- SBA loans
The US Small Business Administration loans program is an amount of up to $50,000 given to small businesses looking to start or expand. The average amount is 13,000 administered by nonprofit community lenders. The SBA loans are easier to qualify for compared to larger loans. However, the key downside is that the funds might not be enough for all borrowers. The SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan program finances borrowers that want to start a business. However, the SBA 7(a) loans are hard to come by. They are given to established businesses with collateral, which can be an asset such as equipment or real estate that can be sold in case of a default. It can also take months to access the loans.
Microloans allow microlenders and nonprofit lenders to access startup business loans with little complexity, unlike the SBA program. The microloans are available outside the SBA program and help lenders, mainly those with shaky finances. The majority of microlenders focus on underserved small business owners whom traditional lenders often overlook. The terms for these loans are also better than others because they are given by mission-based organizations. This makes it possible for you to grow your business and establish better credit.
- Personal loans
As a business owner, you can also access personal loans such as those offered by online lenders. These loans are based on the personal credit history of the borrower. This makes personal loans a competitive option if your small business is too new to qualify for other non-personal loans. They can have high APRs of up to 36%, especially for bad credit borrowers. Therefore, this type of loan is the best option for borrowers with strong personal credit and income.
This method has become one of the popular methods that small businesses use to raise money. Thanks to various platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo that allow entrepreneurs to solicit cash through online campaigns, you can also do this. Instead of paying back the donors in the future, you give them gifts. Therefore, the online-crowdfunding campaigns are known as rewards-based crowdfunding. This approach is great for business owners who want to test their product or service with a specific customer base without debt.
Small grants targeted at businesses by private foundations and government agencies are another great way of raising funds for your small business. The good thing about these grants is that they are not loans, and therefore they will not be hard to get. The challenge is that it might not be enough for a small business that struggles to start.
- Loans from family and friends
This is the most common way of financing startups. It entails borrowing money from friends or family who can lend. However, like a bank, if your credit is bad, you will have to convince them to pay back their money. When exploring this option, find the individuals who understand the risks involved and your plans.