Every business needs money, especially right at first, to be successful. If you don’t have the money you need, you probably already know that you can turn to the bank or search for investors. These are tried-and-true methods of getting funds, but they aren’t your only options.
You aren’t out of luck if the bank has turned you down or you don’t want to answer to an investor. There are plenty of creative ways you can get the money you need that you may not have even known existed!
Look Into Government Programs
Most governments are always looking for ways to incentivize innovation in their country. You can take advantage of some of these programs if you qualify.
For example, Canada utilizes a program called the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) to help fund businesses and projects that are innovative and have the potential to make new discoveries. If you complete an SR&ED audit and are able to prove that:
- There was a scientific or technological uncertainty
- A hypothesis was formed to reduce or eliminate the uncertainty
- A systematic investigation was conducted to test the hypothesis
- An attempt was made to achieve a scientific or technological advancement
- Results were recorded as work progressed
You could qualify for money to keep your operation going.
Apply For a Grant
It’s true that many government programs offer grants to small businesses, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to turn to the government when looking for a little extra cash to keep your operation going.
There are many organizations in countries all over the world that focus on providing grants to businesses that need the money. Some grants focus on rebuilding after a disaster. For example, some COVID-19 grants focus on making sure live performing art institutions and restaurants get the money they need to reopen their doors, while others focus on rebuilding after a natural disaster.
If you’re a minority, if you’re a veteran, if you’re a woman, or if you’re self-employed, you can find different organizations and businesses that want to contribute to your business ideas.
If you’re looking for additional financing to keep your business going, don’t think you have to turn to the bank. You can find financing opportunities in some unlikely places.
For example, did you know vendor financing is sometimes an option? Vendor financing involves a vendor lending money to a customer who uses that money to utilize the vendor’s product or service. As a deferred loan from the vendor, you have to pay it back as you make money. In some cases, it can include transferring stock shares to the vendor, and it sometimes comes with higher interest rates, depending on the vendor you’re working with.
In other cases, you may simply be able to renegotiate when invoices are due. For example, if you can pay within 45 days but not 30, tell your vendor and they may be willing to renegotiate the terms of your invoice.
Enter a Contest
If you need money right away, entering a contest may not be for you, but if you’re always looking for new ways to inject cash into your business, contests are worth a look!
The nice thing about contests is that there are no fees to pay and no need to prove your concept or the worth of your business. You simply fill out an entry form!
There are a lot of contests you can enter in the United States, but there are plenty of contests available in other countries too when you do a quick search on the internet. Some come with prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Selling products and services is one of the best ways to get more money, but what if you need the money to make the products and services that you’re going to sell?
Preselling might be a great option for you. By selling items ahead of time, you can get the capital you need to manufacture them. Not to mention, it’s a great way to know exactly how much you need to make. By preselling items, you won’t be left with any overstock! Just make sure you make the delivery date clear so customers aren’t left feeling frustrating while they wait to receive their order.
You can always head to the bank if you need cash for your business, but that’s not your only option. When you have an open mind, you can find a much better way to get the funds you need.