer in crowdfunding. It can be far easier to get 10,000 people to donate a dollar than to convince a bank to lend you $10,000. If your business idea is fresh and exciting and has emotional appeal you may find yourself inundated with donations. Moreover, you can incentivize donors with exclusive discount, content and offers designed just for them, to create a really strong relationship with your brand and to ensure that once your business is up and running they keep coming back to you.
The federal government offers grants to non-profit educational or state / local governments. Even if your business does not fall within this remit, however, you may still be able to secure government funding. Sometimes economic development grants are offered directly to small businesses, when those businesses can demonstrate that they are of economic benefit to the municipality. Businesses conducting in scientific research or development can also apply for government funding under the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Click here to see if your business is eligible.
Whatever your passion is, don’t let a pass from the bank prevent you from pursuing it!