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Finding Start-up Capital

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 18 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Capital Start-up Money Business

Many new businesses need extra funding in order to get set up. If you’re interested in the possibility of finding start-up capital for your gardening business, here are some ideas as to where you could source the money from.

If you’re in need of an extra bit of capital to get your gardening business off the ground, don’t panic. It’s certainly not an unusual situation for a new business to find themselves in and funding is often available, if you know where to look. However, be aware that it’s not always easy to get capital for investing in your business and may take a while for you to find a potential source, put an application in (if necessary) and hear the result. It therefore helps to plan ahead and act as soon as you’re aware you need capital, so that you’ve got a better chance of acquiring it in time.

It’s also possible that you may require some extra funding when your business has been running for a while. For example, you may want to expand your business, move to bigger premises, hire more employees or slightly change your target to suit a new opportunity you’ve discovered. If you’ve not got enough funds to finance such expansion yourself, then finding potential sources of capital is a good move.

Grants and Funding

It’s worth investigating to see whether there are any grants or funding opportunities available in your area that would be suitable for your gardening business. Where grants exist, they often have set criteria that you have to meet before you can even apply, so you do need to do careful research first. Often grants are available for young entrepreneurs, businesses that want to develop new angles, or specific types of businesses.

Local business groups are a good starting point for finding out what types of grants and funding may be available in your area. Another good way of obtaining information is to look for the grants and funding directories available at libraries. They’re usually updated on an annual basis and will provide all the details you need to see if you could be eligible to apply and, if so, how and when to do so.

Venture Capital Funding

Start-up capital for new businesses is often available from venture capitalists. There are official organisations in the UK that maintain up-to-date information about the venture capital opportunities available and how you can apply for it. A good starting point, for example, would be the British Venture Capital Association.

If your business has been running for a while and you need extra capital for expansion, then venture capitalists often step in and help. If you’ve got good sales figures and a good turnover to show, then you should be in with a good chance.

Getting Investors

Another way of ensuring extra capital is to get one or more investors for your business. They could be a pure investor, providing money and perhaps shares in the company, or they may prefer to be a silent partner, where the money is provided, but they’re happy to sit back and let you make the decisions and run the business in your own way.

If you have a viable offer of investment, then do give it plenty of thought and ensure you know and are happy with what level – if any – of involvement in the day-to-day running of the business that they investor wishes to play.

If you’re taking investments from friends or family, as many people do, then do take extra care to ensure that you’re all fully happy with the deal and what’s involved, as mixing business with friendship or family can sometimes pose problems.

Bank Loans

It’s also worth bearing in mind that your bank may be willing to offer a loan for start-up capital. If you’ve been a loyal customer and have a good, clean credit rating, then the chances of being successful when applying for a bank loan will be increased. You’re very likely to need to present your business plan, ideas and reasons for wanting to apply for the loan, so make sure your presentation is up to scratch and you’re confident about what you’re asking for.

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