Being an entrepreneur myself I can offer some advice on funding options. I started up an all DVD rental store in 2000 and here are some of the ways I looked for funding.
1) Fund yourself. Easy enough right? Truth is I put everything I had into the store, I cashed out my mutual funds and emptied my bank account. This is an obvious choice.
2) Hit up friends and family. I bought some light up signs at an auction in Maryland and my parents drove them up to me, that normally would have cost shipping and such. I borrowed 5K from a friend. If you have a solid plan and a repayment schedule your friends and family will have faith in your idea.
3) SBA Loan. Here’s where I got the bulk of my money from. I went to the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC)and worked on a solid business plan for over six months and submitted all the paperwork and next thing you know I had over a 100 grand in startup capital.
4) Lines of Credit. I got lines of credit for everything from magazines to concessions to DVDs. If you get a tax number and open lines of communication then more than likely a company will extend you a line of credit.
5) Bank Loans. After I got my business up and running I got a small loan to continue operations. All I needed was my taxes and quickbooks file and they extended me 10K to continue operations.
Basically the key to business is a business plan and I’m not talking about a 5-10 page paper on why you have a great idea. I’m talking about a monster 80-100 page book that explains everything from your advertising budget to who your lawyer will be. This will take time and the SBDC is FREE! So make an appointment and work with them because they are the gateway to entrepreneurship.