Financial Planning & funding: Lesson 8

Funding Options for Starting Your Business

Josh Brown, senior small business specialist with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, discusses various funding options for starting your small business.


Test Your Knowledge

To receive credit for taking this course through TSBDC, watch the video and take the quiz that will appear below to demonstrate your knowledge.

Video Lesson Topics

-Considerations for Funding Your Business

  • Consider how much it would be to start your business, and how much it would be to keep it running for sixty to ninety days.
  • There are no government grants to start your business.
  • How would you prepare to approach potential investors to raise money and feel passionate about your business?

-Funding Options

  • Personal savings: Have at least 10-15% of your own money to get started in your business. If you don’t have your skin in the game, why would you expect anyone else to invest money in your business you want to get off the ground?
  • Friends and relatives: This can be a good source, however, there needs to be upfront and clear communication on expectations. In addition, it is also wise to have a written contract of the exchange.
  • Banks and credit unions: Banks are the primary lending vehicles in the country. They are often a great source and many of them understand small businesses. However, they tend to be a bit leery about funding brand new startup businesses. Credit unions, like banks are in the business of lending money. They fly under different rules on how funding should be done. But at the end of the day, they’re much like banks.
  • Local and regional economic agencies: Depending on geographic locations, there can be monies for investing in small businesses.
  • Crowdfunding: This type of funding is best for new inventions and if business owners are willing to heavily promote the product on social media.
  • Microlenders such as Kiva: Kiva is a loan option similar to crowdfunding, where you convince the community to invest in your business.
  • Alternate lenders (third party lenders): They charge higher interest rates and are creative about collateral. 
  • SBA lending programs: The Small Business Association does not directly lend money to you, it works with banks and approved lenders. The lenders take your application and then reach out to SBA on your behalf.

-How to Prepare and Approach a Lender/Investor

  • Have a business and financial plan for at least 6 months ready to share with your potential investors. Make sure to plan for your marketing expenses, as well. 
  • Have someone else review your financial plan first. Work with Your TSBDC counselor to help you get ready. 
  • Make sure you read and understand all terms and conditions of your loan once you get approved and before signing. 

Topics & Lessons

Each Below Topic Contains a Video Lesson and Helpful Downloadable Information


Funding Options for Existing/Established Businesses




How to Prepare for Your First Bank Meeting


How Much do I Need to Start my Business?


Developing Financial Projections


Break-Even Analysis


Accepting Payments and Credit Card Processing


Funding Options for Starting Your Business


FinTech Loans


SBA 7A Small Business Loan Program


Want to learn more about how this topic relates to your business?

Schedule a meeting with one of our consultants! All counseling sessions offered by the TSBDC are no-cost and provided by our staff of professional business consultants.