I read about Marg Cummins in the The Courier-Mail and wanted to share her story with you. Marg Cummins is a 28-year-old entrepreneur and owner of the West End eatery Wild Pepper in Australia. It has been her lifelong dream to open up her own pizzeria and, considering her clean credit history, she thought it would be easy to secure financing from the banks.
Marg had moved to a new state and had signed a lease for her pizzeria when she received the surprising news – the banks would not give her the loan she needed.
“I kept getting knockbacks from the banks, they just weren’t interested in me or my business. I had a great history with the banks so I just couldn’t understand it,” says Marg.
Marg’s story is similar to many young entrepreneurs who are starting off and looking for financing. Most traditional financiers have restrictions on who they lend money to. They want to see that you have an asset, like a house, that they can take if you do not repay the loan. Unfortunately most young entrepreneurs do not have the required assets to qualify for the loans.
While some banks do have young entrepreneur programs that are worth looking into, you might also want to explore these alternative options for getting your company funded and off the ground:
- Angel investors – friends, family, successful individuals who loan or invest smaller amounts of money
- Government programs – from startup capital to hiring employees to training, there are a host of government programs out there to support small businesses
- Venture capital – if you are serious about growing a big company, venture capital investors like to put money into startups that have a multi million dollar payoff in the end
- Customers – try building around your customers and get them to help finance the initial purchases
- Self-finance – do you really need startup capital? Can you start small and build on your own by reinvesting the profits?
- Suppliers – can suppliers give you credit so you can delay payment or can you convince them to give you a loan / invest in your company if you will be an important customer for them?
- Credit cards – if you use your credit cards make sure to pay them off so you do not get hit with the high interest rates.
These are a few options available to you. The front door is rarely wide open for you to walk though so you often have to look for alternative ways to get in and finance your business.