5 Ways to Fund Your Indie Retail Business

Your independent retail business serves a niche market no one else is touching, but maybe you’re having a hard time increasing reach due to cash flow concerns. Even if you have a solid customer base, additional funding can help you expand your product line, work on branding and marketing, and grow your business. But how do you get funding?

Marketplace Lending

Marketplace lending, also known as peer-to-peer lending, is a great way to secure funding quickly without giving up equity in your company. With options such as merchant cash advances and flexible small business loans, this funding source can be faster and less intimidating than seeking out investors or going through traditional banks, especially if you don’t have the best personal credit history.

Crowdfunding

With prominent sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, crowdfunding gets a lot of attention from businesses and consumers alike. And for good reason: you get several benefits when choosing the crowdfunding model. You have a wide audience of potential funding sources, without needing to rely on one or two people or companies. You also don’t give up any company control, so getting small business capital doesn’t mean you have to change your business vision. You can even use crowdfunding as a way to gauge interest in your new products if part of your exploring creating new lines or altering existing products.

Small Business Administration Loans

The Small Business Administration has a loan program for U.S.-based small businesses. These loans go through your local bank, with various limits depending on the bank and your creditworthiness. Your bank needs to know why you want the money, what business plan you have in place, and details about your personal credit history if your indie retail business doesn’t have established business credit. We write more about the process of obtaining an SBA loan here.

Investors

Indie retailers don’t have to skip over more traditional types of business funding, however. Many investors are swayed by indie entrepreneurs bringing something new to the market, especially if you’re in an industry segment projected to grow over the next 10 years.

Personal Loans or Lines of Credit

Sometimes funding sources focused on business funding doesn’t give you what you need. Personal loans and lines of credit don’t have the same requirements as small business loans. However, you’re typically getting much smaller credit card limits and loans when you go the personal route.

Your indie retail business may benefit from some or all of these funding sources. Choose the best options for your company’s growth, based on your unique personal and business financial situation.