There’s a strange psychological phenomenon out there which says that it is a lot harder to start a business than it is to work for one. But is this even true?
It’s true that some entrepreneurs work seventy or eighty hour weeks (Elon Musk is famous for putting in more than 100 hours a week). But usually, this level of activity doesn’t last much beyond the first couple of years. Yes, it’s hard to make ends meet for the first couple of years, and yes, you have to do a lot by yourself, but over time life gets a lot less frantic.
One of the ways people think that having a startup is much harder than working for a business is getting the funding. They imagine a Dragon’s Den scenario, where they have to pitch their business to a bunch of narcissistic fat cats, hell-bent on being king of their castle. But in the real world, things are rather different. The following are some common ways to fund your startup.
Home Equity Loans
Getting money out of regular banks is like getting blood out of a stone these days. Unless you’re a big business, you probably won’t have much luck. But the chances are, if you’re a homeowner and you’ve been paying a mortgage for some time, you’ll be able to take money out of your home and invest it in your business. These sorts of financial arrangements are called home equity loans, and they use the amount of money you’ve paid into your home as collateral for the loan. In simple terms, you’re just getting the money back you’ve paid into your mortgage.
It turns out that many entrepreneurs actually prefer home equity loans. The reason for this is that the interest rates are low, thanks to the fact that the lender can just reclaim your home if you don’t pay them back.
Small Business Loans
You don’t just have to pitch your business idea to the big banks to get the money you need. There are all sorts of financial institutions out that that specialize in making loans to small businesses. As Colbeck Capital points out, these lenders often provide special facilities to businesses to make taking out a loan less risky and expensive. To apply for a loan, you’ll have to make sure that you’ve got a compelling business plan (otherwise lenders will worry that you won’t be able to pay them back), and you’ll also have to have a good credit score to prove that you’ve repaid people in the past.
Another possible way to finance your business, especially if you expect it to remain small, is to use credit cards. The interest rate on credit cards will be a lot higher than the interest rate on regular small business loans, but it can be manageable if the numbers are small. Be careful, though: the amount of credit available through credit cards can be quite large, and some business owners take risks, spending more than they can afford to pay back.