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One of the toughest parts of running a small business is raising money. But there are all sorts of grants and schemes you can take advantage of.
Raising money is absolutely critical if you want to grow your business. According to the HMRC page on funding:
Growing your business, whether through increased sales or improved profitability, often means you need to invest more.
In today's article we'll discuss your options and how to go about using them.
The UK Crowdfunding Association explains:
Crowdfunding connects the people who want to make change with the people who want to see change happen. Whether donating or investing, crowdfunding puts people in control of their money and how it is used to affect the world around them, whether for financial return or out of a desire to make a difference for the wider good.
Crowdfunding works in a similar way to any other type of funding. You can receive money in the context of:
The key is to be very clear with donors what they are getting for their money. Is it a gift just to help you get started? Will they end up owning a piece of the business? Will they get any rewards for donating? Rewards could include:
- Free goods and/or services when they are finished
- Exclusive access to certain features
- Praise or thanks in a public forum
- The chance to provide early-stage feedback
Angel Investment / Friends & Family
Angel investors give you money early on in the business life cycle. Typically, they want a share in the business (equity) in exchange for the money. They may also be able to help you out with:
- Putting you in touch with other investors
- Raising your profile and looking more professional
Very small/new companies often receive money from friends or family of the business owner. This is a way of raising cash that doesn't require lots of paperwork or rounds of meetings. However you should make sure:
- They don't lend you money you can't afford to lose.
- You take some basic legal/financial advice if the amount is over £100k.
- Write everything down, including terms and repayment details.
- Don't take the loan for granted. Treat them like any other investor.
If you'd like to learn more, check out the UK Business Angels Association.
EIS, SEIS, VC & R&D
Four lesser known ways to bring money into a new business are:
- The Enterprise Investment Scheme
- The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
- Venture Capital Trusts
- Research & Development grants
Key Business Consultants has extensive experience with all four schemes. The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme is particularly well suited to small businesses.
We will help you to identify an achievable trade to qualify for SEIS relief in a new trading company which will be your own investment vehicle.
Our standard, new company consultancy will ensure that you are confident that your new business starts off with best practice, digital, online systems from the outset.
If you would be interested in raising money for your business, please get in touch. We are experts at helping small business take the next step.