Listen to these entrepreneurs talk about their best advice for raising money for your growing company. They discuss relying on personal funds, finding people you can trust, securing lines of credit when you don't necessarily need it, getting a mentor to help you out, and more.
With regard to raising money, the most important thing I learned was that no doesn't mean no. Even at banks, You will find a bank to say yes, in some cases. But one thing you can do is rely on your personal things. and so the way a lot of people raise money at the beginning is just use a lot of their own credit cards. And it works fine because they're not going to bother you and your business. Going into equity capital where you want someone to actually give you a lot of money and own part of your business, that money is more expensive. And then you have this other person that's in there or persons and you're going to have to answer to some of them. And some of them will lock down your company and they want to manage it with you and all of that. So if you don't want that kind of hassle, then the easiest way is definitely your personal capital.I think raising money is just like building a team. You've got to find people that you can trust, that you resonate with and who are bringing something to the table that you don't have, which is money. Best practice for raising money, I've never, I've never gone after the capital, so I can't really speak to doing any rounds of seed funding or anything like that. I will say that I didn't get a business line of credit early enough, and I had to make payroll one time on a credit card and I told myself I'll never do that again. I would say try to secure loan money when you don't need it. Go ahead and get your lines of credit because when you're profitable and making money, you're more attractive to banks at that time, rather than when you're in the hole. I feel like I've said this a few times, but mentorship. I would say mentorship is a valuable, best practice for raising money because, having the perspective of someone who has gone through the pitch process, fundraising process before, is so invaluable when you're just starting out. For me, I had never done that before so that was really valuable. I think the best practice in raising money is to bootstrap it. The worst thing that can happen is you to give away the ownership of your company early on when it costs nothing, and now, all of a sudden, you're a diluted down the owner, and you just got a small amount of money to give that ownership away. Let's say that you're in a business like ours, where you are going to constantly need money every time you grow, then in theory, you would
just keep giving away ownership of your business. We were lucky enough to find some lenders early on. Granted it costs us a huge amount of interest, but eventually, we got interested from banks, and we've been able to bootstrap our way to the current day. I still have 100% ownership. And I would give that advice to anyone. So I've never really actually raised money for my business but I just did it through I just bootstrapped it and like did it through growing and getting more clients and bringing in more money. So for that, I would just say marketing is key and like really show yourself and like your mission through your marketing. I think when it comes to raising money, just look at the people that you're talking to, obviously, no money is free, make sure that you really see that that person or that VC or that angel network is going to contribute more than just money to your business, but you want their advice and their counsel and the resources that they can bring to your company as well.