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Start up Funding: Tips to Get Your Business Going

Aug 30, 2008
Start up funding is critical to the success of any business. While some companies can be started on a shoestring budget, most require some investment by the owners. There are several kinds of start up funding available.

The most common is the entrepreneur using their own savings to get their business going. Or using cash from their credit cards or from a home equity loan. The benefit is that the entrepreneur doesn't have to worry about investors looking over their shoulder or disappointing friends and family who may have provided the funds. The disadvantage is that if the business fails, the entrepreneur's home may be at risk or savings lost.

A small business loan is often used to purchase equipment, supplies, and inventory to get the company going. If the entrepreneur has a good credit history and a relationship with a bank that does business loans, the money can often be obtained with a simple application form. Unfortunately most banks require that unless the loan is personally guaranteed the business has to have been operating profitably for at least two years. Banks look at two factors: the risk in not getting the principal paid back and whether the company can generate enough funds to pay the monthly interest. Bankers are not interested in the growth potential of the company.

Venture capital is glamorous and gets lots of press. The reality is that it is difficult to obtain and very few start up businesses actually are successful in obtaining venture capital. Less than 20% of the venture capital invested is invested in early stage companies. The average venture capital funds invested per company per investment is nearly $10 million. Very few of the 600,000 businesses started in the United States and 400,000 in the United Kingdom each year qualify for venture capital. Less than 1% are appropriate for venture capital.

Angel investors or private individuals who invest in start ups, is another alternative. Angel investors usually invest in high tech companies that have the potential to quickly grow and return that investment at the end of a three to five year period with at least a ten fold return. In other words if the angel invests $100,000 in year one they expect to get $1,000,000 at the end of three years. Private investors sometimes work together in groups called Angel Networks. You can find Angel Networks in your area by talking to your local Small Business Development Center Office, local chamber of commerce, or searching through local newspapers, and of course through search engines.

Vendor financing and store credit are two more ways to find money for a start up company. Vendor financing is when the vendor you buy your supplies from gives you from 30 to 90 days to pay. Even if the vendor doesn't offer payment terms you can ask for them and in return offer a 1% or 2% premium. You might be able to stretch out the payments for up to six months, with the vendor's permission of course. Store credit is available for most businesses, even new ones by completing a store application. This can be helpful to buy office supplies and even computer systems.

Start up funding is available to start a business but it isn't always easy to find.
About the Author
Dee Power is the author of several nonfiction business books. Find out more about startup funding or visit the Capital-Connection website, the entrepreneurs resource for success. Additional financing resources
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