Last Updated on May 29, 2020
The barrier to entry to starting a small online business is very low. It is easier than ever to put a good idea to work online and make a full-time income.
A problem that affects online businesses just the same as any other is cash flow. It is something that is the main cause of online business to fail. Margins are not very good online so having a steady flow of cash is essential.
Getting financing is very important even in an online business that doesn’t require a huge amount of cash to start with.
Here are some ideas on alternatives to getting a bank loan to cover your online business.
Use your equity
If you have a house that has built some equity then this is a good time to remortgage. Use the extra money you save to put back into your business.
The rate that you’ll pay for the new mortgage is surely going to be less than what you would pay for a business loan.
Just remember that you are adding money to what you owe even if you are saving money every month. Use the extra cash wisely so you are not throwing good money after bad towards your business.
Peer to Peer
Sticking to things online, you may want to try out a platform that allows businesses to borrow cash from “investors”. The term investor is used loosely in this case because the person is lending the money. Usually, in the form of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, a user signs up for the platform and looks for loans that they think are right for them.
Loans are far more flexible both for the lender and the borrower. A loan can be requested with a term of a month to a few years and people sign up for the ones they wish to lend into.
It is very common these days to see people turning to crowdfunding to finance their dream. People love to help others that are following their passion and starting a small business. Since it usually only takes a small donation they are happy to help.
Those small donations add up, however. With enough friends and a good social media following to advertise the campaign to, you could find yourself flush with much-needed cash very quickly.
For a more sizeable fund, there is also equity crowdfunding. This takes a more traditional style of investing where donations come with some kind of share in the business. This isn’t usually recommended for many small online businesses that are limited in how much they can scale.
Merchant cash advance
When you get started with your business, you’ll need to sign up with a merchant service to process your credit card orders.
This is a loan that your merchant will give you upfront that is then paid back by them deducting a percentage off of the purchase until the loan is paid. Effectively you pay them back every time a purchase is made so you aren’t stuck with a monthly payment to make if sales are slow.