You plucked up the courage, quit your job in a state of rebellion, and have decided to be your own boss in the digital marketing arena – good for you! This kind of courage is more than welcome in the competitive world of startups. However, now is the time to compose your thoughts and focus your efforts on establishing strong foundations to what will hopefully grow to a giant in the digital marketing world.
For starters, you need to set your goals so you can write a business plan, which will serve as a guide on your path to success. It is also a document which will help you raise capital for your startup since it serves as proof that you have a clear vision and that you are unwavering in your intentions. When it comes to the necessary capital, unless you suddenly inherit a vast fortune from a long-lost cousin, you will probably need some help in that area. With that in mind, here are five ways in which you can raise your startup capital.
Option 1: Bank Loans
Perhaps the most traditional manner of acquiring funds on this list is through bank loans. Since the acquaintance between entrepreneurs and banks goes a long way back, it is considered to be one of the most reliable options. In that regard, there are two alternatives – funding and working capital loan.
With funding, the bank assesses your business plans in detail and the loan is approved only if they find it satisfactory. On the other hand, a granted working capital loan is aimed at covering one cycle of revenue-generating operations. It is advisable you check a few offers before deciding on a loan from any banks since some of them may have more favorable schemes for startups.
Option 2: Crowd Funding
This is probably the best match for your needs, at least in the creativity sector since your success in raising funds mostly depends on how you present your cause. Crowd funding comes with different possibilities, all of which you might find suitable.
For a smaller investment, a person can get a reward, for example, a T-shirt with your logo. Those who contribute with a more substantial investment, you can offer a part of the agency’s equity, while some investors may act as lenders, which means they expect the return of their principal plus interest. The last manner for them to participate is to simply give donations, no matter how small or big they are. Some of the crowd funding platforms you can check out are AngelList, Kickstarter, or CircleUp.
Option 3: Non-Banking Financial Corporations
NBFCs’ (Non-Banking Financial Corporations) system differs from a banking system mainly in that it does get into all the legal requirements. As acknowledged systems in the financial world, banks can afford to be pickier when choosing who to grant their loans to, so a small startup might not always look like a desirable investment to them, no matter how good the business plan is.
As opposed to banks, NBFCs look more kindly upon startups and most importantly, their encouraging unsecured business loans take considerably less time to be approved or declined. In this way, you don’ have to wait for long until you know for sure whether you received a loan to kick start your agency or you still need to improve your credit score.
Option 4: Venture Capitalists
If you are in need of additional help besides funds, then venture capitalists may be the answer to your problems. This is how it basically works: a venture capitalist firm offers funds to a business which shows signs of great potential in its early stages and does so for a percentage of its equity share.
Having shares in your agency will make venture capitalists even more supportive so besides funds, they can also provide you with advice and expertise, being more experienced in the business world. Another valuable element they can bring to the table is a network of business partners and prospective clients. This is essential for any business owner who is starting from scratch, without any previous experience and contacts in the world of digital marketing.
Option 5: Partnering Up
There is that expression “two heads are better than one” and it might turn out to be true for you. Finding a more experienced partner can be quite useful especially for a novice in the digital marketing world. Not to mention that it offers a possibility of creating a business structure in which one person can be in charge of the financial aspect of the business, while the other can be in charge of the creative processes.
Also, two people not only means double the initial capital, but also a shared concern and decision-making responsibility. Chances are that if one of you is missing a piece of the puzzle, the other will point it out and together you will find an optimal solution to any issue that arises. So, if you are lucky to find both an experienced and dedicated partner, your agency is heading for success.
Now that you are more familiar with your options, and when you did an in-depth analysis of the one that caught your attention the most, your digital marketing agency is ready to set sail.