Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How to Get Free Sponsorship from Your Customers: 5 Ways to Grow a Small Business

A common affliction of a small business is a shortage of funds. As a rule, the handicap is cumbersome or even crippling in the case of a newborn venture or a fast-growing concern.

If you own a business or plan to start one, then the scarcity of financing is likely to be a constant companion. In that case, juggling the budget and scaring up cash will be issues that never stray far from your thoughts.

Many sources of funding require you to jump through hoops before you even get to talk to a decision maker in a serious way about your financial situation. It doesn’t matter whether the funder is a lender like a commercial bank or an investor like a venture capitalist. If you happen to pass the initial screening process, then you get to put in oodles of time – which may be as scarce to you as the money that’s in short supply – in one meeting after another before you get an answer.

If and when a funder agrees to cough up some dough, though, you can be sure that the deal is going to cost you a pretty penny. In the case of a loan, you’ll have to pay back the moolah with a weighty toll known as an interest payment. In the case of an investment, you’ll need to give up part of the equity in your company and maybe even a hefty share of control over the business.

In some cases, there may be no way for you to bypass these sources of funding if you want to keep your business alive. On the other hand, there are other sources of support that can be a lot more appealing. These resources ought to be your first port of call.

Entrepreneurs often find that the heroes who rush to their aid include their own customers. The best part about working with the patrons is that they don’t expect you to give up an arm and a leg in return for their help. Another wonderful trait is that most of them won’t drag you through an interminable series of meetings, or force you to sign your life away in a mound of documents, before they release the resources.

This article talks about the best ways to obtain free help from stalwart customers. The benefactors of this stripe could take the form of existing clients or prospective patrons.

More on How to Get Free Sponsorship from Your Customers: 5 Ways to Grow a Small Business.

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