Small businesses have been badly affected by the recent recession and are now being slowly shut out of getting a bank loan. They have lost several customers due to this and have also reduced the sales of their products. They have also had to lay off some of their employees due to their lack of ability to pay them.
Before the recession took place, many small businesses could easily get business loans and had an excellent relationship with their banks. The recession however changed all of this when it dried up almost all the lines of credit for small businesses. This left small businesses with the only option of going in for alternative sources of funding. A small business has to go in for an alternative business loan in such cases.
Merchant Cash Advances
When you receive a merchant cash advance, you would need to purchase and sell your future credit card income. You do not need to make regular fixed payments in return for the merchant cash advance. The person giving the merchant cash advance only takes a percentage of the income that comes in the form of credit card sales to the company. Taking a merchant cash advance can however be expensive, even though the rate of interest is not fixed. They can still keep a small business afloat.
Peer to Peer Financing
In case of peer to peer financing, you decide how you would return the money. All you need to do is to enter the details of how much cash you want, how you intend to repay it and how much rate of interest you are ready to pay on the peer to peer financing company’s website. Then, prospective lenders will make a bid on your loan. You however need to have a good credit score in order to avail peer to peer financing.
When you are looking to finance your small business and do not have much of a choice, then you need to find your strength in numbers. You can get crowdfunding from some websites by asking people to pool in small investments to help you finance your small business. Before selecting a crowdfunding platform, make sure that you have gone through their fine print and conditions, so that you are on the safe side. When you take advantage of crowdfunding, you need not worry about giving up an equity stake in your business. Very few crowdfunding sites require that you give up your equity stake in your business in order to get money to finance your small business.
Micro loans are loans that are smaller in value than most loans. These loans are generally issued to small businesses that are based in developing countries. Examples of micro loans are loans given to either basket weavers, street vendors or those that raise poultry. If your industry is a small business too, you can get a micro loan. The interest rate charged on an average against this loan is usually 35 percent. Even if this sounds high, it is definitely lower than the rates of interest charged by the other lenders. Since the processing of micro loans is an intensive process, it requires that such high rates of interest be charged. Micro loans are a great option for businessmen or entrepreneurs, who have no credit histories or who have a low credit score. Since small businesses need equipment for running their business, they can buy it using a micro loan. These loans are typically in the range of $6,000 to $23,000. Today, there are also websites that offer micro loans to small business owners.
Venture capitalists offer loans to small businesses that have reached a phase well beyond the start up phase. Companies that grow fast and that have an exit strategy can make millions of dollars and help their company grow, when they borrow money from a venture capitalist. Most venture capitalists tend to concentrate on financing businesses that are already well off. So, they can even offer you advice on whether or not your business would prosper.
Family and Friends
If you have a family member or friends, who have got some cash to spare, then you have yet another way to finance your small business. While borrowing from a bank would require you to have a high credit score, borrowing from friends and family do not require you to have a high credit score at all. However, you need to be as careful with them as you would be with a bank or a lender. If there is some misunderstanding regarding money or if you have not repaid them on time, then it can lead to a sour relationship. Make sure you prepare a written agreement with a promissory note that you would repay them their money in full. You can get many sample promissory notes on the internet, which you can use to prepare one. Make sure you add the terms and conditions of your repayment, how you plan to repay them, by when and why you need the money in the written agreement. You would also need to frequently communicate with them with regards to the repayment of your loan in order to avoid any misunderstandings and in order to prevent any arguments from taking place. Make sure you repay their money in full at the end of the loan period.
They can be your angels in disguise, when you want some money to finance your small business and have been denied business loans by your bank. Google and Yahoo are examples of entrepreneurs, who have taken help from angel investors and today, both of them are companies worth billions of dollars each. When the company is in its early stages of growth, angel investors put in some money with the expectation of getting back at least twenty to thirty percent of their investment. When you take a loan from an angel investor, you can enjoy working with people in a friendly atmosphere and this will help you with your business.