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8 Ways to Hack Startup Funding

Small.Business.DevelopmentHaving trouble securing finance for your start up? The Good news is that you don’t have to mortgage to farm. Try these alternative ways to fund your business startup.

Ask Suppliers to Invest

Is your supplier or manufacturer impressed with your product? Why not invite them to supply you  in exchange for equity in your business. They could be a ready-made investor, eliminating all that searching and pitching hassle. They’re familiar with your product so you should get a quick answer.

A Simple Web Page

Put up a web page to pre-fund your project. “Pre-Order today with a 20% discount and be the first to get this new product”. Include a sample, a prototype or concept plan. It’s cheap to do and for the right concept, it works. Use pay pal but GetT’s & C’s in place on your commitment (eg delivery date)

Crowdfunding

Present your business idea to the public and seek funding in return for s share of the business. Check out  the likes of www.seedrs.com and www.kickstarter.com

Drop-Shipping

We first came across this one in the book the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris. It’s a master bootstrapping technique where you build a relationship with a manufacture to the extent that the manufacture agrees to send your product directly to your buyer, taking you out of the equation. Genius.

Bootstrap your Outlay

Ask your accountant to defer fees, source second hand office furniture, share office space, ask for discounts, do you own marketing, use a virtual PA – try www.peopleperhour.com or www.brickworkindia.com Channel funds saved into business development & user growth.

Invoicing Factoring

Traditionally a service operated by the banks but now available in other forums (eg www.platformblack.com ) This allows a business to sell its unpaid invoices for a fee (usually around 2-3% of the total) and get up to 80% of the invoice total upfront. It a useful cash flow assist mechanism but could eat your profits, particularly if margins are already tight.

Sellers Credit

30 days credit from your suppliers is effectively an interest free loan. Sell for value in a shorter time frame and you’ll have the funds to pay your supplier. What just happened? Yes, you made a profit on a sale and your only cost was your fixed overheads #feelsgood Remember though, don’t take the mickey & pay on time. To keep your reputation intact.

Overdraft

This can be expensive as finance goes but it can be useful. Build up a little trading history and suggest to your bank a €500 overdraft. If this is used properly (cleared for at least a couple of days each month) then your bank is likely to agree to increase it in increments over time. The same principal goes for a company credit card. Beware high interest rates.