Businesses that want to grow have three options when they need funding
Sometimes, life throws unexpected expenses at a business: there is a sudden need for a new vehicle, team member or marketing drive. If the money is not in the bank (or it’s been earmarked for something more important) what does a business owner do?
“We all know the old saying, you have to speculate to accumulate,” says Daire Burke, Head of Canada at Swoop.
“Buying a tractor is a great example of how finance can be used by a business investing in itself to achieve its potential: it doesn’t matter how good the crops are, and how keen the customer is to buy them, if you need a tractor to harvest them, you have to spend the money and buy a tractor.”
With the country looking ahead to the end of Covid restrictions, businesses are hoping to cash in on the optimism of customers and find opportunities for growth. To do that, Daire says, they need to find funding:
“You can tell when a business has got it right: the equipment works, there are enough staff, there is a sense of optimism. The businesses that are going places are the ones that have mastered the art of finding the money for the things that will truly add value to a business.”
There are three ways of funding a business: grants, debt and equity. Swoop is a platform that gives business owners visibility of their options, lets them know the products for which they are qualified before they apply, and makes the application process fast and easy.
“Grants are a great source of funding because you don’t have to pay them back,” says Daire. Offered by national and regional governments, grants can be industry specific, such as grants aimed at agribusiness, situational, such as the help given to businesses affected by enforced Covid shutdowns, or for specific projects, such as reducing a company’s carbon emissions. Daire says:
“You’ll often find that grant money needs to be matched by funds from elsewhere, but even so, they are a way of increasing our spending power as a business.”
Visit the Swoop grant finder tool here
Finance is a broader term that covers a huge range of products from unsecured loans to commercial mortgages. Daire says that customers have more choices today than ever before:
“It used to be that if your bank wouldn’t lend, you couldn’t borrow. Over the last few years, embedded finance offerings, digital banks, FinTech lenders and online marketplaces have blown open the options with a range of innovative products. You’ll find specialist loans for farm equipment and merchant cash advances that you don’t pay back unless you’re doing the business to pay for it.”
There are now thousands of loan products available to customers, many of them geared to fixing a specific problem. Asset finance can help a business equip itself with everything from desks to machinery, short term loans can cover tax bills for seasonal businesses and credit cards can be issued to cover expenses for staff in the field.
Learn more about innovative finance products and find out how much you could borrow here
Equity is the last of the major options for raising funding. If you’ve seen Shark Tank, you’ll be familiar with the idea of an investor giving a business a lump sum in exchange for a share of the ownership of the company. Daire says that there is more to raising equity than you see on the show:
“The basic concept is the same but in real life, there is a lot more that goes into it. You’ll need to put together a pitch deck so that potential investors can get a feel for the business. It’s also a longer process than walking into a room and getting the money on a handshake. Often investors are giving more than money; they bring mentorship, industry knowledge and experience of running a business that a founder may not have.”
Getting equity funding can be a long journey and it helps to have fellow travellers who know the way. Swoop has an experienced team that can help you get your business in shape, investor-ready and introduce you to firms looking to make investments.
Find out more about how Swoop helps businesses secure equity funding here
Daire says that the Swoop story is one of walking the talk:
“Swoop’s founder, Andrea Reynolds, built a career on finding funding for growing businesses. Swoop has grown fast – we’re in London, Dublin, Sydney and Toronto because we’ve used a blend of government grants, debt and equity funding. Swoop’s platform is really built to take away the guesswork from funding a business – we have worked hard to put everything a founder needs to know in one place, then we make it easy to make the right choice and apply for the products that the founder needs to achieve their ambition.”