So you've made it through the January lull but you may still need a bit of extra funding to help you achieve your 2019 business goals. We've put together a list of six popular methods of raising money for your business, so you can ensure your New Year's resolutions don't melt away with the snow.
Family and friends
It's not an option for everyone, but your own trusted contacts are a great source of additional income if you need to give your business a boost. Unlikely to demand much (if any) interest, those close to you might relish the prospect of helping you achieve your dreams, and could help you avoid losing your business should your plans not come to fruition.
Of course, while the risk of capital loss may not be as high, the emotional attachment does add an extra degree of risk that may not be worth taking. Particularly in the case of friends, your relationship could turn sour if you fail to pay back the money as promised or suffer accidental losses in pursuit of business growth. Make sure you're as clear as possible about your intentions from the start to avoid any confusion later down the line.
Crowdfunding is an ever-popular form of business financing that makes it possible to attract loans or investment from the public. There are four main models of financing via crowdsourcing including donation based, rewards based, loan based and equity investments, and this variety of approach means it's easy to adapt to your needs.
This form of financing is particularly popular among business owners who are struggling with more traditional means or have a potentially popular business idea that's likely to appeal to the masses. However, you do have to be prepared to publicise your ideas, which could be tricky if your plan is complex or difficult to explain.
The most traditional way of securing funds for your business is to approach a bank for a loan. Loans are a tidy and efficient method of gaining capital if you're able to secure one, but in the post-financial crisis era, this isn't guaranteed.
There are many banks that will lend but they are more risk averse than they were 20 years ago, which means anything out of the ordinary could struggle to talk round their bank manager. Your individual circumstances will also impact your ability to secure a loan, so make sure you're aware of your personal credit score before you consider this option.
Venture capital investment is a form of investment that targets businesses with high potential for growth in their early stages. The funds are usually provided by a group of private investors or specialised financial institutions such as venture capital funds or investment banks.
Venture capital investments can be an excellent source of business guidance if the source is already embedded in the business world. However, this additional help can come with compromises, and in some cases, venture capital groups will take a very keen interest in the day-to-day running of the business in an attempt to secure their investment.
No matter what method you choose, the start of the year is the perfect time to secure your funding and begin planning for a successful year ahead.