Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

how to finance a business

How to Finance a Business

Starting a business is exciting but it can be challenging without a source of funding. Fortunately, there are many ways to finance a business, both partially and fully.

The key to successfully financing a business is making sure you choose the right source of funds for your needs. It’s also important to understand the costs and benefits of each method.


Self-funding is one of the best ways to finance a business. This option allows you to control your company, gain full ownership, and avoid long-term debt. However, it can also come with some risk. For instance, you may have to sell assets in order to pay for your business’s operations and growth.

In most cases, you can self-fund your business through your own savings and personal resources. This can include using your retirement funds, taking money from your credit cards, or asking for donations from friends and family.

This type of financing is most often used by small businesses and startups that are not yet profitable enough to secure a loan from a bank or venture capital firm. It can also be a good way to build up your credit and reputation as a startup, which will strengthen your chances of qualifying for a business loan later on.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that self-funding a business requires a considerable amount of commitment and hard work on your part. It is also possible to lose your savings and have a difficult time paying off your debts, which could be detrimental to your personal finances and credit rating.

The first step is to calculate your business’s self-financing capacity. This is a number that indicates the company’s capacity to invest without resorting to loans, and it will allow you to make informed decisions about contributions, borrowings, and developments.

A business’s self-financing cap is usually calculated by subtracting its net profit after tax, not distributed (known as GOS or gross operating surplus), from the company’s total income. It is important to note that this is a fiscal metric, which does not take into account real financial flows, such as depreciation or the repayment of loan capital.

If the self-financing capacity is lower than your company’s actual profitability, it can be a warning sign that you will not be able to grow your business as quickly as you want. It is therefore important to calculate your self-financing capacity as accurately as possible.

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You can use this information to plan your budget and make sure you have sufficient funds to cover all your costs. It can also help you to decide if it is worth pursuing further financing for your business. If your business is successful and you need further investment, you can seek funding through traditional sources such as loans or equity investments.

Friends and Family

Friends and family financing is a great way to get a business off the ground. But it’s important to understand the pros and cons of this funding option before you decide to use it.

One of the biggest advantages of using friends and family funding is that you don’t have to go through the formal process of securing venture capital or angel investors. Your friends and family members are more likely to invest in your business because they know you and believe in your business model.

Another benefit of friends and family financing is that it’s less expensive than other sources of business capital. You don’t have to pay a high fee for these funds, and you’ll be able to keep the money that you borrow from your friends and family.

You may also have more flexibility with your loan terms if you’re borrowing from friends and family. You can set up a written agreement that details the amount of money you’re borrowing, how long it will take to repay and what happens if you default on your payments.

But you should still be aware that friends and family funding can be risky if things don’t work out as planned. You could end up with a large debt if your business fails, and if that debt is owed to your family or friends, it can put an enormous strain on those relationships.

Aside from that, you’ll have to be sure that you can handle any disagreements that arise as a result of your friends and family funding. This means that you need to be very professional and keep all parties involved on the same page.

You should always be very honest with your friends and family about the risks and challenges that you face in the business. This will help you maintain strong relationships and make the most of their support. You should also avoid sulking or blaming them if they don’t agree with your decision. You should treat them with respect and show that you are grateful for their generosity.

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Credit Cards

Credit cards are a great way to finance a business because they provide convenient access to revolving credit. This is especially helpful if you have sporadic revenue, as it can cover cash flow gaps and give you the flexibility to pay short-term expenses without applying for a loan. However, using credit cards for financing a business comes with some risks, so it’s important to understand them before you use them.

A credit card is a thin, rectangular piece of plastic or metal issued by a bank that allows customers to borrow money to purchase goods and services. Cardholders can spend up to their credit limit, which is determined by the issuer based on factors like income and credit rating. The cardholder must pay back the borrowed funds and any interest charges by the due date or over time, depending on the terms of the agreement.

When a cardholder makes a purchase, the transaction will be recorded by the card issuer and a bill will be sent to the cardholder at the end of the billing period. This bill will consist of all the purchases the credit cardholder made during the billing cycle and will include any added interest the cardholder owes.

Many credit cards are issued by banks, but they also exist for individuals who have poor credit histories and don’t qualify for traditional bank loans. These types of cards are commonly called secured credit cards, and they require a security deposit from the cardholder when they open the account.

Using credit cards can be a very effective method of finance, as long as the credit cardholder uses it wisely and pays off their balance in full every month. Using credit cards in this manner can also help build the credit score of the cardholder, which will eventually be used to qualify for a better loan down the road.

When it comes to the best credit cards for financing a business, the most important thing is to look for one that matches your specific needs. You should consider a card with a low interest rate, starting bonus, and rewards program that fit your spending habits. You should also take the time to compare different cards to find a card with the best features for your business.

Debt Financing

Whether you need to purchase a piece of equipment or expand your business, debt financing may be the answer. It can help you finance your business growth, but it can also put pressure on your cash flow and liquidity if you’re not careful.

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Debt financing comes in many forms, including loans, lines of credit, bonds and even some equity financing options. You’ll usually have to pay back the loan, plus interest, over a set period of time.

Most businesses will take on some form of debt financing at some point. You can get a loan from a bank, a private investor or even a government entity.

When deciding on the right type of debt financing, consider your goals and objectives. Are you looking to gain access to investor networks? Or are you seeking to maintain 100% ownership of your business?

Is your company cash-flow positive and can you afford to repay the debt in a reasonable amount of time?

If you’re a new business, the most common type of debt financing is a short-term business loan. These are typically available within one to three days and range from $5,000 to $250,000.

Another option is long-term debt financing, which typically has repayment terms of 10 years or more. This kind of loan is more common for large projects or investments, like buying a new facility or upgrading your existing one.

You may have to provide collateral, such as your own home, in order to obtain a loan. This will ensure that if you can’t repay the loan, the lender will be able to reclaim your property.

The best debt financing options are flexible and offer a number of benefits to you as a small business owner. For example, interest payments are deductible on business expenses, and you’ll build your credit with timely payment of your debt.

If you’re unsure about the right debt financing option for your business, contact M&T’s Business Banking Specialists to learn more. They’ll be happy to walk you through your financing options and help you make the right decision for your business.

Jeffrey Augers
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By Jeffrey Augers

Jeffrey Augers is a highly skilled and experienced financial analyst with over 12 years of experience in the finance industry. He has a proven track record of delivering exceptional financial insights and recommendations to clients, empowering them to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.