Launching a business is a lot of work. You’ll spend countless hours managing your people, coming up with new marketing ideas and building your products. On top of that, you’ll have to handle unpredictable dips and troughs in your sales patterns, which may leave you with too little money to pay for things like vendors, materials, and employees.
When the going gets tough for your company, you’ll have two options. Either you can give up and allow yourself to fall into bankruptcy, or you can search for an alternative form of capital to get you through until things pick up again. Here are some of the ways that you can keep your venture afloat during difficult times.
1. Get a Loan
Most people know that they can get a loan to help them launch their business, but they forget that they can also get credit to help them keep their business up and running too. When things look tough for your company, taking out a loan is a great way to make sure that you can keep your projects running smoothly, and potentially stop your customers from going elsewhere.
You’ll always be able to pay back the money that you owe over time when you start to generate additional profits and revenue from your customers again.
2. Sell Equity
One option to make some extra money fast is to sell parts of your business to potential investors and partners. The biggest problem with this is that you’re essentially giving up control over parts of your company, so you won’t be able to make decisions on your own anymore. Instead, everything you do in the future will need to be approved by a team of shareholders and stakeholders.
If you’re comfortable sharing your power with the people who invest in your business, or you think that they can offer useful insights, then you might not mind taking this route. However, for someone, it isn’t the right option.
3. Trade Services
If you’re a company that offers services, and you’re looking for a way to get services that you need for your business, then you could consider seeing whether any other organisations will trade with you. For instance, you could promise to build a website for a new content writer in exchange for him or her writing your copy for the next couple of months. Alternatively, you could give someone free access to your software in exchange for their help with a certain project over a small period.
This won’t work all the time, as many people will not be happy simply “trading” services with their customers or clients. However, it’s worth a try if you’re in a difficult situation.
4. Crowd Funding
If one of the reasons that you’re struggling at the moment is that all of your money is going towards a new product or project, you could consider asking your customers to put some money towards your idea. If you’re good at social media marketing, you can develop a crowdfunding strategy that asks people to pledge money to your cause to help your plan become a reality. Most of the time, you’ll have to give your customers something in return – like your new product when it’s ready. However, you can choose what kind of donation packages they buy, to ensure that you’re making enough money to handle all the expenses in the long-term.
The biggest problem here is that a lot of companies are using crowdfunding today, so you’ll have to generate a lot of marketing buzz to convince people to get involved. You might find that creating noise costs you more than your crowdfunding strategy makes.
5. Friends or Family
Finally, one of the most common strategies that companies use to get them through tough times in their business is to ask friends or family members for help. On the plus side, borrowing from someone you know means that you shouldn’t have to pay much in terms of interest. Unfortunately, however, lending from the people you love can be a bad idea in the long-term.
Ultimately, if your business continues to struggle and you can’t pay people back fast enough, then you might notice your relationships starting to crumble. You’ll need to be extra careful with this kind of borrowing, as you don’t just risk losing your business if something goes wrong – you also risk losing the loved ones and friendships that you’ve built over the years.