*Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. This article is for informational purposes from my own personal experiences. Please seek professional advice before making any financial decisions.*
You know that feeling when you come up with a new idea? An app you want to develop, a new service that would make life easier, or a consulting firm?
It’s an exciting feeling to brainstorm.
It’s exhilarating to write out all of your thoughts and ideas in a notebook and dream about the endless possibilities of where your business could go.
Then, at some point during the process, the rush of adrenaline starts to die out when you realize that you are going to need some money… Am I right?!
Whether it’s money to legally form your business as an LLC or to buy materials to make the first prototype of your product, at some point you will need some cash!
I’ve worked extra jobs, used personal savings, credit cards, grants, and investor capital to get QuickSit off the ground.
I know firsthand how overwhelming it can be, so below are 5 options to look into when searching for some extra cash to fund your new business!
1. Side hustles
Side hustles are my favorite and one I personally did to earn some cash. When I was working to start my new business my full-time job was being a nanny. On top of that, I did babysitting in the evenings for a handful of families and occasionally drove for Uber at night. I wrote about what my schedule looked like with all of the different jobs in this post.
There are so many flexible options now that we have mobile apps on our phones. Here are some options: Uber, Lyft, Amazon Driver, Shipt, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Rover, and more. For the majority of these, you can pick when and how long you work, which is the best part. You can plan to work 5 pm-10 pm, but if you start to get a headache at 6:30 pm you can finish up your current task, turn your app off, and go home.
2. Credit Cards
This is a great option but definitely comes with some downsides if you aren’t paying attention. When I decided to create a mobile app I didn’t have a lot of money in savings so I used credit cards to kick off my app development. I then used my income from nannying and side hustles to pay off the credit cards. You can usually find credit cards that have 12 months-18months with 0% APR- in simple terms, it means you can use a credit card for a period of time without being hit with interest on top of the amount of money you owe.
Grants are something you want to look for on a consistent basis when starting or running a business. There are multiple websites like this and this is a starting point. You can find grants for your specific industry, the city you live in, or if you are a minority founder. I received a grant during the middle of the pandemic and it was much needed! Grants are one of the best ways to put the cash toward your business because it’s money you don’t have to pay back- and who doesn’t want that?!
Crowdsourcing is another option, but I don’t think it’s the best fit for every new business. I personally think it’s a better fit for businesses that have a product. The people investing in your Kickstarter are going to need to be excited enough about what you are offering to support you and receive a perk in exchange for their cash. Receiving support from others also helps prove people want what you are offering and are willing to pay for it.
5. Business Accelerators
This is an option that often gets overlooked. Now I will say, not every accelerator is going to come with capital so pay attention to all of the fine print when applying to one. The best part about joining a business accelerator that gives you capital is that you are going to get resources, curriculum, and mentorship alongside the capital. Some are easier to get into than others, yet I would encourage you to apply to any you think are reputable and would be a good fit for your business. Y Combinator and TechStars and two well-known accelerators. It is major competition to get accepted into them, but always worth a shot to submit your business!
There are lots of options to choose from. Out of the 5 options listed above, #4 is the only one I don’t have personal experience with for my own business, although I have supported friends who have chosen to go down the route of crowdsourcing.
I’d love to know what ideas you have for bringing in cash to fund your new business idea! Comment below!