There’s no doubt that NOT having to worry about money ALL the time certainly helps remove barriers! Whether you’re staring your own freelance business, holding an event or working on a project, you need to know what your costs are! Organisations like The Business Centre have tools available like the Business Viability Calendar that can help you work things out. What costs do you own in the project? Thought about what your time’s worth? Insurance? Software, workspace, branding, marketing, consultants…we could go on!
There’s a few options when on you’re on the money hunt…friends, family, credit cards, loans, Angel Investors, grants, Start UP Accelerators, crowd funding…Let’s try and break it down.
In many a dinner party tale we hear that friends, family and $$$ don’t quite mix – think of it like adding salt to your coffee! If anything is going to wreck a relationship, cause conflict and get you never again speaking to your bridesmaid, it’s misunderstandings around $$$.
If you have to borrow money from friends or family, pay it back with a bit of interest! It’s a small way of saying thanks and think of the bank interest rates you have saved. It’s professional and respectful and will make it easier if you have to borrow more later.
It also helps to get emotional investment from your investor if you can. Angel investors for example often come along with their money – as mentors and advisors. If someone is willing to offer you advice as part of their offering, listen. You don’t have to take the advice on but listen regardless.
The there’s always the Credit Card option. Just make sure you check out the interest rate and the interest free period. If you can’t pay it back before the interest kicks in, think about not travelling that path!
If you have Corporate Social Responsibility as part of your manifesto, then why not go for sponsorship? Make sure you can articulate your ‘why’ to any large organsition that is offering funding? Does it suit their goals? Their why? NIB, Greater Buidling Society, Glencore, Rio Tinto, GHD, Sony, NAB, Newcastle Permanent Building Society, pwc, XStrata, bhp billiton and many others all offer funding for community projects. What do they look for? Your point of difference! What kind of story are you telling? What are the benefits to the community and to their organisation? This needs to be WIN WIN WIN, all the way home!
There is nothing stopping you create your own opportunity either. What project can you come up with that will help fulfill a need for an organisation? Where is the WIN WIN?
Accelerators have been growing in momentum for several years and are Start Ups new ‘besties’. Slingshot, Blue Chilli, ANZ Innvoyz Start, AngelCube are just some of the many surfacing. Do you fit their criteria? They can certainly help commercialise any opportunities.
Crowd Funding bodies, such as Pozible or Indiegogo work on the premise of asking people to donate $ towards a specific project in exchange for a ‘reward’. This type of funding is great for creative projects. There are no limits to the number of times you can put forward a project. Why would people pledge money to you? It all comes back to your ‘why’? And their emotional buy in. Marcus Westbury – Renew Newcastle – crowd funded his book Creating Cities. The target set was exceeded by $30,000. Marcus offered a range of offerings in return for various amounts of money. For inspiration and ideas, have a look at how he set it up http://www.pozible.com/project/27755
Other ideas that attract funding are health projects that make a difference http://www.pozible.com/project/184835
Ethically you need to ask yourself ‘What are the ethical barriers around this project?’ What wouldn’t you support. What impact does a potential sponsor have on society?
With all things funding as with all things business, you have to prove your viability, create great media, plan and be patient. Be prepared to answer ALL the questions the application asks you to answer, always with this in the back of your mind; What do you bring to the organization/ business/ government department? Why should they give ME the money?
Government funding grants and assistance
Fear not, help is available, from places like The Business Centre, for Start-Ups and Small Businesses. The Small Biz Connect program offers support and a good conversation around what you want to do.
Community Builders constantly need to think outside the box and not just at industry specific funding like Arts Funding or Manufacturing grants. There’s nothing to stop an artist applying for a leadership, access or education grant.
The Federal & State governments generally support organisations like the Business Centre and in that way support small business.
There’s also Research and Development Tax Incentives for anything going in the space of new knowledge. Oh, and keep an eye out for Commercialisation grants coming to a centre near you…
That’s a Wrap
There’s lots of options available that are worthy of exploration and consideration if you have the time and the brain-power and the determination to get into it! Remember – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
A Few Useful Links
And a few NOT to bother with…
Blog by Christina Gerakiteys
Content supplied by Brooke Phillips and Martin McKenzie