Whether you’ve always dreamed of being an entrepreneur or have an innovative idea you can’t get out of your head, odds are you’re working on starting a business. You’ve got the idea, you’ve got the passion, you’ve got the drive…now all you need is the funding. To get that funding, though, you’ll have to do some extra work. Most investors will want to see a solid business plan, and if you aren’t going with an investor, you’ll need to make sure you meet the requirements to obtain a loan.

Even if you choose not to go with a loan and want to try crowdfunding or raising capital some other way, you’ll have to make sure that your campaign is as good as it can be, your incentive is worth it, and that you get the word out about it well enough to earn the money that you need. No matter what kind of funding you’re looking to get for your startup, here are some of the top tips and tricks to help you get the financing you need to get going:

Know Exactly How Much You Need

The average startup costs are approximately $30,000; however, every business is different which means that yours may not need nearly as much, or you may need considerably more. When calculating what you need, remember that you don’t need to ask for money to get your business through the next ten years—you only need funds to get it started. You’ll need to make sure, though, that you calculate your startup costs and arrive at a number that you can justify before you bring on investors, start crowdfunding, apply for a loan, etc.

Have Your Business Plan Looked Over by a Proofreader, an Attorney, etc.

Your business plan is the way that investors and lenders will determine whether or not they feel like your company is worth investing in and whether or not what you’re asking is fair. It’s important to take the time to write up a solid business plan; once you feel like you have it perfected, have a friend or another professional proofread it. Then, you may want to consider having a lawyer like Aaron Kelly look over it as well. This will ensure that your plan doesn’t have any legal issues and help you confidently present it to those you’re hoping will invest or provide you with capital.

Use What You’ve Got

While you may want to save as much of your own money as possible, many investors won’t want to invest until you have skin in the game as well. Why should they put up their hard-earned money if you don’t even want to use yours? While it may be scary and put you in a tight spot, investing the money that you have before going to others for help will give you a better shot at getting what you need. You may even find that you have enough money on your own to get your business up and running.

Try Bootstrapping

If you have a little bit of money set aside to start your business but aren’t sure you’ll have enough, you could try bootstrapping before approaching partners, investors, or other financing sources. Although it can be tough, there are a lot of tools and resources available for cheap or free that can help you bootstrap your business and get it off the ground. From business eBooks to free online accounting software, there are a lot of ways that you can save money and run your business on a tiny budget.

Get a Credit Card

If your startup costs are going to be relatively low, you may want to consider applying for a business credit card instead of taking out a loan or approaching an investor. Although credit cards are similar to a loan, you can choose one that will give you incentives like cash back and other rewards. It will also help you stay in better control of your business instead of giving ownership to an investor or the bank. Just make sure you make your payments on time.

Look into Grants

Just like you can get grants for school, there are grants available for small businesses as well. Rather than having to pay back an investor or a loan with interest, you can find money to fund the startup that doesn’t need to be paid back and can help you get your feet under yourself and turning a profit in your business. While not all businesses will qualify for grants and not all businesses will be chosen for a grant, applying gives you the chance to get the money that you need with no or few strings attached.

Final Thoughts

Whether you plan to bring on a partner, approach an investor, take out a loan, or do some crowdfunding, there are things you’ll have to do to make sure that you can get the funding that you need. From writing a business plan to applying for a credit card, make sure you explore all your options and make the most of them to ensure you get funding. How do you plan to get the seed money for your startup?