If you need more money to grow your small business, there’s a number of ways you can source the funds. Take a look at each of these options, and use the pros and cons to decide which is the best option for your business.
1. Online Lenders
Becoming more and more popular, online lenders have changed the face of small business lending. These lenders give small-to-medium business owners an attractive alternative to bank loans, offering terms, speed, and simplicity that matches small business needs. There are now many online lenders offering different types of flexible loan products tailored for small-to-medium businesses.
Pros: Quick process, easy online application, high approval rate, unsecured business loans
Cons: Varying interest rates
2. Angel Investors
Angel investors typically enter at start-up phase but can also provide capital to small businesses. Angel investors are affluent individuals who usually use their personal funds to invest in a growing business in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt.
Pros: Provide attractive capital amounts (usually up to $500K), flexible business agreements
Cons: Can be costly, take a share of the business, often active involvement in business
3. Business Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is one of the hottest trends for raising money for many different purposes, including small business capital. Business crowdfunding involves raising capital for your business through the collective effort of a large a group of people including friends, family, acquaintances, individual investors, and customers. You then rely on their networks to share your crowdfunding campaign and spread the word. There are a few crowdfunding options – donation-based, rewards-based, peer-to-peer lending (debt-based), equity-based.
Pros: Large investor reach through crowdfunding platforms, efficient
Cons: Not for large amounts (generally less than $100,000), delays in reaching the target and getting funds, intellectual property risk
Traditionally small business owners would head to their local bank to apply for a business loan.
Pros: Established institution
Cons: Slow, bureaucratic, low approval rate for small businesses
5. Venture Capitalists
Venture capitalists are investors who provide capital to startups or small businesses that are looking to grow. Unlike angel investors, venture capitalists are generally a corporation instead of a private investor.
Pros: Give you access to larger amounts of capital, investment repaid with company profits
Cons: Loss of control, inflexible agreements, slow decision-making, profit share and loss of equity
Take a look at each of these options, and choose based on which option will let you retain the most control over your business while offering speed, flexibility, and simplicity.