Creativity is key when you own your own business. If you are a small company you might be the owner, marketing department, sales, accountant, cashier and even the janitor all rolled into one. And each new challenge requires a creative new solution. Even if you are larger you probably still have a hand in everything that goes on in the company.
It makes sense then, that you would need to have creative business financing when it come to your business as well.
There are basically two ways you can approach the problem of creatively financing a business. You can try to bring in money from an outside resource to help you meet expenses, or you can try to cut expenses in the first place. Fortunately, there are plenty of creative businesses financing techniques you can use for both.
Spending Less-Creatively Financing by Saving Money
Create a Buying Alliance
Many vendors will give a discount to those who buy in bulk. Unfortunately you're not Wal-Mart. However, by partnering with another local business or buying alliance, you can receive the same discount as the large retailers.
Use Open Source Software
Instead of purchasing Microsoft Office for every computer in your business you might consider using the open source software OpenOffice. It's free and an excellent substitute. If you need to do some basic photo editing, you might try GIMP. For virus protection try AVG or windows Security Essentials. Go to Cnet.com and take a look through all of the free downloads offered there. You might find some excellent alternatives to the expensive software you were considering.
Brainstorm with employees
If you have employees, gather everyone together and explain that you need to save money. Ask what ways they can think of to save money. You may find your employees are willing bring their own coffee mugs to work, or make the office party a potluck if they understand the company's situation.
Getting more-Finding the Most Creative Business Financing Options
If cutting costs wasn't enough, it may be to time to look for some creative business financing from outside sources. Here are a few places you should check.
Business Financing from Family and Friends-- Virginmoneyus.com
Many companies have borrowed money from family and friends to get them through tough times or off the ground. Family and friends can be an excellent resource, providing low-cost or even free loans. It can also be dangerous for the relationship. Unlike a typical creditor, you will need to spend time with this lender. They may also feel that because they gave you money they have a right to interfere with how you do business. Companies such as Virginmoneyus.com will help you make the loan official. Laying out terms and making sure that both parties understand them is the best thing you can do to protect their investment, your business, and your relationship.
Creative Revenue Based Lending
Another creative business financing option is revenue based lending. At a time when the Credit Crunch has banks hesitant or unable to loan, this alternative lending process has appeared. Revenue lending focuses on what a business actually makes, rather than its owner's credit score. This allows companies to lend to business owners at highly competitive interest rates and with much more flexibility on repayment options. Performance is not alone, as hundreds of revenue based lenders have received press coverage recently by an excited media.
If you want some REALLY creative business financing, check out Indiegogo.com. Users can post a project, and how much money they need to raise. You can then set what sort of incentives people who donate can receive. For example, one user received a few thousand dollars for her small business collected from a few hundred lenders, who expected nothing in return. The idea is very creative and will allow you to practice your pitch at the very least. So far this crowd funding website has funded more than 5000 projects across the world.
This list may be short, but as the beginning of the article stated, you need to be creative to be a business owner. Hopefully this was enough to get your mind moving in new directions so that you can come up with your own creative business financing solutions. If you have ideas, then please share them with a comment or a message.