Here are the Fastest Ways to Raise Money for Founders
Fund it yourself
While dipping into your savings may not be an option for everyone, if it is possible, this is the fastest way for founders to raise capital for their startup. Of course, this carries some risk. But, by initially funding the business from your own funds you are showing belief and confidence in your idea.
This can be beneficial as your startup lifecycle continues because it will show potential investors or lenders how committed you are to making your venture a success. The knock-on effect of initial self-funding should also make it more likely that these sources will look favorably on any future funding you seek.
This is a tricky one for founders. It is also one of the most popular ways to raise those early, much-needed funds. In the first instance, you need to have friends and family members who have (and are willing to part with!) money to fund your venture.
In the second instance, you need to make it very clear to these personal contacts that there is a risk your business might not make it. With that in mind, founders need to weigh up the pros and cons of mixing family and friends with business. If it feels right for all concerned, certainly go for it. If not, be aware you are probably adding further stress to your fundraising process than is necessary.
Angel investors are wealthy, accredited individuals (or sometimes groups) who are ready and willing to fund startups that appeal to them.
By doing so, angel investors are taking risks. In return for this risk, they will expect to take a percentage of equity in your company. While this means diluting your (and any other shareholders) company ownership percentage it is rightly seen by many founders as being a highly viable fundraising option.
Any founder intending to go the angel investor route needs to be aware that these individuals are business savvy. They will want proof of a business concept and will need to be given compelling reasons to risk investing in your company.
This means you will need to have a persuasive pitch coupled with current and projected facts and figures that reinforce your request for the necessary funding. It should also be noted that angel investors have preferred business services or product sectors they are most likely to invest in (as well as those they will not!)This means you need to focus on angel investors who are receptive to the type of company you are establishing.
This is the most recently introduced way for startups to raise money. There are now numerous crowdfunding platforms on the internet. These allow you to raise funds through the pitching of your business to a wide audience. It can also be a valuable form of product or service marketing through the media attention received.
However, it is not all good news. Raising funds via crowdfunding shows that success rates are low. You are also bearing your soul in terms of your ‘unique’ business idea. This can lead to others copying or stealing your idea.
Any founder going down the crowdfunding route should take time out to thoroughly discuss brand protection issues with any business partners as well as their legal and financial advisors.
Small business grants
Because small business grants are available from government sources and non-profit organizations they can be a way to raise initial sums of funding. If you do receive such a grant it does not always have to be repaid.
The important factor here is that you need to follow every requirement and correctly complete the application process. It should be noted that small business grants are not the easiest to secure. This is because the services of products you offer need to embody the mission statement of the giving organization. They also have to be seen to add value to a particular community or an industry.
These grants are not loans. This means that if you secure a grant the giver is not expecting to be paid back in monetary terms but they do expect something in return!
Founders should also be clear that a small business grant is not simply seen as “free money”. This is because those organizations issuing grants will often have rules and regulations in place as to how the money can be spent. Indeed, they can sometimes spend the grant money themselves on your behalf to pay for specific resources that they believe will help your business grow.
This route should not be dismissed. It can be a significant stepping stone for founders to secure the cash injection they need to get their business up and running.
Any founder going down this route needs to meet certain requirements. Two key factors here are your personal and business credit rating score and the amount of time you have been in business.
Make it your business to understand exactly what the bank or lending institution is looking for to approve a loan. Tick these points off and sort out any outstanding loans/bad debts you have. You will then be in a position to go fully armed into business loan meetings with a creditable, persuasive, business plan that you intend to implement.
Timing and Preparation are of the Essence
Whichever methods you choose to raise funds one thing is very clear. Investment in time to prepare your pitch as thoroughly as possible is an absolute must. Founders need to be fully prepared and ensure their material information is in order.
This is a comprehensive list but includes such things as an executive summary, company structure, business as well as marketing strategies, a clear profit and loss statement along with balance sheets, bank statements, tax returns, and all relevant legal documents.
It is also crucial to get the timing right in terms of when you should seek funding. Going too early could well mean you are under-prepared and not seen as a viable option. Going too late could mean you run out of money before your funding needs are met.
Whatever you have been told or have read, raising the necessary funds to start and continually grow your business successfully is no walk in the park. The processes and demands are quite complex and the vast majority of founders will benefit from seeking professional, experienced assistance.
Here’s how that can be achieved:
The positive news for founders is that there is an even more effective way to increase your chances of securing that much-needed investment. That is by taking advice and assistance from a company that majors in partnering with founders to meet all aspects of startup funding.
WOWS Global is one such company. We have in-depth knowledge of what it takes to secure investment for startups. Our fundraising guidance and services are truly effective.
The WOWS Financial Ecosystem disrupts the fundraising experience for startups through its unique set of custom-made products and services. From state-of-the art equity management tools, to secure virtual data rooms, investor matching platform and document template resource banks: WOWS Products standardize and automate your fundraising process and ultimately reduces the funding timeline by 6x!.
To find out exactly how deep the services and benefits offered by WOWS Global are and how we can increase your startup’s chances of real success please get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org