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All of the world’s most incredible startups started with an idea. And while the creativity, skills, product model, and human recourses might’ve been essential to their success, one element was crucial for it to grow into solid and successful businesses: funding. However, if you’re a founder or entrepreneur, finding those resources to make your startup real might be a challenge. That’s when startup business loans with no revenue become essential.
When Traditional Business Loans Aren’t Available to Build Your Startup
When thinking about founding a business, it’s usual to think about getting a business loan through a traditional bank. However, this has its complications for startups or businesses with no revenue. As this option is usually only available for businesses that have been operational for over a 6-month period.
According to Lendio, most banks require a minimum revenue of $50,000 and a credit score of at least 650 to get a favorable interest rate. That’s why alternative business loan ideas are great for startups without earnings.
According to one Startups.com, startups are almost always financed by one –and ideally, a mix– of three methods:
💸 The founder’s own capital or mutual fund called investment clubs
💵 Investors who give founders their money in exchange for an equity ownership interest (angel investors)
💳 Loans (which include small business loans, venture capital, and microlenders)
However, we would add multiple alternative financing methods. Which, unlike two of these three, don’t require personal guarantees and don’t ask for a percentage of the company.
In short, they don’t take away independence and freedom from the startup founders. In addition, they are great for small startup businesses that need loans with no revenue.
4 Alternative Business Loan Ideas to Start Your Business
If you want to start a small business but don’t have the funds to make it happen, there are several options available outside of traditional bank loans. Among these options is crowdfunding. As we mentioned earlier, crowdfunding is a financing method that allows entrepreneurs to raise money through donations. These could be from Internet users, friends, family, and potential consumers.
You can also get funding from family and friends by asking them to loan you money or invest in your business. However, there are also plenty of online crowdfunding platforms that offer small business loans such as LendingClub and Kiva. And you can also crowdfund your startup business on a site such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or GoFundMe.
Bootstrapping is also an option. As you can bootstrap your business with personal savings or from the equity in your home.
2. Small Business Loans
As we previously mentioned, there are some companies that provide small startup business loans with no revenue. But while these might be lighter on the requirements, lenders will always ask startups for supplemental documentation to testify their financial projections and business plan. So there may not be one easy way to get a small business loan. But there are various resources to explore!
With a peer-to-peer funding source, you’ll be able to find and make a person-to-person loan. It’s aimed at two types of clients: those who need capital and those who are looking to invest for savings.
4. Revenue Based
There are options in which you will be able to access capital with installments anchored to your future revenue. So no interest will be paid on an outstanding balance, nor will there be fixed payments. Instead, they will be proportional to the startup’s performance.
Alternative Lenders for Small Business
Harper Partners is a specialty finance company that provides asset-based growth capital to startups and small businesses in high-growth B2B verticals.
2. Invoice Fair
InvoiceFair is an innovative business funding platform that helps companies fund their own future by converting their sales orders, WIP, and invoices into upfront growth capital.
Kickfurther is the world’s first online inventory funding platform. Their goal is to connect brands to a community of eager buyers.
4. Lighter Capital
Lighter Capital is one of the leaders in the revenue-based financing industry. They provide non-dilutive, quick, and easy financing to empower your startup’s growth.
Prosper is a San Francisco-based platform that provides affordable financial solutions to consumers across the credit spectrum, including personal loans, credit cards, and home equity lines of credit.
Apart from alternative lenders, there are also other great options for startups in early-stage of building to get expert advice in order to level up their business.
CoFounders Lab has an exclusive 12-month accelerator program, where founders and entrepreneurs can learn from the best mentors and experts. By joining the program, they’ll be able to make them all the specific questions they want. And receive coaching and one-on-one support.
However, if we want to get to know the biggest startup accelerator companies, we can’t fail to mention some. Y Combinator is known as the pioneer in the industry of startup accelerators. There are also Techstars and 500 Startups, among many others.
How to Know Which Business Loan Alternative Is Right for You
What all of these startup business loans with no revenue alternatives have in common is that –unlike angel investors and VCs– these sources don’t require personal guarantees, as they’re linked to the startup’s activity. In addition, they don’t ask for a percentage of the company.
However, each of the alternatives works best with different types of businesses. For example, if you’re the founder of e-commerce the best options for your business will be those that will lend capital for an inventory or be able to invest in digital ads.
Or if you’re the founder of a SaaS-based startup, the best options for you will be those alternative lenders that advance capital based on your monthly recurring revenue (MRR). These lenders will give you a full year’s worth of capital by projecting your annual recurring revenue (ARR) and the interest will be on the principal provided.
To keep scaling your startup business, there always comes a point where you need capital… Hope this post helped you find some alternative ways of getting funding, even if you have no revenue! 👉Keep Reading 5 Product Validation Techniques to Test This Year