Raising money for your new startup isn’t as difficult as you may think.
However getting the right source of funding is slightly more complex. Each source of capital has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
Here are 8 of the most reliable sources when it comes to raising money for your startup.
8 Ways To Raise Capital For Your Startup
1 – Crowd funding
While crowdfunding is still in its infancy as a means of raising money for your startup its popularity is rapidly increasing. Crowd funding takes it name from the fact that your project is funded by the public using their own personal funds. To start with, you propose the idea that you wish to see funded. People can then choose how much or how little they want to give you. Most crowdfunding sites currently use a reward base model where people who invest in a new business venture are given some form of reward such as the product that is going to be produced. However changes to US law will soon allow equity based crowdfunding.
Some of the best crowdfunding websites for small businesses include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Fundable.
2 – Angel Investing
After entrepreneurs have made their fortune many of them look to invest their funds back into startup businesses. These are known as angel investors. Some of the worlds largest businesses including Google, Facebook, Skype and Twitter have received angel investing.
The benefits of receiving angel investment go beyond the purely financial. The advice and connections that a good angel investor can offer can be equally as valuable. Angel investors are willing to take on the risk of a brand new startup. There are a number of angel investing networks which connect entrepreneurs and investors. Some of the biggest networks include Golden Seeds, Tech Coast Angels and Investors Circle.
3 – Family and Friends
Your family and friends want to see you succeed and may even want a stake in your potential goldmine for themselves. However using family and friends as a source of raising money can be problematic. It can create a strain that can ruin personal relationships. It is also worth remembering that over 50% of small businesses fail in their first five years often because of factors completely outside of the control of the owners. Make sure that you are not borrowing money that they can’t afford to lose. Put any lending agreement in writing with the terms clearly laid out even if it is a “friendly” loan.
A number of successful businesses have started out with a loan from friends and family, so don’t shoot this idea down, just be mindful about the pitfalls and burdens that may come about in turbulent times. The risk is high but so is the reward when you are able to grow not only your own wealth but friends and families along the way.
4 – Credit Cards
Credit cards should be viewed as a temporary measure between getting your business started and obtaining other financing such as a bank loan. Given the hefty 10 – 20% plus interest rates on many credit cards they are generally not a good source of loan term capital. That said credit cards have been used by many entrepreneurs when their was no other options available. In the mid 1990s the founders of Google initially funded the company using credit cards. While the founders maxed out their credit cards they used the funds wisely, purchasing second-hand computers instead of new ones and open source software instead of off the shelf.
5 – Bank Financing
One of the most common ways that people raise capital for their small business is through a bank loan. Your banker may request that you have your loan guaranteed by the Small Business Association before approval. The SBA is a government agency who will guarantee up to 80% of the value of the loan for applicants which meet their criteria. Alternatively you may be able to offer some other form of security such as your home to get your loan approved.
6 – Second Mortgage
Second mortgages are also referred to as home equity lines of credit. These loans tap into the locked up equity you may have in your home. To calculate how much you may be able to borrow for a second mortgage take the value of your home and deduct the value of any outstanding mortgage. Be aware some lenders may only lend only up to 70 – 80% of the fair value of the home. One of the biggest advantages of using a second mortgage is that the interest rate tends to be lower than with others form of financing. This is because the bank knows it can always recover the value of the loan by foreclosing on your property if you are not able to meet your interest payments.
7 – Venture Capital
Venture capitalists aim to invest in early stage businesses with high growth potential. Traditionally venture capitalists received equity in the business in exchange for funding it. However these days they typically demand a mixture of equity and debt financing.
The venture capital business is based on the idea of a few big wins making up for a lot of poor performers. In fact approximately 3 out of 4 businesses which receive venture capital fail. Because of this venture capitalists look for businesses which have a lot of growth potential. If the market for your business is more modest you may need to look elsewhere for funding.
8 – Business Partner
You might not have the money to get your business started but maybe you know someone who does. Of the Inc top 500 businesses, 28% received seed funding from a co-founder.
When selecting a partner for your business you need to make sure that their own goals for the business are aligned with yours. As a business partner they will have control over the direction of the business. It is also a good idea to have a buy out agreement in place in case of a breakdown in the business relationship. This should stipulate that the other partner must agree to a proposed buyout within a set time frame or buyout the other partner themselves.
Finally it is worthwhile looking at the lesson of Facebook. CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg had seen how earlier dot com companies had been willing to give away almost all of their equity to venture capitalists in order to get funded. He wasn’t going to make the same mistake and never gave up equity lightly. His 28.1% stake is now worth $14.9 billion. Be careful to negotiate your own financing terms with equal tenacity even when all you have is a vision for the future. The difference may one day be worth millions.
6 Guy Kawasaki Lessons About Pitching Your Startup To An Investor
Guy Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, bestselling author, and Apple Fellow. He was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984.
“You say: “I have lots of great ideas, but I have trouble figuring out which one to try. Let me tell you about a couple.” Investor thinks: “I want to know which idea you’re going to kill yourself trying to make successful, not which ideas have crossed your idle mind.”” – Guy Kawasaki
“Here’s what you should say [to investor]: “This is what my company does…” It’s that simple. What you’re trying to do is get potential investors to fantasize about how your product or service will make a boatload of money. They can’t fantasize if they don’t know what you do.” – Guy Kawasaki
“You say: “I love to think of new ways to solve problems.” Investor thinks: “Is this a high-school science fair?””- Guy Kawasaki
“You say: “My goal is to build a world-class company.” Investor thinks: “How about you ship and sell the first copy before we talk about world-class anything?”” – Guy Kawasaki
“You say: “I don’t know much about your firm, but I thought I’d contact you anyway.” Investor thinks: “You’re a lazy idiot–why are you wasting my time?”” – Guy Kawasaki
“You say: “The last time I contacted you, I…” Investor thinks: “I’m going to fire my secretary for putting this clown on my calendar again.”” – Guy Kawasaki
Article By: Jonathan Savage & Joel Brown | Addicted2Success.com
5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
Remote Work + Education: 3 Tips for Students Who Want to Have It All
Probably one of the greatest changes for the last year is the shifting to distant learning and working. There are many advantages to the issue, like, not having to commute every day, staying at a cozy home for a whole day. It makes our lives easier in terms of saving time and energy.
If you’re a student, you don’t have to bust out your textbooks every time you go to university. Instead, you have everything close and on the tips of your fingers.
However, within all the positive moments of distance learning, it is highly challenging for many of us. At college or in the office, we have a schedule, a plan which we simply have to stick to.
There is also a boss or a teacher who gives us tasks, checks and monitors our performance.
Well, now, we are our own bosses and teachers and have to come up with the plan and track our tasks independently.
So, how to stay tuned and efficient if you work and study from home? How to get the most of it and not drown in the ocean of procrastination? In this article, you will find three tips to help you out!
Set Up Your Workspace
When many think of a distance learning or work, they imagine themselves wearing pajamas and lying on a couch all day with the laptop. No more dress code, make-up, early mornings, coworkers or group mates, paradise!
This is a common misconception of remote work. If you want to work and study from home, it is crucial to create a space where you would stay focused and productive.
Still, if you have had a hard day and feel like having rest on your comfy couch, but there are assignments to be done, leave your worries to professionals in paperwritingservice, just place an order and enjoy your day.
When we both work and study from home, we stay with all those household essentials and, at the same time, have to focus on tasks. That is why a perfect workspace has to be created. So how to reach this ideal atmosphere at home? Here’re some pro tips.
Separate Spaces for Everything
This is a common problem for many that they sleep and study at the same place. Our body is a smart mechanism, which gets used to conditions very quickly.
So, as you sleep in your bed, every time you lie on it, your body gets ready to relax and concentrate is the last thing it is ready for. This principle is applied to any other space in your house.
So, your workspace should be particularly aimed at learning or/and work. Every time you get there, your brain will be ready to do the job.
Get Rid of All Distractions
This is a very important step if you want to stay productive at home. Your home may be a dangerous space in terms of concentration. To make it easier, help your brain and get rid of everything that might attract your attention and ultimately prevent good performance.
Plan Your Day
Every morning when you wake up, you approximately know what the tasks for a day are. So, what’s the sense in planning a day if you already have it all in your head?
This is one more important concept that helps us have everything done on time. Planning a day saves you time and boosts motivation and disciplines.
Here’s how it is done:
- You write down a list of tasks that have to be done;
- Prioritize them from less important to more important;
- Hang this list somewhere, where you can always see it;
- Mark completed tasks.
When you mark the task as accomplished, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction, which may be compared to some sort of praise. There are many tools to write a to-do list from paper to online apps.
Dedicate Time for Yourself
When you work and study from home, there will be a risk of abandoning our personal time in favor of more important matters. This factor leads not only to great results but also a concept called burning out.
When people face it, they feel exhausted, demotivated, and apathetic. To avoid this, it is crucial to have time for things you enjoy. It may be a sport, hobby, listening to music, watching movies, seeing friends. Your brain has to relax and get positive emotions to be more efficient in the long run.
No matter if you want to work and study from home, these principles can be applied to any activity. To manage it all, just follow these basic rules, and you’ll see how your productivity boosts.
Good luck with all your endeavors!
5 Ideas on Starting a Business in College
Getting your own business is a very responsible yet liberating undertaking. By starting a business while still in college, you can be sure to have an income when you graduate or to at least get some life-saving skills and experience that will help you land whatever job you like later on.
Although starting a business can be quite intimidating, there are lots of resources online that will help you go through the process easier. In the meantime, here are some valuable ideas that will help you make sure your business turns out to be a success.
Develop a Business Proposal
Before starting a business, you need a working idea, something that you can sell to your potential customer. Having an idea is, unfortunately, not enough for success here. It is important to make sure that there is an audience, a group of people that actually needs the product you want to create, and will be interested in buying it. You can even define a “Buyer Persona,” which is basically a description of your target customer, what they are like, what triggers them, what their interests and needs are.
Business proposals can be different, depending on how big a business you want to start. In case you are thinking about looking for some investors, your business proposal should be a solid description of your business idea, convincing enough for people to understand that they will get their money back and gain some profit when your product goes live. In case you don’t need investors, your business proposal can be more of a business plan outlining the main facets of your business idea and the things you need to do to make it work.
Get Some Help
As a person new to the business world, you might need some helpers and advisors to keep everything under control. When it comes to your studies, there might come the point where you need to choose between your business and your degree. To manage the problem, you can reach out to a professional academic writer from essayservice and ask them to take care of your assignments while you focus on developing your business.
Additionally, you might need to reach out or hire some business or tax advisors, or at least request a consultation with them. Starting a legal business will require you to be good at paperwork, which means some preparation is in place. With a business advisor by your side, you can be sure not to miss any important steps when developing and marketing your business. If you define your company as a start-up, it is possible that some business advisors will be willing to help you out for free, given that they get interested in your business idea and want to get profit out of it too.
Create a Website
Whatever business you choose, whether you deliver services or products, you need to have a website. Luckily, you can make do with little investments here: you don’t need to hire an IT guy or a Web Designer as there are lots of tools where you can create a great website from scratch. You might just have to pay for your domain if you want it to be unique. One of such sources is Wix; it is a free website builder.
Why do you need a website, you might wonder? Well, the days when people learn about businesses from newspapers and leaflets are long gone. Now everyone will go online, look your business up, and expect to see some clear definition of what it is you do and what value you can bring. In case you want to open a shop, your website will function as an online shop. In case it is a service you are offering, your website will give your potential customer enough information about your service and will hopefully convince them to reach out to you and order the service.
Work on Social Media Channels
Having social media channels is as essential as having a website in 2020. While a website is a place where people can order and buy your products or services, social media is a sort of a platform that will lead them up to your website.
With the help of social media channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you can find the right people, give them a brief description of your business, and get them to visit your website and learn more about what they can get there.
Social media is what can also help you develop a strong online presence and customer loyalty. Online presence means that your business gets regular online exposure. People see posts and notifications about it daily and thus remember and highlight it. When it comes to customer loyalty, social media can help you engage your potential customers, get their interest, and devotion to the product and the very idea of your product. They basically need to feel “at home” with your business, like it is something very close and personal to them.
Try Again Until You Make It
The reason why many businesses fail lies in the fact that people tend to give up if they fail, simple as that. However, the truth is that failure is part of the process. It is a sort of a learning curve you need to go through before you make your business into what it should actually be like. That’s why you should never expect to succeed on your first try or get disappointed if you fail several times in a row. Maybe it is just the universe testing how serious you are about achieving your goal.
Every company has this “success story,” where they tell everything about their ups and downs, their insights, and takeouts. It is good to read those stories to get some inspiration and do a reality check on what building a business actually looks like. If your determination and motivation are strong enough, your business will definitely succeed, no matter how many tries it takes to get there.
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