Sometimes the dreams of an entrepreneur are larger than her bank account. When you know that you want to take your business to the next level, but you need more money to do it, seeking out small business funding is your next move.
There’s never a guarantee that small business funding for women entrepreneurs will get a stamp of approval – but there are some things you can do to prepare for lending success. Take a look at just a few ways to strengthen your chances of getting the money you need to take your small business to the next level.
Know the market.
Make sure you know what you are walking into before any meetings regarding future funding. What does funding look like in your industry? Find out how your industry has been faring in recent years, and if lending is on an upswing or a decline. This knowledge may not necessarily impact your timing, but it will help you make more informed connections and be prepared when you approach lenders.
If the idea of going the traditional lender route worries you, consider getting the money you need through several smaller investors instead. There are many small business crowdsourcing sites you can frequent, or you can essentially create a mini-IPO through Regulation A+ funding (for businesses that want to raise at least $3 million). This is a smart route to take if you fear one financial entity having too much control over your company. Instead, seek out smaller investments from accredited investors and many individuals who have smaller amounts to commit.
The smartest step when seeking any financial business assistance is to take your time and find the right lender for you. This may not be the lender that is willing to give the most, or even the one with the lowest interest rate. Other factors like the reputation of the lender, its track record with women-owned businesses, its expertise in your industry, and more should come into play. If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular lender, go with your gut and move on to the next one.
Look for options that favor women.
Make sure you visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s resource page for women that outlines the different options available for funding. You can also go with a private lender that specializes in women-owned businesses. These companies know the ins and outs of what it takes for a woman to be successful as a business owner and how to financially reach goals.
Wear your heart on your sleeve.
You are the unique thing that sets your business apart from competitors. Maintain professionalism but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. What is it about your small business that really drives you? How important to you is it that your business succeeds? What is at the heart of your marketing strategies? Lenders may be more inclined to jump on board if they see that your level of commitment to shattering goals is high.
Have you been successful landing small business funding? What advice can you share with readers?