Raising capital for a business seems like it should be pretty straightforward. It’s not. Banks often want you to post significant collateral for your business. If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have anything that the bank can hold as security for the loan. While that might seem like a major roadblock, you can overcome this by raising capital through other sources.
Angel investors are people who invest in businesses in exchange for a share of the profits that you generate. These investors are always accredited investors and act as either direct advisers for your company or as major shareholders. You have to be incorporated in order to attract angel investors, but many companies exist to make this process easier for you.
For example, the Go BIG Network Investors’ Circle are networks that connect you to angel investors. Inc.com also publishes an updated database of angel investor networks so that you can stay focused on developing your business.
Going public is one way to raise funds for your company. By going public, you can issue shares of your company to the general public, and investors will buy those shares from you. The money you get from those investors can be used for any business-related purpose. Of course, investors become part shareholder in the company, so you’ll need to work for your investors’ best interest by growing the company.
Shareholders can also vote on who remains on the board of directors and can affect the direction of the company indirectly through this type of voting. While going public is often expensive, there is an easier way to do it than issuing an initial public offering (IPO). It’s called a reverse merger. A reverse merger is when you purchase an existing public company that has failed, but is still public. Once you buy the company, you structure it so that it buys out your existing, non-public, company. The result is that you now own a public company and can sell shares to the public and raise the funds you need.
Peer-to-peer lending is a relatively new form of lending when compared to traditional banking. It refers to the process of borrowing money from private investors, using a traditional bank as the intermediary. Companies like prosper.com exist entirely for this purpose. Investors sign up to the website and loan money to promising borrowers.
The loans are typically repayable within 3 years, but you may negotiate the interest rate on the loan. After you place a loan listing, investors bid on your loan. The bidding process is part of the funding process. With each bid, your loan becomes partially funded. An investor may contribute $50, $100, or $1,000 or more towards your total loan amount. Instead of one bank funding your entire loan amount, many investors make a partial contribution to your loan. When your loan is fully funded, the financial intermediary sends the money to your bank account via a direct deposit transaction.
Factoring is similar to a cash advance. A factoring company advances you money based on your current accounts receivables. In other words, you sell your invoices to a factoring company, and that company advances you an amount of money equal to 75 to 85 percent of the total value of the invoices. The factoring company may also charge you a fee on top of the discounted rate it advances you. This is a good option if you need liquidity now, or your company is starved for cash and it normally takes you a long time to collect on your invoices.
About the Author: Guest post written by Elizabeth Goldman and brought to you by Wonga – the short term loan experts.