The Point: We’re often asked at Tip of the Spear Ventures, “What are the best ways to go about business funding – Should we consider subscription models?” The short answer is “Yes.” Subscription models are yet another way to accomplish business funding over a traditional capital raise. So in this article we’ll explore business funding through the use of subscription models… Enjoy!
Small business funding refers to the way in which an aspiring or already existing business owner obtains cash to launch a new business, buy an existing business or increase capital to finance future business activity. Business funding can come in many forms, but the most common sources are angel investors, venture capitalists or third party lenders. Entrepreneurs looking for startup capital should take note that all investors are not created equally and each has different goals and business needs. So it begs the question, “Why not explore customer funding options, specifically subscription models?”
Entrepreneurs should consider carefully how they plan to use any business financing options and should always have a game plan before approaching a private investor or a bank. Often it’s the case that entrepreneurs don’t even need to approach an outside funding source. A number of private investors offer startup capital at a discounted rate to entrepreneurial risk candidates who possess a well-developed business plan, a strong personal credit history and a steady track record of profit and loss repayments. To attract and qualify for such financing, entrepreneurs need to demonstrate a strong business plan with a well thought through exit strategy. Additionally, entrepreneurs should develop a set of metrics to track key metrics such as customer satisfaction, profit margins and return on investment.
When it comes to small business funding, entrepreneurs should also keep in mind that there are several options available to them. There are many different types of startup loans including bank loans, credit unions, commercial real estate loans, equity loans from family members and friends, working capital options from multiple lenders and lastly, entrepreneurs can tap prepaid credit cards as working capital. While some entrepreneurs may have better success securing business funding through more traditional means, most borrowers fail to secure enough capital to launch or expand their operations. There are several successful stories of entrepreneurs who obtained small business funding on a shoe string budget. If you have the desire and the ability to be financially secure and succeed in the entrepreneurial business environment, then you may want to consider applying for funding from a private lender. All of this said though, an avenue to pursue before doing so is the applicability of a subscription model as a way of raising capital for your enterprise.