Summary: When thinking about starting a business, which type of funding should you choose?

Starting a business is easy if you are your investor. However, seldom it happens in the real world. So, if you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and want to start your own startup business, chances are that you must have thought about the investment too.

You may also have realized that you don`t have sufficient funds on your own to get started. So that leaves you with two choices: one is a loan, in which the lender makes its money by you paying the loan back with the applicable interest over a set period. The other is an investment, in which the investor is given a percentage of ownership (i.e., number of shares) in the business in exchange for providing the capital.

A loan and an investment are two different things. This is why you want to keep in mind what your audience is while making a business plan. The ways that lenders versus investors make money are completely different. Hence, you will require different business plans.

Here are a few factors are given by the best business motivational speakers that one must consider while choosing the type of funding:

1. Return on Investment (ROI)

If you are looking for investor funding, your prospective investors will want to see an ROI scenario with the current valuation and estimated future valuation of the business. So how will you determine that? The current evaluation of the business can be determined via the requested investment amount and the percentage of ownership given in return for the investment is how future evaluation will be determined.

For entrepreneurs, it is important to note that the valuation of investors is largely based on perception, especially for startups. The potential investors may or may not agree with your perceived valuation.

If you are looking for a bank loan, ROI does not apply to your business plan. This happens because the bank makes money by having the loan paid back with interest.

2. Exit Strategy

If you seek investor funding, prospective investors would like to know all the possible scenarios in which they can exit from having a financial interest in the business. Many possibilities include the investor selling their shares back to the company, or the business failing an investor losing their money. An investor plan will explain each possibility to exit.

If you are seeking a bank loan, you will not need an exit strategy because the bank only has a vested interest in the business during the term on the loan. Unless you don’t plan to get out of the business before the term on the loan is up, an exit strategy is not needed. Once you have paid the loan in full amount and the term is up, the bank has no interest in the performance of the business.

3. Projections

If you need a bank loan or other form of debt, your income statement should declare the interest expense, while your principal loan repayment would be shown in your cash flow statement. However, if you seek equity financing then the interest expense and principal loan repayment will both be zero.

Bank or investor? There is not a straight and simple answer to this. While banks are more inclined towards tried-and-true-business models, investors are usually interested in innovative ideas that can disrupt the business environment in some capacity.

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