It’s not fair – you might have the best entrepreneur ideas, but if you’ve got bad credit, you’ll have difficulty finding the financing you need for your venture. How can you make your dream come true in spite of your poor credit history? Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t impossible. Keep reading to learn about how to start up a business, even with bad credit.
GETTING A BUSINESS LOAN
Perhaps you have a great idea for inventory management software for retailers. However, you’re carrying a huge debt burden of student loans, and you don’t have a strategy in place to pay them back. How do you secure a business loan, then?
Bear in mind that you are probably not a candidate for a loan from a traditional lender such as a bank. These lenders will want proof of collateral (which you most likely don’t have if you’re a college or university grad just starting out). Traditional lenders aren’t your only option, though.
Start off by turning to friends and family for the capital to fund your business idea. Investment experts call this form of financing “love money,” because your friends and family are contributing out of affection for you.
APPLYING FOR BUSINESS GRANTS
Loans are one way of financing your inventory management program, but they’re not the only avenue. Federal, provincial, and even municipal governments in Canada offer grant opportunities for small business help.
The upside of applying for grants is that your credit history isn’t an obstacle. There’s a drawback to these grants: they can be difficult to find. While the federal government offers a number of grants for small businesses, many of them are region-specific. So, if you want to apply for a grant that’s only offered in the Maritimes, you have to live in one of those provinces. Also, many grants are only available to members of certain groups, such as women or Aboriginals. Governments prioritize funding for certain kinds of small businesses as well. Companies in the technology sector might find more grant opportunities than firms in other fields.
REMEMBER THE PRINCIPLES OF SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING
When you’re looking for the business resources to develop your inventory management software, think about some marketing principles that will help you appeal to lenders of all stripes.
No matter which kind of lender you turn to, that institution or individual will want proof that your idea will succeed. You’ll need a solid, well-researched business plan to do just that. Your business plan outlines why your venture is an excellent opportunity for the investor or lender, and how it will bring them a high return on investment. Lenders want to know that your business will succeed and that you’ll be able to pay back the loan. In that sense, writing a business plan resembles a marketing campaign in that you need to show the customer the benefits of your product or service to convince him or her to make a purchase.
Here’s another marketing principle to remember: the data within your business plan has to be factual and accurate. Don’t pull figures out of thin air when you’re asking for financing. Show that you’ve done your research and that you know what your expenses will be and what revenues you can realistically expect to earn.
Bad credit doesn’t have to stand in your way of becoming an entrepreneur. Demonstrate to potential lenders and investors that you’re fully committed to making your idea a reality. Be patient and diligent about finding financing opportunities. Soon, you’ll be able to launch that business-to-business marketing campaign to sell your software.