You’ve come up with a great idea, you’ve set up your company, and now it’s time to turn your dreams into reality. There’s just the small matter of obtaining the suitable funds to help your business grow and develop. With that in mind, here are our top tips for getting funding for your small business.

Loans

There are a number of Government-backed schemes which provide start-up loans to get your business off the ground.

These include Start-Up Loans, a subsidiary of the British Business Bank which offers financial support to businesses which struggle to access other forms of finance.

There’s also Startup Direct, a delivery partner of the Governments Start-Up Loans Scheme that provides up to £25K in start-up funding for entrepreneurs.

If your application for a start-up loan is successful, you’ll receive 12 months of free mentoring and extensive support through workshops, events and more.

Grants

If you’d prefer to take out a grant, there are lots of funding opportunities for small business owners across the UK.

Small business grants are provided by the UK government, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

A full list of these grant providers is available on the Government’s website. Here, you can filter from the list based on your company’s age, industry and size.

Each grant provider has its own application process and criteria for applications and the amount you can borrow typically ranges from £500 to £500K.

Bootstrapping

If you’re not familiar with the term ‘bootstrapping’, this means funding your small business either from your own personal finances or the operating revenues of your company.

Essentially, you’re only investing where absolutely necessary and working within your means.

Examples of this may include keeping things in-house instead of outsourcing and having a virtual office space.

The idea behind bootstrapping is that it helps you achieve a positive cash flow and minimises your debt obligations.

To gain more of an insight into how bootstrapping could work for your small business, check out this guide.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular funding method for small business owners in recent years.

Research from small business advisory firm Cargill Holloway has revealed that ‘crowdfunding’ is the most searched business finance term. This shows that there’s a clear appetite for it, and it’s clear to see why.

One of the main reasons crowdfunding is such a great option is that it’s a fast way to raise finance with no upfront fees.

It also allows you to market your product or service without having to give up equity in your company. Along the way, your investors can become your most loyal customers!

Friends and family

If you either don’t have sufficient savings to fund your business or don’t want to set up a crowdfunding campaign, there’s always the tried and tested method of turning to friends and family.

The benefit of this funding method is that there’s much less bureaucracy involved than with other potential investors.

It’s also a sure-fire way of getting the money together if you are rejected for a business loan or grant because of cash flow issues.

However, being disciplined and maintaining professionalism is key. Any funds you get from friends and family should be treated strictly as business and a formal contract should be drawn up.

Otherwise, you run the risk of people interfering with your business and relationships potentially being ruined.


For more useful tips like these, check out our Learning Centre and make your small business the best it can be.