As a small business operating today, there's only so much you can do to draw in customers before biting the bullet and shelling out some cash on marketing. But though the potential benefits are high, the upfront costs of a quality marketing campaign can be enough to make this option a non-starter for many business owners.
While today's highly competitive business landscape means that marketing is more important than ever, the good news is that there are many ways to finance your marketing campaign without plunking down more cash than you can afford.
Here are six methods you can look into to get the funding you need to take your marketing to the next level!
Use Your Personal Savings
Many small business owners refuse to take out loans to fund their business ventures. We're not here to convince you otherwise, but that leaves you with just one real option: your personal savings.
This option has the benefit of being low-risk and interest-free, but it can also be a major blow to your personal finances if things don't go as planned.
This option makes the most sense if you're looking into low-cost marketing tactics like email marketing or social media marketing. If you're aiming for a more high-end campaign involving TV or print ads, you might want to consider some of the other options on this list.
Use a Business Credit Card
If flexibility is what you're after, a business credit card can be a great option for financing your marketing campaign. While enrolling in one is more difficult than using a personal credit card, business credit cards often offer more favorable terms, such as higher credit limits and lower interest rates.
Many business credit cards offer a 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR)—your yearly interest rate, in other words—meaning that you can spread out the cost of your campaign over time without accruing any interest charges. You may also receive benefits like cash back on business-related purchases, which can help offset the cost of your marketing materials.
Just be sure to keep an eye on your statement and pay off the balance before the intro period expires, or you'll be stuck with a higher-than-average interest rate on the remaining balance!
Get a Microloan
If you're apprehensive about taking on debt, a microloan may be a good option for you. Microloans are small, short-term loans designed specifically for small businesses. The average microloan is less than $14,000, which should be enough to cover the cost of a small-scale marketing campaign.
To qualify for a microloan, you'll need to have a strong credit score and a detailed business plan outlining how you'll use the loan and how you'll repay it. The application process can also be lengthy, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get everything in order before you need the funds.
Take Out a Term Loan
For business owners who need a larger sum of money to finance their marketing campaigns, a term loan may be the best option. Term loans are lump-sum loans that you agree to pay back over a set period, usually two to five years.
The benefit of a term loan is that you'll have a fixed monthly payment, making it easy to plan your budget around. Additionally, you may be able to get a lower interest rate if you have a strong credit score.
The downside of a term loan is that you'll need to put up collateral—usually in the form of business assets like equipment or inventory—to secure the loan.
Apply for a Business Line of Credit
This is an excellent option if you need to finance your marketing campaign over an extended time.
Despite being harder to qualify for than other types of loans, business lines of credit offer several advantages, such as the ability to withdraw funds as you need them and pay interest only on the funds you actually use.
Another benefit of business lines of credit is that they can act as a safety net for your business, giving you access to emergency funds in case of unforeseen expenses.
Just be sure to only use the funds you need and make regular, on-time payments to avoid damaging your business credit score.
Seek Out Investors
What if you could get someone else to finance your marketing campaign in exchange for a share of the profits?
If you're willing to give up a portion of your business, seeking out investors can be a great way to finance your marketing campaign.
Investors are typically more interested in businesses with high growth potential, so you'll need to make a strong case for why your business is worth their investment. You'll also need to be prepared to give up a portion of the equity in your company.
But if you're successful, you could get the funding you need to get your business off the ground—while minimizing your risk.
Once you decide how you'll finance your marketing campaign, be sure to develop a detailed plan outlining how you'll use the funds. This will help you track your progress and ensure that you are using your resources in the most efficient way possible.
A well-executed marketing campaign can be the key to success for your business, so make sure you put thought into your financing strategy. With the right plan in place, you can make your marketing campaign a success—no matter the budget!