Finding investors often consumes the attention of small business owners. Money is always an issue when businesses are ready to expand. Given the proven power of networking and the power of the internet, it should not be surprising that a new form of equity funding has been developed. Crowdfunding is the new investor kid on the block, and it’s generating a lot of excitement because it seems to cut out the middleman, so to speak.
Crowdfunding was approved by the JOBS Act in April 2012 and allows small business enterprises and startups to directly solicit investors for equity investments. It sounds great at first glance, but for many companies it would be more strategically advantageous to go through a professional fund locator company rather than try to raise equity funding on their own. The details of crowdfunding are still being worked out, but there are already indications that small businesses are viewing this as ‘easy money’. That’s far from the truth.
Crowdfunding will still require the business to prepare a business plan that proves the investment is wise. Crowdfunding involves investors pooling their money. Businesses can then solicit as a maximum $1 million investment. However, each investor will get equity ownership in the business. If the business expands in the future and needs a larger capital amount, success may be hampered by the fact the company now has dozens or hundreds of equity owners. Venture capitalists may not be anxious to get involved in that kind of arrangement.
The best plan is to consult with a professional experienced in raising capital for businesses. Understanding all the ins and outs of new sources of funding is critical before deciding to jump in.
Browse www.funded.com for more advice about getting your business funded.