Are you looking for funding to start your dry-cleaning business?
Then you need to go through this important funding checklist. Check out each one of these opportunities to see if there is money waiting for you!
Funding Checklist: How to Get the Capital to Start Your Dry Cleaner
Before You Start: Get Organized
This may be the most important step, as most of the points on the checklist are directly dependent on being prepared and organized.
First, start by defining your business plan, what machines and cleaning products you need to purchase, and what business materials you’ll need to get started on Day One. Create a detailed business plan and put it in writing. This will be important for showing potential investors, lenders, and partners that you are skilled enough to handle running a business. Few investors and bankers have faith in someone who is not organized and prepared, so take your time with this step and seek professional guidance if needed. (The Small Business Administration or a local business school could be a good resource.)
Once you have your business plan in place, you’ll need to determine exactly how much money you need to generate. Lay out your expenses and financial needs in a detailed platform, with every expense, down to the very penny, written down.
With these preparation steps, you’re ready to go through the fundraising checklist…
One of the best sources of capital is business partners. If you know someone, or could be connected with someone, who shares your entrepreneurial spirit, you may be able to join forces. It’s possible that this business partner could bring the financial capital and knowledge that you need to launch the dry-cleaning business.
Talk to local banks and credit unions to discuss your options for a business loan. Business loans help you get the dry cleaning services off the ground and could provide the affordable financing you need. With this type of financing, you can get short to long-term terms for financing many different assets. Depending on your specific situation, you may need to secure the loan with personal assets such as your home or valuables.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is one of the most popular sources of small business financing. This organization provides accessible loans to aspiring small businesses. Essentially, the bank makes the loan, but the SBA provides financial guarantees against the loan, allowing banks to be more lenient with their offerings. Interest rates can vary, and smaller loans usually have higher interest rates in order to make the lending profitable.
Publicly-Sponsored Development Programs
Many counties and cities sponsor economic development programs to stimulate the local economy and help businesses provide services to citizens. These services often come in the form of small, low-interest rate loans. It’s possible that if you received approval for a loan from the bank but still need more capital to meet your goals, a development program could bridge the gap.
Tax Increment Financing
These are government programs designed to make economic development more accessible and affordable. Let’s say you want to purchase a lot, tear down the existing structure, and build a high-quality dry-cleaning facility. The development would cause the property value to increase, which would result in higher property taxes. Tax Increment Financing, commonly called “TIF,” is a way to stimulate growth in certain areas without creating a financial tax burden on businesses. Talk to your local representatives to see if TIF programs are available in your area.
If you want to enhance your business while getting the capital you need, you may be able to sell ownership equity. Capital raised by selling ownership of the company can come from multiple sources, including angel investors and venture capitalists. Angel investors put their own money into small businesses and entrepreneurs, often giving more favorable terms compared to other investors. Venture capitalists, on the other hand, are firms dedicated to investing in companies large or small that may someday turn a profit. For most dry cleaners, angel investors will be the best choice to pursue.
This is similar to other forms of selling equity, only with crowdfunding, you let people invest in your company through specific websites. People can review your services, determine whether or not your plan seems viable, and decide to put cash into your business with the goal of sharing the profits down the road. This can be a simple way to generate the money you need without losing significant control of your dry cleaning business.
Finally, you should consider using your own savings to finance your dry cleaning company. While this has obvious limitations, using your own cash gives you greater freedom and allows you to fund the business without paying fees and interest. It allows you to maintain complete control of your company and provides the best means for funding your operation. If possible, use as much of your own money as you can to fund the business.
After you investigate every item on the checklist, you should have the capital you need to start a successful dry cleaning-operation!
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