Entrepreneurs face many challenges when launching and growing a business, and finding cash for your business can be a considerable challenge. Entrepreneurs and business owners seek business funding and finding those who are willing to take a risk and fund their ventures is like hitting the financial jackpot.
Speaking with Michele Romanow, co-founder and CEO of Clearco, and Dragon on Dragon’s Den, she discusses its mission. Clearco offers to clients to get capital fast through their AI automated application process. Qualified businesses can receive an offer from $10,000 to $20 million within 48 hours of applying for the funding.
Romanow believes traditional funding is biased—often, things like social class, gender, race, ethnicity, and connections play into who gets a seat at the table. Those barriers are why she developed Clearco’s AI-driven, revenue-based model—to level the playing field for entrepreneurs and support founders who are overlooked by venture capital.
“Clearco has invested more than $3.2 billion in six countries worldwide, to founders who never gave up equity in their business,” says Romanow. When they examine the data, they see that the company is more diverse than planned, having 25x the funding for women. “One-third of our funding goes to BIPOC business owners,” she says.
As a serial entrepreneur herself, Romanow offers these tips to business owners who are starting their businesses:
1. Ask yourself why
Why do you want to build a business? Being an entrepreneur is exhilarating, but not for everyone. Be sure that you have the genuine desire to create a business because you will need that to help keep you going when times are tough.
2. Consider different types of business funding
Don’t give up a piece of your company to get a cash injection. When business owners look for cash for their businesses, they often don’t understand what it means to give up a piece of operating control to an investor. It limits the freedom you have to make decisions in your business, and you need to consult with the investor to make those decisions.
3. Pay attention to your business numbers
Know your key performance indicators for your business and financial ratios for your business. Know the profitability of your business, profit margins, and cash management. Create a financial plan for your business to ensure you will meet your goals.
4. Start now
If you have been dreaming of starting your own business but are waiting for the right time, there is no right time. Start now. Stop finding excuses to delay and take your leap of faith.
The bottom line is that when you are looking for business funding to support your company, many options are available to you. But when you know what is involved with the various options and make an informed choice on the type of funding you’d like to receive, it helps you meet your business goals.