|You just started truly pushing in social media. You are developing all sorts of content, from e-books to videos, to attract visitors to your website. Your loyalty program is off the ground, and more customers are joining every day. You have big plans for marketing ― but until you start seeing a return on your investment, you definitely need some fast cash.
Marketing campaigns aren’t cheap, even the supposedly “free” methods like social media.
However, it is impossible to deny that successful campaigns pay off in a big way. Until you start seeing an increase in sales thanks to your marketing endeavors, you will need to engage in some minor financing practices. The following cash-grabbing tricks are ideal for balancing your cash flow before your marketing starts paying for itself.
If you run a B2B or have contracts with government agencies, you have the option of selling your unpaid invoices to a factoring company to speed up your cash flow. Because it is time-consuming and expensive to wait around for clients to make payments, many B2Bs opt to factor a portion of their invoices, taking a minor decrease in revenue for the convenience of getting cash faster. Unlike accounts receivable financing, factoring is not a loan, which means you never need to repay the money you receive. However, as with any business dealing, you should understand the rates and fees before you sign any agreements.
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Merchant Cash Advances
Conversely, if you are a retailer or rely on credit or debit transactions, you might consider acquiring a merchant cash advance. Merchant services providers, the agencies that process merchants’ card transactions, offer programs to give their clients advances on future credit and debit sales. Then, providers recoup the advance by taking higher percentages of credit and debit transactions. Unfortunately, merchant cash advances typically boast high interest rates, and payment amounts can vary from month to month. Therefore, you should only take a merchant cash advance if you are certain that your marketing campaign will pay off soon.
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Undoubtedly the trendiest of funding options, crowdfunding asks your potential customers to make small contributions to your business for the opportunity to earn rewards. On one hand, crowdfunding is advantageous because it seems to require little effort for massive reward: After creating a page on GoFundMe, Fundable, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or any other crowdfunding website, you can watch your funds grow. On the other hand, the popularity of crowdfunding necessitates smart marketing to gain attention and contributions ― which in turn costs time and money. Thus, crowdfunding is only a terrific option if you have a catchy campaign idea; otherwise, it might only add to your marketing woes.
You might already be making monthly payments on the large small-business loan you took to get your idea off the ground, so the idea of going deeper into debt isn’t an attractive one. However, microloans aren’t exactly like most small-business loans. For one, they are smaller; the average microloan is about $13,000, but they can go as low as $500. For another, many microloans are supplied by nonprofit organizations, like Kiva. Though you must make payments on microloans, the small amount is relatively more manageable and perhaps enough to keep your business going until you seen an ROI on your marketing.
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Another option that puts you in debt, credit cards provide more flexibility and freedom than other loan options. You can open a business credit account or use your personal cards to make small purchases or payments. Typically, business credit cards have higher limits and better rewards, and many offer a brief period of 0 percent APR, which you could take advantage of while waiting for your marketing campaign to kick
off. Still, you should avoid abusing your credit, or you could ruin your business and your personal finances before you can reap the results of your marketing efforts.
Sell, Sell, Sell
Finally, to get the cash you need, you can do what your business is meant to: Sell. Organizing fire sales, offering special discounts, and otherwise reducing the costs of your products or services will motivate consumers to buy, increasing your cash flow. You might also consider selling expensive equipment, renting out your office or warehouse space, or finding other ways to make money on the items your business owns. If you can find a lasting side hustle for your business, you will be able to pay for major marketing campaigns for years to come.