Whether you’re giving up that plum 9-5 job to venture out and start something of your own, or whether entrepreneurship has always been your calling, creating a viable and steady market for what you have to offer is no cakewalk. Good news is that we are millennials now who thrive on what the world of digital technology has to offer. Securing a good source of funding and money grants to help that dream idea take off is no longer an ordeal if we look at some of the options technology has to offer.
Turing to social media for networking is now second nature to aspiring entrepreneurs. Real time trade meets and conference calls will always have its place in the world of business but social media forums really open up avenues for new business enthusiasts to interact and exchange ideas with the like minded.
These online forums offer wonderful opportunities to open up channels with people who may want to mentor, fund, invest in, or even partner up for your business idea.
The likes of StartupNation and Gust are a regular “go to” for those who are brimming with exciting ideas but just need that extra push for networking.
A more direct and “in your face” approach to launching your business idea would be to go the crowdfunding/ crowdsourcing way. You pick the target market and pitch the idea toward them which in turn frees you from the hassle of middlemen or brokerage and does away with the uncertainty factor coming with “angel investors”. Kickstarter and GoFundMe have successfully launched many ideas/ products for those who started with mere bootstrapping for their venture.
For an idea promising enough, crowdfunding will take off well with those willing to invest in your unfinished product. Accountability here is high as individuals would like to keep track of whether their money is being used the right way. Timely updates, progress reports, and “work in progress” pictures from the startup owner should be a regular feature with this funding option.
A relatively new source of funding assistance, Blockchain is creating flutters in the venture funding scene and looks like it’s here to stay.
It all starts with something called an Initial Coin Offering or ICO. Similar to crowdfunding, the business owner issues digital/ crypto coins to all those who believe in or want to invest in the idea or product. An ICO can also be made to those involved directly or indirectly in the venture, such as the developers or the engineers of the start up.
Entrepreneurs may choose to set aside a few coins for its leaders and employees or may use them in different ways.
This decentralized funding option is free from third parties and negates the hiccups involved in dealing with banks and financial institutions for easy flow of cash.
Blockchain with its Bitcoin offerings has raised hundreds of million dollars in funding.
Digital Apps and consultancies for small business loans
The old school funding source of your friendly neighborhood bank loan has just been revamped. Applying for a small business loan to aid your new venture requires homework. Your financial case drawing out your current wealth, detailed business plan and detailed budget will have to be placed convincingly in front of a lender before they approve that loan. This will be followed by specific documentation highlighting your property ownerships, long term investments, and financial records of the past years and also future projections.
This is where digital apps like Mint.com and QuickBooks come to the rescue. These apps are designed to break down and simplify the process with the help of a few basic inputs from the business owner. A case well chalked out and presented with complete documentation, helps the entrepreneur speed up the lending process.
With technology paving the way for funding and expanding your entrepreneurial dream, there should be no stopping those ready to go all the way.
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