One of the biggest hurdles to getting your business off the ground, or taking it to the next level is the problem of finding enough investment funding. Of course, everyone knows about the more common methods like applying for loans and grants or selling shares in your company for equity. However, there are some newer and less well-known options on the market available now that also have the potential to help business owners out financially. Options that it is worthwhile to consider before making your financial choice. Read on to find out more about them.
Corporate sponsorship is often something that is often associated with getting funds for the nonprofit sector, and it is a well-established tradition in this area. However, it is important to note that seeking corporate sponsorship packages is also an excellent way for any business to raise investment capital with which to start or expand their company. In fact, such capital can even be used to host specific events or launch particular products.
The reason for this is that corporate sponsorship is a marketing exercise for the company that is donating the money. That means you don’t necessarily have to be a charity to benefit from sponsorship. In fact, the primary focus of the pitch you make should be about the benefits you can provide directly to that organisation. Remember, if you can show how the companies brand will be enhanced by being associated with your business, you are much more likely to get the funds that you are applying for.
Writing a stellar proposal is key to securing corporate sponsorship.
To do this, you need to complete a sponsorship proposal. Something that you will need to do some research for beforehand. This should include speaking to someone at the companies you are applying to see what their sponsorship process is. Don’t worry too much if they aren’t looking for this sort of opportunity at the moment either, because with the right sponsorship packages guide to help you, you will often be able to convince them that investing in your business is a good idea.
Remember too that the best sponsorship guides will discuss how breaking down rewards into levels in your proposal is a bad idea. Instead, they should be grouped into sections that relate to the specific advantages of the component is particular areas such as marketing, products or communication. Basically, you are trying to show how donating to your company will actually add value to theirs.
Crowdfunding is an interesting development in business investment that is definitely worth your time to investigate.
It works fairly simply in that you submit a proposal to a crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Then you do your best to create a buzz around your project usual through online marketing and advertising and convince people to donate specific sums to your cause.
The idea is that you are looking for many people to donate relatively small amounts, but these amounts will cover getting a particular project up and running, and the profits from those will help you move forward with your business.
These crowdfunding sites are a partially good way of allowing small and independent businesses to get off the ground, even if they have very little capital to start with. One of the key benefits here is that funding levels are often related directly to items purchases. That means not only do you secure enough money to get your project up and running by using them, but you also know the there is a serious market for what you are doing, and it’s likely that your product will sell in the general market as well.
However, it is worth noting that crowdfunding mostly works with physical buyable products best. That is because people that are pledging their money will want to know what they are getting in return. Of course, a few altruistic types may donate small amounts to things that they think are a good idea, but as a rule, the system really works like a typical purchase, just with longer lead dates than would usually be acceptable.
In addition, don’t forget that extra bonus materials and content are vital aspects of getting people to commit their money to your project through crowdfunding, instead of waiting to see whether your item will hit the mainstream market and buying it then. Successful bonus items often include wearables like shirts or jewellery customised to your brand, or additional and exclusive content that isn’t available anywhere else.
Contests and Competitions
Last of all, a quite unusual way of raising investments for your business is to seek out funding from contests and competitions. Now, this doesn’t really mean signing up for Pointless on TV and raising the cash that way. Although if you get the opportunity why not?
What we actually mean here is a business competition that is designed to encourage specific issues or work practices. These work by offering sums of money, advice and help from experts in the field, and ongoing mentorship to the winning businesses.
Of course, to win you will need to ensure that you fit all the quite strict, criteria that the competition organisers lay out. However, as there are so many of these contest about at the moment, this can work in your favour because it’s pretty likely that you will be able to find a category that you fit comfortably within. Popular ones include green and eco-friendly business and products, funding for female-led organisations, classic startup competitions, as well as new tech business contests.
The best thing is that for the most part, you don’t even have to pay an entry fee to throw your hat in the ring. Although you will need to put in the time and effort to complete the application and your proposal as thoroughly as possible. Remember too that the finals of many of these competitions are held as a sort of public forum, so do expect to have to battle it out not only in front of the judges but a fairly large audience. Something that means your public speaking and presenting skills need to be tip top as well as your business nouse if you are going to get funded this way.