Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to start a business. That said, it still costs money to start a business. How much money you need depends on various factors ranging from the industry you’re involved in and whether or not you will be developing your own products. You WILL need some money to invest in a quality website, advertising and an SEO company to help you with your internet marketing endeavors. You’ll also need to invest in some office equipment, even if you plan on working out of your own home.
Venture Capital funding may or may not be for you, but it’s something to check out all the same. Here are some other ways to raise money for your startup:
Have your crowdfunding page stand out - You can be sure that lots of other startups are going to places like Kickstarter in hopes of raising money. Try to make your business sound as interesting as possible. Give people a reason to want to help out. The idea is to not simply sell a product or service, but to sell an idea. People want to read stories, not advertisements.
Take the time to engage with the community - It’s important to get to know the people involved in your industry and community as you create a business. Be upfront and honest about everything. Share your vision and knowledge. Offer advice to people who need it. Provide answers to people who have questions. Getting to know the people involved in the industry and establishing yourself as an expert in the community increases your chances of meeting potential investors. It’s also great PR.
Look into online lending opportunities - If you don’t like the thought of getting a traditional loan (or lack good credit history), there might be some online lending options available to you. An application on sites such as Kabbage, Snapcap, and OnDeck takes no longer than an hour to complete. The decision and accompanying fund scan can be issued within a matter of days. According to Forbes.com, these players can potentially “fundamentally change the way in which small businesses access capital”.
Go ahead and create content for your site - Even if you haven’t officially launched your business yet, it’s still a good idea to go ahead and have a site ready to go, filled with plenty of useful content concerning topics in the industry you are involved in. Ideally, you should have a mobile-friendly website. If you don’t have much experience with web design, there are some simple website builders available to help you get started. This Wix review is a good place to start. Start creating content and keep search engine optimization in mind. Keep the content as original as possible. Having a nicely-built website with useful content already prepared will make fundraising a lot easier.
Participate in startup competitions - There are several international startup competitions held every year. These contests give entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ideas in front of potential funders. Some organizations, like G-Startup, have regional competitions that lead up to global opportunities.
The key to successfully raising money for a startup is already having something to offer and being able to demonstrate that you are truly knowledgeable. The more potential you show, the more people will be willing to help you out.