Raising the funds to run your alternative business has never been an easy task. Most alternative businesses are started through the pure joy of creating your own clothing or art, and the possibility of turning it into a long term career can often seem like a pipe dream.
Over the past few years there's been a rise in internet funding for businesses, sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been enabling independent businesses to raise the necessary funds to help get their business plan off the ground, and they've certainly been making an impact here in the UK.
You've got your business plan, the skills, and craftsmanship to make a real go of it, but the funds are the one area that often hold most alternative businesses back.
You may be surprised to learn that a lot of alternative businesses are often run alongside maintaining a part time, or even full time job to enable them to run their business. But there are times when even the hard earned cash from your business and day job just aren't enough to move your business forward to the next step and that's where fund raising has been coming in.
The growth in popularity of fund raising sites has certainly been quick, over the past few years independent fund raising and loan sites have been cropping up in the UK alone, running alongside the more well known sites in the industry like Kickstarter.
The concept of these sites is pretty simple, businesses are able to pitch their ideas to the public, where they can choose to contribute towards the project funds in exchange for perks. These can vary from gifts to vip packages, all contributing towards the end goal for the business.
Once reached, the business gets the funds needed to work towards their project. It could be anything from purchasing a lazer cutter to work on new designs, or helping to produce a new collection for a designer.
It's certainly an alternative to a bank loan. How often have you dreaded the thought of convincing a bank manager to give you a loan for equipment needed to create loveable plushie zombies, or slinky latex clothing. Often than not small businesses tend to get overlooked when it comes to loans but the fund raising aspect does raise many questions.
How can investors be sure that the project they're investing into is genuine? Will those funds will go towards the actual equipment mentioned in the project? It is a risk that funders are willing to take. That said most of the time these are genuine businesses, artists and designers looking for an alternative to a loan to help get their business off the ground.
We've noticed a growing trend in the alternative scene for fund raising projects over the past few months, it's given small independent businesses a chance to really make of a go of it and turn their ideas into a reality.
Whilst some may not agree entirely with the ethics of fund raising, it's certainly an alternative method to raise funds for your business, and one which allows you to communicate directly with the very funders helping you to get your business idea off the ground. If it helps to grow alternative businesses then it surely can't be a bad thing.
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