Securing finance can support the growth of your business. It is important to be well prepared before your approach a lender of investor – making a good first impression shows that you mean business.
Applying for finance
Obtaining finance is often a crucial step in business growth. An up-to-date business plan supporting your new goals will ensure you’re well prepared when seeking finance. Before you approach a lender, broker or investor, make sure both you and your business are in the best position to seek finance.
Here are some tips that may help you be more successful in your application:
- prepare your plan
- know your limitations
- shop around
- dress to impress
- come prepared
- check the finance details carefully.
Sources of finance
Once you have assessed your needs, you should investigate which source of business finance suits your needs. When weighing up your options, it’s important to consider potential costs, interest payments and any hidden charges or terms. Each option will have different tax and GST implications, so it’s a good idea to discuss your options with an accountant or business advisor.
Sources of business finance include:
- loans – from a bank or financial institution
- business angels – private investors that finance of mentor growing businesses
- venture capitalists – invest their time and money by becoming your business partner and may provide mentoring and advice to help you research and develop new ideas or products
- share ownership or equity – a private part-ownership arrangement that shares the business profits with these investors
- floating on the stock exchange – companies can sell shares publicly on the stock market to raise money. Shareholders receive dividends or payments in return for ownership
- government funding – Australian, state and local governments offer funding and incentive schemes for various activities such as research and development, innovation and exporting
Find out more about business finances in your state or territory.
Crowd funding is a way of financing your business through contributions of money from the public. This is commonly done through crowd funding websites.
For example, in one form, you post your business idea as a 'campaign idea' onto the website, with a description of your project. If people want to support your campaign, they can donate money to help you achieve your goal. These supporters are often called backers. On some websites, you need to set a monetary goal, and a time frame to reach this goal by. You can also offer incentives and rewards to encourage support.
If you would like to try crowd funding for your business idea or product, you should plan carefully and set your goals.
If you don’t reach your goal, you may not be able to keep the money you raised, depending on the terms and conditions of the website you chose to post your campaign. You should also consider the legal requirements associated with crowd funding such as registering for licenses and meeting terms and conditions.
Find out more about crowd funding.
Grants and other funding programs are available from Australian, state and territory governments and in some cases, from local councils. There are grants and other forms of financial assistance available for a range of business activities such as expanding your business, research and development, innovation and exporting.
Find available grants through the Grants and Assistance Finder.