Starting a business is an uphill battle. It’s tough to get funding, and it can be even more difficult to find the right person for your company. If you’re lucky, you’ll land on some startup financial aid that will help keep your business afloat until things start picking up.
Here are seven tips every startup owner must know about financial aid:
Apply for Government-funded Grants or Scholarships
There are a ton of government-funded grants and scholarships out there for students who have the initiative to apply. Some of these, such as Pell Grants or federal Stafford Loans, always offer aid. In contrast, others might be specific to certain categories like geographical location, race/ethnicity, gender, academic performance, or major field of study. In an interview with Nancy Etz, she explained that scholarships are the perfect way to get help with funding.
Ask your Local Community College for their Financial Aid Resources
If you’re still in school and looking to get your business off the ground, consider attending a nearby community college or technical institute before transferring into a four-year institution. Your chances of receiving government funding will be much higher at these schools because they focus on helping students who need financial assistance complete their courses and get a degree.
Use the Free Resources Available Online to Find Government-funded Programs
There are quite a few places you can look for startup financial aid information, including local community colleges (like we mentioned above), universities, state governments, and even some of the federal agencies like Sallie Mae. A quick Google search will point you in the right direction for free financial aid resources.
Be Prepared to Spend Money on an Advisor or Consultant
If your startup’s cash flow doesn’t allow for expensive consulting fees, other ways are to find help. Many organizations offer online courses and seminars that teach business owners about government-sponsored programs. These might be a cheaper alternative than hiring someone with experience when it comes to finance and mathematics. You can also contact your local Small Business Association (SBA) branch, which offers guidance at no cost!
Consider Starting a Kickstarter Campaign
If you have a business idea taking off, creating a Kickstarter campaign might be the best option for financial aid. This is especially true if your startup needs some capital to get started or expand its reach on social media, etc. We suggest doing all of your research before launching this type of campaign because it can either help you acquire funding or tank completely.
Apply for Small-business Loans with Local Banks and Credit Unions
Small-business owners are often looking for alternative sources of financing outside their bank accounts, including personal lines of credit (PLOC) against future income potentials. Many options are available through traditional lending institutions, but make sure you do extensive research before choosing one. Some banks and credit unions offer small-business loans up to $500,000, but you must find the right loan for your business at a competitive rate.
Start Investing in Stocks or Mutual Funds
If you have a lot of extra cash socked away from past investments, now might be the best time to reinvest those dollars into your startup! There are several methods of doing this, including buying individual stocks or purchasing shares in a company through an online trading platform like E*TRADE. It could also make sense if you already own additional stock as part of another investment portfolio. Just remember: there’s no better way to lose money than by gambling on high-risk/high reward plays with limited knowledge about what goes into these types of investments.
This blog post has provided you with seven startup financial aid tips for startup owners. By following these guidelines, you will be able to take care of your business finances more efficiently and have money left over at the end of the month. We hope that this information helps you on your journey as an entrepreneur!