There are few businesses that do not need to worry about financial support for their operations. Often, the issue is raised at the initial stages, when you set up your business. However, if you are planning to expand your business, you will also probably be wondering: “How I am going to pay for this?”
The various kinds of financial support
There are many options for financial support: from the bank, from friends and family, with micro-financing (e.g. Qredits), credit unions, crowdfunding platforms, etc. All these options could be suitable for your business, but one might be more suitable than another. Nonetheless, the same applies to all the options: you need a well-substantiated plan (called a business plan). There are free models/templates for every sort of plan available for downloading from the Internet. HERE is an example of a business plan-model for your (new) business (in Dutch).
We have presented brief descriptions of each of the kinds of financial support below:
From the bank
Traditionally, the bank has always been the place to arrange commercial credit. In practically every case, the bank will want to receive a well-thought-out business plan which specifically indicates what your plans are, where your revenue will come from, what the expenditure will be, etc. As banks are subject to (stringent) legislation and supervision, they will ask businesses to fill in a number of documents. Banks charge interest on loans. The interest will probably vary per bank, so it might be profitable to check with several banks. The amount that you can borrow is, in theory, limitless, but will depend mainly on your plan and the guarantee you can give the bank. Often, the bank will require some form of security for the loan (e.g. a mortgage, your own contribution, etc.).
Qredits is a foundation that arranges micro-financing to an upper limit of 50,000 USD per application. In many cases, Qredits works in the same way a bank does: some form of security will be required to ensure that you repay the account (such as a well-structured business plan, your own contribution if necessary, etc.). You will need to fill in various forms and run through various formalities for Qredits too. If you are granted a loan from Qredits, you will also be assigned a coach who will study your business with you and keep an eye on you regarding your business.
One way of arranging financial support is by means of crowdfunding. Generally speaking, you are given the opportunity and a platform (such as www.kickstarter.com) to pitch your idea to the general public. The public can then invest a small amount in the entrepreneur’s idea. If that same entrepreneur receives the pre-determined amount in investments, he is entitled to the money he has accumulated. If he does not reach the amount that was agreed on, the entrepreneur receives nothing and the money is refunded to the investors. More information about the various platforms is available here.