Raising funds when angels are not an option

In previous posts, we have discussed revenue-enhancing strategies that startup companies can utilize should their budgets not support their ambitions. There are myriad opportunities available to those who already have a substantial source of income at their disposal; however, the cost associated with engaging in reverse mergers or filing an IPO may be prohibitive for smaller startups without VC backing. For these organizations, other options exist beyond applying for another line of credit.

These tactics help startups to raise funds and develop their brands, two activities entrepreneurs must embrace if they wish to realize their goals. As each approach requires engaging with clients, those participating in the process can increase their market growth rate while accruing capital.

1. Developing a crowdfunding site

For smaller companies that seek to sell stocks without allocating reserves to pay for fees associated with underwriting and filing with the SEC, creating a crowdfunding account with KickStarter or GoFundMe is a popular method to raise money. Recognizing the banking industry's reticence to lend to startups, President Obama introduced the JOBS Act to help organizations grow by lessening the restrictions associated with selling shares to investors. This law allows companies to receive up to $1 million in security sales conducted via the internet.

2. Blogging to promote expertise

Entrepreneurs seeking to add to their client base can use social media and company sites to promote their expertise through blogs. Developing a site that presents information in an informal and cost-effective way allows companies to tout credentials, detail daily encounters and provide solutions for problems customers may have. In maintaining a compelling site, the company can encourage engagement with customers.

It is on this site that companies can market wares that address their client's needs. Sites can be developed to allow for feedback and monitoring of customer commitment to the published content.

3. Developing products that support your business focus

Savvy entrepreneurs can use social media platforms and internet publishers to increase profit. Using YouTube, Salman Khan created a series of tutorials to help a cousin who was struggling in school. As word of the lessons' quality spread, Khan Academy attracted the attention of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which invested in the organization.

Capital injections of this sort enabled the founder to hire coders and teachers to present material. Reinvesting these funds allowed the company to grow its client base exponentially. According to SRI International, more than 365 million tutorials have been viewed by students and over 1.8 billion math problems have been solved since the inception of the business.

While these three strategies may require more entrepreneurs allocate more face time to their computer monitors than to VCs, they provide measurable solutions for budget-minded startups.

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