Your Personal Income
It is not smart to go out and get a serious investment for your business idea as sometimes it pays to start out small. You can use your income and savings to finance your business idea on a smaller scale to prove this concept. It may lead to you missing out on saving for other personal goals if you would have invested or saved that money. However, the financial risk is as low as it can be.
Many people decide to use credit cards to buy equipment and supplies for their new business startup. It may be the easiest method, but needless to say that the risk couldn’t be bigger. You’ll be paying high interest rates of up to 20% while also suffering high risk as you will be under a huge debt if the venture fails.
Family and Friends
Your friends and family will be willing to invest in your business venture if they see potential in it. They may loan you some money or buy an equity stake in the firm. You’ll also be able to set the terms you want. There is great personal risk involved that can be incurred if the business fails and a fallout occurs. If you get a million dollar loan from a bank, it is just a drop in the pool for the bank, but getting a loan from your family or friends usually means you will be risking their life savings on your business idea.
Business Plan Competitions
Business plan competitions can be a great idea for larger business ventures that require funding from the very beginning. It’s pretty simple; you’ll present your plan and it’ll be compared to other entrepreneurs’ plans, and the winners will get a decent funding to help them with their business idea. The risk is minimal as you’ll only be investing your time and effort to prepare your presentation and the costs of traveling.
Entrepreneurs these days often turn to angel investors when they need significant funding. Angel investors are somewhere between friends and venture capital groups on the spectrum. They are willing to make small investments if the business proposal interests them. Most of the time, they are retired entrepreneurs and executives who are able to judge if a proposal is worth investing in or not. The risk is that these investors require either an equity stake in your company or convertible debt.
SBA, short for Small Business Administration, is a government organization that helps in facilitating loans to startups and small businesses from banks. You require a solid business plan coupled with a proven concept to move forward, but getting past the underwriting requirements can be difficult at times. The primary risk is taking out the loan and interest payment, but you may get smaller funding than you’d get with other investors.