Loan SignLast month, Experian/Moody’s reported that the Q4 Small Business Credit Index rose 1.2 points to 117. This is a record high in the index since they started to track it in 2011.

As you expand your business, access to credit is critical. This report indicates that it’s easier than ever to get more money flowing into your business for expansion, investment, or bridging a short-term challenge, which is great news. But what if your business is newer to launch, or if you still can’t get a traditional loan?

Here are 4 alternative channels to consider from the Ultimate Guide to Small Business Financial Management:

  1. Small Business Administration Loans: One of the best resources for information about managing and running your small business, the SBA also runs a variety of loan programs. The most popular includes the 7a loan program. If you are a US-based, small, for-profit business that has already tried seeking financial resources, you can apply for this loan to help run your business.
  2. Crowd-funding: Becoming a more popular way to raise money for small businesses and start-ups, crowd-funding is an easy way to get funding from peers and potential customers. Basically, you create a profile for your business, set levels and rewards for different donation amounts, and recruit interested parties to contribute to help get your business off the ground. One of the most popular crowd-funding websites is Kickstarter, but there are many other varieties.
  3. Online Lenders: Technology and data has had an effect on the lending industry, creating unique online opportunities for business loans. Companies like Kabbage have sprung up to provide unique, new, and easy-to-apply-for loans aimed at smaller businesses.  Kabbage in turn, uses your data to fuel its big data platform
  4. Family and Friends:  Many of your family and friends will be proud of your decision to start a small business and eager to help it get off the ground with a small loan. However, make sure not to take advantage of their kindness and your close relationship. Remember: It is still a loan.  You should be able to provide a repayment plan so they feel good about contributing support you start your venture. Don’t forget to remind them of the rewards you are willing to offer in return for their help!

Learn about 3 more alternative loan programs as well as key information for managing financial programs that affect your business in the free eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Small Business Financial Management.

Access the full Q4 Experian/Moody’s report here.

Image Credit: Loans, Jeff Ferzoco, Flickr

Kristin Piccirillo

Kristin Piccirillo

Kristin is the Director of Acquisition on the Marketing team at PaySimple responsible for the development, strategy and management of channels like Search, Display, and other acquisition initiatives. When she’s not working ‘on the google’ she is probably skiing in the winter or running/biking crazy distances training for Triathlons and other endurance events. You can find her on Google+

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