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Saying, it’s difficult to get funding for your business – especially when you don’t have savings – is a huge understatement.
Money after all, doesn’t grow on trees.
But if you believe in your business idea and you’re willing to take risks, here’s a list of alternative ways to get your business funded.
Related Guide: Cost of Doing Business in the Philippines
12 Ways to Fund & Finance your Business Idea in the Philippines
1. Save Up!
If you want to dabble into franchising, the lowest you could start with is Php 20,000 to Php 30,000. It’s still a lot of money but if you’re eager and frugal enough you could save up for this in a year or less.
For more information on franchising in the Philippines, go here (attach link to the previous article on franchising here).
2. Get a Side Hustle
Another way to earn your capital is to get a side hustle. There are plenty of ways to earn extra income through side hustles depending on your skills. Here are a few ideas for your side hustle:
- Freelance Writer – There are plenty of writing jobs out there that you could do from the comforts of your home. You can be a copywriter/content writer for various websites. If you consider yourself a word smith, then this is the side job for you.
- Virtual Assistant – You could be a secretary/assistant to any busy client. You can schedule meetings, read/answer emails or even handle their social media accounts. Because a lot of these tasks are admin work that won’t need you to do it for 8 hours a day, this is one of the perfect part time jobs.
- Online English Teacher – This is also one of the best part time jobs out there. All you need to be is patient and fluent in English. That’s it. You also don’t have to work 8 hours a day because most tutoring sessions won’t take that long. You can get just one client and focus on them, teach them for 2-4 hours a day, and you can earn your extra income.
- Graphic Designer – Depending on your Photoshop skills, this can be a great side hustle for you. If you enjoy editing or illustrating images, you can totally do graphic design on the side. You can do this for only 2-4 hours a day, depending on how fast you conceptualize ideas for design and work on Photoshop. Also, because you’re most probably the artistic type, this is also a great way to use your creativity to earn money. What’s not to love?
- Become a Grab partner – a lot of Filipinos has been finding this side hustle very lucrative in the past couple of years. It can also be something you’d want to consider, especially if you have the means to invest in buying a new car.
You can also check out these resources:
- list of practical ideas for alternative sources of income by iMoney
- our list of the best side hustles to generate more extra income
- list of high-paying online jobs in the Philippines
3. Liquidate Assets
If you have assets lying around that are depreciating, you might consider selling them. The value of cars usually depreciates. So when it comes to deciding on what to sell, your car can be the best option.
It’s easier to sell than a house because it’s way cheaper. But you could sell it at a price that’s enough to start a franchise or a small restaurant (depending on the car you’re selling). Also, selling a car won’t take as long as selling a house.
Other things you could sell, depending on how much you need for your capital, are jewelries, gadgets, expensive bags, limited edition comic books/ merchandise, basically anything worth selling.
4. Ask a Friend or Family for a Loan
You can always ask your friends or families for a loan. Although it is understandable if this is a sensitive matter to talk about with your loved ones. This is tricky because doing this might end in an altercation with your loved one if things go downhill.
And as we know money-related conflicts between friends or family hasn’t always been easy to deal with. But if you really believe that you can make this business happen and you don’t think even money can come between you and your friend or family, then why not go for it.
A tip would be to have a concrete and detailed business plan for your idea. If it’s just that, an idea, with nothing tangible for people to see, it’s harder for your friends or family to believe that you’re serious about this. But if you have a detailed plan, printed and in a binder, well they might be persuaded to believe that you do mean business!
5. Ask a Friend or Family to be your Business Partner
A better idea if you and your friend/family will be up for it, is to ask them to be your business partner. This will go even smoothly if you actually have some money to invest on a small business but you just need more funding to make it come to life.
The great thing about this is if the business becomes successful, both you and your business partner will be earning serious cash and income. Another benefit of this idea is that, you would have someone who will work with you to make this business happen.
If the other person invested in this business, they have a stake in its success. And so, they can help you build this business from the ground up. It’s easier to run a business if you have someone who can run it with you. Two heads are better than one.
There is of course a downside to this. Asking a friend or a family member to start a business with you can also cause problems in the long run. You must take into consideration the strain it might cause in your relationship, if the business isn’t going so well.
But if you’re willing to take this risk along with the risks of starting a business, well you can also see how beneficial this can be both for you.
Another way to jumpstart your business is to get a bank loan. Business loans are great if you want to build a business from the ground up or finance an expansion.
These loans have friendlier terms, especially when it comes to loan tenure and interest. A lot of banks in the Philippines are determined to support MSMEs, so your chances of getting approved are high. Here are some loans worth considering:
Tonik Bank Flex Loan & Big Loan
Tonik bank is a relatively new digital bank in the Philippines, but it has cemented its name as one of the best lenders today. Its Big Loan and Flex Loan are two of its most popular options for entrepreneurs.
- Flex Loan
- Loan amount: P250,000
- Loan term: 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months
- Interest rate: 2.49% per month or 29.99% per year
- Big Loan
- Loan amount: P2.5 million
- Loan term: 12 months to 60 months
- Interest rate: 12.99% per year
How to apply:
- Download the Tonik App.
- Get pre-approved for your loan of choice by filling up all the needed information.
- Upload the required documents on the app.
- Wait for a Tonik staff to call you for verification.
- Wait for your approval. You will be notified on the app.
Security Bank SME Business Express Loan
If you’re looking for a loan to fill short-term terms, this is a great option. This loan only needs minimal documents, and you can also benefit from fast approval and auto-crediting of funds.
- Loan amount: P1 million to P5 million
- Loan term: 12, 18, 24, or 36 months
- Interest rate: 1.50% to 1.95% per month
How to apply:
- Fill up the online form here, and make sure to check your eligibility for this loan.
- Input your desired loan amount and tenure, as well as the purpose for the loan.
- You may also go to a Security Bank branch near you to apply for this loan.
BPI SME Term Loan
The BPI SME Term Loan loan is another top choice for budding business owners who want to start or expand their business. BPI also offers credit lines and franchising loans aside from this option.
- Loan amount: P300,000 minimum
- Loan term: maximum of 5 years
- Interest rate: n/a
How to apply:
- Visit any BPI branch near you
- Call (02) 7918-2000 and press 2 for Business loans, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
DBP Small Business Puhunan Loan Program
The DBP Small Business Puhunan Loan Program was designed to support the government’s effort to give credit for working capital to MSME owners. This is a great option for small borrowers who may later apply for bigger loans.
- Loan amount: P300,000 to P1 million
- Loan term: 1 year to 2 years
- Interest rate: 9% to 10%
How to apply:
- Visit a DBP branch near you.
Metrobank SME Term Loan
Metrobank has an SME Term Loan, which is a credit facility that aims to aid Filipinos who need capital. Metrobank also has special Puhunan loans for general merchandise trading, product development, construction projects, and facility acquisition, as well as agri-business loans.
- Loan amount: P500,000 minimum
How to apply:
- Fill up this form here and wait for a Metrobank staff to contact you.
PSBank SME Term Loan
With the PSBank SME term loan, you can make your dream business come true. This loan features competitive repayment options and interest rates so you can make the most out of your money.
- Loan amount: P2 million minimum for real estate properties, P500,000 minimum against deposits
- Loan term: 1 year to 7 years
- Interest rate: based on the prevailing lending rate during the time of the loan
How to apply:
- Fill up this form, or visit a PSBank branch near you.
Landbank is committed to helping Filipinos meet their capital needs, especially in the agribusiness industry. Landbank has tons of loan options for MSMEs, namely:
- Term Loan Facility
- Working Capital and Liquidity Support Facility
- Exporters Production Support Facility
- Farm Tourist Financing Program
- OFW Reintegration Program
- I-Rescue Lending Program
- I-Rescue Bus Lending Program
- Speed PUV Loan Program
- Innovation and Technology Lending Program
- Lending Programs for Former Rebels
- Franchising Lending Program
- Emerging Filipina Lending Program
- Loan amount, loan term, and interest rate: varies depending on the loan
How to apply:
- Visit a Landbank branch near you.
Unionbank MSME Loans
Unionbank has made it easy for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by providing working capital. This collateral-free loan also promises same-day approval.
- Loan amount: P50,000 to P1 million
- Loan term: 3, 6, 12, and 36 months
- Interest rate: 3% per month
How to apply:
- Apply online here.
Recommended Reading: How to Get Personal & Business Loans Online in the Philippines
7. Borrow from the Government
Another alternative to borrowing from the bank is getting the government to lend you money and help you start your business.
The Social Security Service (SSS) offers business loans through their Business Development Loan Facility which is a lending facility designed to contribute to the nation’s economic growth and development by providing financial assistance to the business sector for the purpose of increasing productivity and enhancing potential earnings through expansion, diversification and other business development projects.
Eligible borrowers are: Single proprietorship, Partnership or Corporation, as least 60% Filipino owned, including cooperatives and non-governmental organizations.
For a list of businesses allowed/registered in the Philippines and other requirements on applying visit the SSS’s site.
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) also offers the Enhanced Conso-Loan Plus.
Under the Enhanced Conso – Loan Plus, Program, members who have at least 15 years of service with paid premiums may borrow a 12-month salary loan while those with not less than 25 years of service will be eligible for a 14-month loan.
Previously, the credit limit for these members was only 10 times their salary. GSIS also extended the maximum payment term from 6 to 10 years for members with not less than 10 years of paid premiums.
8. Business Grants
These are an excellent way for small businesses to secure much-needed funding for their projects.
Business grants are typically awarded by government agencies, non-profit organizations, or corporations, and can range from a few thousand to millions of pesos.
Entrepreneurs should carefully research available grants to find those that align with their business goals and mission.
This may involve reviewing eligibility criteria, deadlines, and the types of projects or activities that are eligible for funding.
Once a suitable grant is identified, entrepreneurs should develop a strong proposal and follow all submission guidelines to increase their chances of securing funding.
That said, the competition for grants can be fierce, and the process of securing funding can be complex and time-consuming.
9. Borrow Money through P2P Lending
If you would like to borrow money but prefer lower interest rates compared to those of the banks’ you could consider borrowing money through peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.
Peer-to-peer lending is the borrowing and lending of money through a platform without going through traditional means like the bank or other financial institution.
What happens is, usually, an online company will bring together borrowers who need financing and lenders who would like to invest their money and earn through interest rates.
People are attracted to P2P because it cuts out the middleman which is the bank, and provides better deals both for the borrower and the lender. Because rates are a lot flexible compared to banks, borrowers can get relatively cheaper interest rates while the lender can still profit from a decent amount of interest rate.
There are several online P2P lending platforms operating in the Philippines that provide an accessible, transparent, efficient, and safe financial exchange space for lenders and borrowers. And these platforms are secured by state-of-the-art technology that ensures the safety and privacy of its clients, and adheres to Philippine laws and regulations.
If you believe that your business idea is just pure genius and people really need for this to happen, you can try crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can be a fun and effective way to raise money for a relatively low cost, creative project. You’ll set a goal for how much money you’d like to raise over a period of time, say, $1,000 (P50,000) over 40 days.
Your friends, family, and strangers then use the site to pledge money. Kickstarter has funded roughly 1,000 projects, from rock albums to documentary films since its launch last year.
Usually, project-creators offer incentives for pledging, such as if you give $20 (P1,000) for an indie video game, they’ll give you a full version copy of the game, with added merchandise such as posters and/or keychains.
11. Angel Investors & VCs
Two of the best financing options that can help you start your business are angel investors and venture capitalists.
These individuals take calculated risks when it comes to investing in startups, hoping to earn a big return on investment.
A lot of people think angel investors and venture capitalists are similar, but they don’t work the same way.
Angel investors are accredited investors who use their money to invest in a small business. These professionals have a high net worth.
Platforms such as Angel Investment Network enables entrepreneurs like you to connect with an investor.
On the other hand, venture capitalists are pickier than angel investors but they are extremely helpful if you need a big amount.
Before seeking the help of a venture capitalist, prepare an in-depth proposal and make sure you are ready for a thorough evaluation. Venture capitalists take big risks so make sure your business plan stands out.
However, these people also expect a return that is three to 10 times higher than their original investment within a specified amount of time, and they may also require a controlling interest in your company.
Venture capitalists also tend to focus on one industry such as technology.
If you’re determined enough this can be the way to go. Bootstrapping is basically the time-honored tradition of doing any and everything you can think of to find money to use in your business.
You can mix and match the different ways listed above just to get your vision realized. This is probably something you’ll consider if your business idea needs a huge amount of money.
This is probably not for the faint of heart. But then again if you want glory, you’d need guts.
10 Tips for Raising Capital for Your Business
If it’s your first time looking for capital to fund your business idea, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. You are not alone.
Because money doesn’t grow on trees, you need all the help you can get if you want to make your dream business come to life.
We’ve gathered our favorite tips to help you raise capital for your business below.
1. Don’t borrow more than what you need
In your pursuit to find the best way to raise capital, you may be tempted to borrow too much money. Don’t.
If you make this mistake, you will be paying interest on that extra money even when you are not using it. This will only make you drown in debt.
On the flip side, don’t make the mistake of borrowing less than what you need.
2. Stop rushing
If you are really determined to get the money you need for your business, you have to be patient and give yourself time.
Don’t feel pressured to raise a certain amount of money before a certain date, especially if you are just starting out. If you have a good business plan and your company is sustainable, you’ll eventually find investors that will match your company and help you achieve your goals.
If you get rejected, don’t easily get discouraged. It’s only natural for investors to be cautious. It’s completely understandable for them to be wary about investing in a start-up company that doesn’t have a track record yet.
Instead, use this as your motivation to work on improving your business plan. Stay confident and keep searching.
3. Build a solid business plan
A solid business plan is vital in getting the money you need for your venture.
Investors are much more likely to fund businesses with a solid business plan than ones without one. If you have this important document, investors can see your goals and understand the potential of your business to earn profit.
As you put together your business plan, be as specific as possible about your business goal and the steps you will take to achieve your goal.
Not sure how to write a business plan? This in-depth guide can help you.
4. Know your customers
Unless you know your market well, you will not be able to produce the results that are needed to convince investors to fund your business. Investors want to see that you are knowledgeable about your target market and that you know their specific needs.
Aside from the demographics of your target market, you also need to show investors its potential for growth, how you are going to capture their attention, and how much they are willing to spend for your product/service.
Learn More: How to Create a Marketing Plan
5. Build a story around your company
It’s not just about your business. It’s about who you are and why you started the company. When you present your business to potential investors, tell them a compelling story.
You want to make them feel something and make them believe that your idea is worth investing in.
Your pitch should convey the potential of your business and how it will become profitable. More importantly, you should also share how you, as the founder, will be able to deliver on that potential.
6. Have data to back up your story to prove your potential
A compelling story and pitch can make investors listed, but it’s not enough to score your funding.
Investors will want to see specific details and numbers. Completing a market or feasibility study first will show investors that you know your business and that you have solid data to support your idea.
Additionally, they will have a more concrete expectation of what your business will be able to do.
7. Have a scalability plan
As early as now, know how you will scale your business. Do you plan on launching more products? or maybe you plan on expanding your store location in the future?
From a business perspective, investors want to know what opportunities there are to expand your business so you can attract more customers and generate more profit.
8. Assess the pros and cons of each financing method
Budding entrepreneurs today are so fortunate to have a myriad of funding options. However, there is no perfect funding option for everyone.
The answer to what is the ultimate way to fund your business heavily relies on your unique situation and business idea.
Considering this, it is important to evaluate your choices before deciding on a particular option. List all the pros and cons of each approach and choose the one that’s best for your business.
9. Prepare a FAQ document for potential investors
Before pitching your business proposal to different investors, you need to make sure that you are prepared for their questions.
If you don’t know the answer to their questions ahead of time, you could lose your chance of securing that funding.
Preparing a Frequently Asked Questions document will get you far. This will also prove to investors that you are prepared enough for a business venture. Along with your pitch, this will help you get to the finish line.
Early on in your funding journey, put yourself in the shoes of your investors.
- What do they want to know?
- How can you convince them that your business idea is worth their time and money?
10. Be authentic and let your passion shine
Your business idea is your baby; and chances are, you are passionate about it. When looking for capital, you want to make sure that potential investors feel the same way about your business as you do.
Don’t just talk about how it can be a profitable opportunity, but also how it can help the lives of others. That’s what will make them want to jump on board and offer you the funding you need.
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