How many good ideas have been wasted because there was no money to put them into practice? Getting business credit is a difficult mission, but fortunately there are several alternatives to getting the finance you need for your project. With vision, competence and planning, you can find ways to make your business viable without going to the bank.
Disadvantages of Bank Credit
Bank lending may seem like the most obvious option for getting business credit. But it is worth considering other possibilities first, because borrowing money will pay you a considerable amount only in interest. It’s like you have a new paid partner: the bank.
If there is no organization to pay the installments on time, the snowball of interest begins, which could bankrupt your business. Not to mention that access to credit can be complicated as a series of collateral will be required.
Corporate Credit: Alternatives to Banks
To get funding for your project from outside sources, you need to understand that investors are not philanthropists, not interested in charity, but in making their money pay off. In other words, they will only invest in your business if they have a good return prospect. But each alternative works in a particular way. Understand some of them:
The first business credit alternative is actually an exception on our list. It is the only financing option that does not require you to meet investor requirements because the investor is yourself. There is a term for this modality: “bootstraping” means creating a venture with its own resources without resorting to external sources.
It’s very simple: you save money and, after enough money, invest in your project.
The maximum risk is losing what has been saved for a long time – but, on the other hand, you owe the bank nothing and investors in your wake. Another danger for start-ups is not calculating the working capital needed to keep the business going until it starts to make a profit. So make sure you calculate a realistic investment value before you put the project into practice, otherwise you will end up resorting to a bank, just what you were trying to avoid.
You have probably heard about the site Kickstarter, or the best known Brazilian services of its kind, such as Mingla, Makante and Ivaka. They operate on the logic of crowdfunding, crowdfunding. It works like this: you register, on the site, information about your project, setting a fundraising goal and different contribution ranges. Users come across your idea and decide whether or not to contribute to it. If they decide to contribute and the goal is reached by the deadline.
They will receive a consideration according to the money they donated.
In the most well-known crowdfunding sites, you can collaborate with artists, athletes, social projects, journalists… But what we will highlight is equity crowdfunding, which is intended for finance companies in exchange for equity interest. The first of its kind in Brazil is Krota, but there are other sites, such as OpSeed and MakeMeStop. Another similar initiative is peer-to-peer lending, in which one person lends money to another without the intermediation of banks. In Brazil, the Biva platform acts in this way, bringing both ends closer: a person who wants to invest their money and the company that needs the investment to keep growing.
Angel investors are usually successful businessmen who have an interest in investing their money in a company, betting on its growth to reap the rewards in the future. This type of investor often looks more closely at startups, which are young companies with high growth potential and innovative business model.
From the input, the angel gets a generally minority stake. He will not have an executive position in the company, but he can act as a mentor, defending your interest and helping you with the experience he has gained from years of practice in the entrepreneurship world. To try to convince a potential investor, you need to be tough. Try to set up a meeting with him or approach him at an event. But it is crucial that you are prepared for this. In addition to an idea, you will need to objectively explain how the company will make money from the investment obtained.
Venture capital funds
Venture capital funds also work by investing money and acquiring equity interest in the company in order to profit from its future growth. The difference is that funds act in a structured manner, are formed just for that and usually invest in companies with a solid foundation.
There are several funds that work in a specific area (projects related to the area of sustainability, for example). When the objective is reached and the company has grown, there is divestment, when the fund sells its share and targets other companies to invest the money.
Accelerators are private institutions that invest in promising startups. Generally, beneficiaries are chosen at events that act as a competition, where the best ideas are selected.
Interestingly, the concept of speeding up a startup is not just about contributing it with resources, but optimizing its management, guiding structural changes and intermediate contact with potential partners and investors. As in mutual funds, the profit of accelerators depends on the success of the company. That’s why competitions to select startups are so rigorous, because it’s only worth investing in ideas with the greatest prospects for success.
Organization is the key
Whatever option you choose, it is critical to get organized and gain knowledge. In the case of outside investors, even if the idea is good and they support governance management and implementation, they will certainly have caveats in investing time and money in an unreliable entrepreneur.
Even if you are investing with your own resources, you will need good financial control, strategic accountant support, and efficient management as not to waste all that you have saved with so much effort. Therefore, try to understand and master the different duties of a good manager.