Launching a business is an exciting chapter in your career, but it isn’t cheap.
When you’re making a career pivot by starting your own business, there is a lot of preparation involved, especially when it comes to finances. Going out on your own means you don’t have a steady paycheck coming in anymore and you have to either rely on your savings or find funding elsewhere.
If you’re ready to launch your business but need some money to get started, here are a few ways to secure outside capital.
Apply for a grant
If you’re seeking capital with no strings attached, applying for a grant is a good way to go.
Grants are provided by federal programs or business organizations and there isn’t any sort of equity or debt involved.
To get started, consider looking for local opportunities. Most cities have a small business program or development center that offers funding or, at the very least, can provide more information on small business grant opportunities.
There are also national grants you can apply for. Major companies will fund these grants as a way to support entrepreneurs and small businesses, so do some digging to see what is out there.
Enter a pitch competition
If you’re feeling competitive, enter a pitch competition. Pitch competitions provide a platform for entrepreneurs to show others why their business idea is worth investing in.
The way pitch competitions work is if you have a business idea, you present the concept to a group of judges alongside other entrepreneurs. The winner will receive funding for the business they pitched.
Even if you don’t win the prize money, pitch competitions are still a great way to get your name out there and plant the seed for future investments.
At Wethos, we recently launched our own pitch competition to give three entrepreneurs $10,000 each to start or run their business. Interested? Submit your pitch here.
Launch a crowdfunding campaign
Looking for community support? Source capital directly from the people with a crowdfunding campaign.
Compared with a grant or investment, one of the best things about launching a crowdfunding campaign is that there isn’t a prerequisite. Anyone can set up a campaign and start raising money for their business with just a few clicks. Popular crowdfunding platforms for entrepreneurs include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and IFundWomen, to name a few.
To create a successful campaign, you need a clear business plan that outlines what you do, who you serve, and what the money will be used for. There should also be an income goal and rewards for those who contribute. If you’re planning to launch your own brand marketing studio, one of the rewards you could offer would be a brand strategy session, for example.
Reach out to investors
Securing capital from an investor is no easy feat, but it’s definitely worth a shot when you’re ready to launch your business.
Reach out to your network to let people know you’re seeking funding for your business. You never know who your network may be connected to — you could be closer to an investor than you think!
If you choose to reach out to investors yourself, start with angel investors. Angel investors are typically more likely to fund a business that’s just getting started. Just remember that when trying to secure an investment, it’s essential that you have a clear business plan in place. An investor needs to see that you have a customer, a defined offering, and a way to make a profit so they can feel confident in their investment.
*Wethos is in no way affiliated with the products or brands mentioned in this article and does not receive commission of any kind.