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The Impossibility of Starting a Business Without Money


In a previous blog post, How to Start a Business with No Money“, we discussed how starting a business without any budget, even a small one, is impossible.

The idea that you can start a business without money has been spread by professional scammers who, to sell their marketing courses – filled with fake and incorrect information – would swear before God that the Earth is flat.

I’ll now show you all the serious and effective techniques and initiatives to find funds or a loan and finally bring your business idea to life.

Oh, I warn you: some methods you won’t like, but there’s no other equally effective solution.

Check back often on this blog post because I’ll strive to keep it constantly updated with new methods that have proven effective in raising funds (no, unfortunately bank robbery isn’t one of the options considered).


Personal Financial Resources

“What? I told you I don’t have money!”

Exactly, so go out and work.

No, I’m not kidding.

Get yourself a job.

Any job, it doesn’t matter what kind, as long as you can gather funds to kickstart your business idea.

Thanks to the internet, you can explore endless job opportunities.

Be a delivery driver for Amazon, Just Eat, or any other service, but aim to raise funds independently, without relying on loans or other sources.

Just like our grandparents did when they migrated from small towns to work in big cities.

Today, we’ve lost the steel spirit of our grandparents.

We crumble at the first hurdle, thinking they’re all insurmountable.

Well, if your desire to start your business is strong enough, I hope it overcomes the fear of finding any job to gather the funds needed to make your entrepreneurial dream a reality.

“But I live in a very poor country, no one’s hiring, everything’s closed, we’re all starving!”

My friend, are you a tree?

Do you have roots so deep that you can’t leave your country and seek fortune in greener pastures?

Well, I don’t think so.

We’re in the New Economy.

Today, we connect Australia to the United States with just one click.

We’ve all made sacrifices, and you’ll have to make them too if you want to ensure your entrepreneurial idea doesn’t remain just a dream.

If there are no opportunities in your small town, take a low-cost flight to a place with better prospects.

It doesn’t matter what you do; what matters is finding a job and gathering all the necessary funds to start your business idea (of course, I assume you’ve already made an accurate estimate of the initial amount you’ll need to invest).

“But I have to take care of my parents/any relative, I can’t leave my house…”

Well, in this case, I won’t comment.

Sometimes there are events that are unfortunately bigger than us, and we can’t pretend they don’t exist.

So, my advice to you is to offer your services as a freelancer and sell your skills on platforms like Fiverr.com, the well-known international platform dedicated to buying or selling various professional services over the Internet.

Fiverr is an international platform for digital services where you can both buy and sell digital services.

In recent years, it has become a go-to for those working in various fields.

Among the categories catered to on the platform are graphic designers, digital marketing experts, writers and translators, video and animation creators, musicians, programmers, and online business and education professionals.

Now I’ll give you some tips to maximize your chances of selling your skills on this platform.

Tips for Creating a Great Seller Profile on Fiverr

Complete Your Profile

Firstly, take a few minutes to fill out your profile information in the best possible way: list all your skills, recent activities, educational background, and provide documentation to showcase your value.

Try to clearly communicate who you are and what you have to offer.

Show that you’re a real person by adding a photo of yourself as your profile picture – this alone sends an empathetic message to potential clients.

People enjoy working with interesting personalities.

Try to answer the following questions as succinctly as possible in your profile description:

  • What’s your name?
  • How did you get into what you do? (Design, photography, whatever interests you)
  • What do you like most about your work?
  • How can you help someone with your skills?
  • What values and virtues are particularly important to you at work? (Perfectionism, precision, punctuality, etc.)

Devote more time to your profile description until you can answer these questions smoothly.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your profile description.

It’s like the product description on Amazon, except on Fiverr, you’re not offering a product but your work.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have an attractive description of yourself that grabs attention, exudes professionalism, and highlights your abilities.


Social Channels

Next, include links to all external channels outside of Fiverr that may be relevant to showcasing your professional authority.

This includes everything from LinkedIn to your Facebook and Instagram pages, from Twitter to your website.

Having a social page and a blog to advertise your services outside the platform can be helpful for generating traffic and climbing the platform’s internal search engine.

Visual Content

Craft your Gigs (your completed works, a sort of showcase) as comprehensively as possible, adding useful details to profile your services and more: accompany your listings with images, videos, documents.

Try to attract buyers by communicating with visual content as well, as it represents the first point of interest for those who don’t know you yet.

Always offer a free trial; it helps a lot.


Right Pricing for Your Services

This is a crucial lesson that many Fiverr sellers have had to learn the hard way: Often, newcomers to the platform are seen offering services in the three-figure price range despite having no reviews or references yet.

The likelihood of someone accepting such an offer is extremely low due to the vast competition on Fiverr.

Therefore, you’ll need to initially sacrifice a high hourly wage, even if you have extensive experience in your field.

It’s recommended to have some gigs starting at $5 for the cheapest package.

This way, you increase the potential for someone to click on your gig and make a purchase.

Order Requests

Buyer requests are a great way to get orders on Fiverr even if you’re starting from scratch.

Here you can find people who have posted a special and individual order.

Anyone offering services in this sector can apply for these jobs.

The more convincing your request and offer are, the more likely you are to be selected.

You can send ten of these requests every day.

I strongly recommend making the most of these ten daily applications at the beginning.

If you make an effort and do it consistently, it’s guaranteed that sooner or later you’ll find work.

PS: Don’t apply by saying “I would like to do this job for you!”

Already prepare the work and apply by saying, “Hi, I have completed this work for you. You can keep it for free or ask me to make one with all the customizations you need.”

This way, you’ll be a step ahead of all the others who apply empty-handed.

Your initial goal is to get reviews.

The more reviews you gather and the more reputation you build on Fiverr, the higher your prices will be.

If people see that you consistently offer quality services and numerous buyers have already had positive experiences with you, they’ll be willing to pay more.


Repeat Clients

When orders start coming in, do everything possible to retain these clients long-term.

This way, you can gradually build a secure and predictable order volume.

The potential for this is huge: companies looking for freelancers on Fiverr don’t want to find a new person every week.

If they’ve had a good experience with you and there’s a level of trust, you can be sure they’ll come back to you when they need something.

Good service on Fiverr is primarily defined by communication, leniency, and quality.

Good communication is a fundamental part of good service, not only on Fiverr but also off-platform.

Imagine running a business and working with service providers to advance your projects, to which you dedicate a lot of passion and dedication.

Would you want to be always updated and know the progress?

From experience, I can assure you that the vast majority of buyers on Fiverr incredibly appreciate receiving regular updates on the status.

This way, you can tell your clients that something is happening, that the order is being processed, and that you’re working on a solution to their problem.

If there are complications and you can’t deliver on time, communication is crucial.

Communicate promptly that it will take more time, apologize, and explain the delay.

The best way to remedy this is to offer a discount on the next order or a free additional service.

In these cases, proper communication is the key to enabling a positive customer experience, and also to getting a good review.

Honesty and sincerity are as important as high quality.

“I Don’t Have Any Skills!

My friend, YouTube isn’t just a platform for watching cute cats and Japanese pranks (even though, I admit, Japanese pranks are really silly and crack me up).

YouTube is a vast digital library that acts as a free school for learning practically any digital skill.

With millions of videos uploaded on topics ranging from programming to photography, passing through digital marketing and much more, YouTube offers an endless array of resources for those who want to learn and grow in the digital world.

Imagine wanting to learn how to program.

Just type “programming tutorial” into YouTube’s search bar and you’ll be faced with thousands of videos explaining basic and advanced concepts of languages like Python, JavaScript, Java, and many others.

There are detailed tutorials that guide you step by step through writing your first code, as well as more advanced videos that teach you complex software development techniques.

Imagine wanting to know how to build a website or a blog.

Search on YouTube for “how to create a blog step-by-step” and there you have it: thousands of free videos teaching you how to create a blog.

The beauty of YouTube as a digital school is that you can learn at your own pace and customize your learning path.

You can watch short videos to get a quick overview of a topic, or dive into long tutorial series to deepen your knowledge.

And thanks to the vast community of content creators, you can find an incredible variety of teaching styles, allowing you to find what works best for you.

No more excuses: there’s nothing stopping you from getting funds for your business idea through Fiverr.


Bank Loans


Readers of my blog come from all over the world, and the concepts I write about in my blog posts generally apply to everyone.

Unfortunately, bank loans are an exception.

Many countries around the world are facing disastrous financial situations.

Access to credit to finance entrepreneurial ideas in these poor countries is not available because governments have much bigger and more serious concerns to address.

The following text is therefore intended only for those living in countries where access to bank credit is possible.

That being said, the question then is: can a startup or any entrepreneurial idea get a bank loan?

The answer is, of course, yes.

A startup – as well as most innovative and non-innovative entrepreneurial ideas – can indeed approach one or more credit institutions to obtain funding to support their growth, make investments, support working capital, and so on.

However, it is well known that getting a loan for a startup is generally difficult.


Why?

The answer is simple: startups are new businesses without data and historical information and therefore considered riskier by the bank.

Exactly the same principle I explained earlier, for which no provider will ever give you credit if you are new and do not have a flawless financial history.

But how can you overcome this obstacle?

How can you get a loan from the bank?

You need to provide the chosen credit institution with a comprehensive and varied set of documents, including:

  • Updated registration with the Chamber of Commerce, with company details and identification of shareholders and individuals with legal representation of the company.
  • Identification documents and tax codes of shareholders and legal representatives.
  • Updated articles of association and bylaws.
  • Annual or interim financial data, even provisional, to highlight initial revenues and characteristic costs incurred.
  • A business plan presenting your company’s business model, market information, partner details, and so on (to learn what a business plan is and how to write an effective one, check out this blog post: What Is a Business Plan.”).
  • Details of relationships with other credit institutions, even on active bases, and the related guarantees provided, supported by the analysis of the Risk Center of the bank.
  • Income statements of individuals with indefinite obligations or guarantors.



In summary, as you can see, it comprises a comprehensive set of documents that I recommend you prepare and update as soon as possible.

One of the reasons why the bank will request these documents is evidently very practical: in the current credit evaluation system, whether you can get financing depends on your creditworthiness, i.e., the evaluation of the creditworthiness of your business.

Under “normal” conditions, a company’s rating will primarily consider financial data and the performance of the credit system, with checks on databases to understand your credit history and whether you are correctly repaying the contracted loans.

Moreover, the sector to which you belong and, qualitatively, the relationship your company has with the specific potential financier will more or less positively influence your rating.

Also important to determine a more or less favorable rating will be the presence of connections with other companies in the same group and the presence of individuals who can intervene to support the business in case of need.

So, a practical reflection: not having either historical data or current data of particular relevance, the bank will treat your startup more particularly, either by assigning a “base” rating or by operating without assigning a rating.

A useful tip: some of my readers have informed me that banks are very inclined to finance two types of activities.

The first are informative activities (like the one I am carrying out with this blog).

Loans are smaller, and thanks to advertising and regular payments from Google AdSense, you can easily repay the loan.

The second type of activity is those based on renewable energies or that in any case differentiate themselves from the competition by paying strong attention to the environment and actually doing something to improve it.

Think carefully about this last point when creating your business.


Crowdfunding


Crowdfunding is when a group of people (the crowd) contributes money (funding), even just a small amount, to support an entrepreneurial project or other initiatives using websites (“platforms” or “portals”), sometimes receiving a reward in return.

Simply put, it’s not about big names deciding to invest in a project, but rather ordinary people choosing to support a project with their own money.

In the conception of crowdfunding that has gained ground in recent years, the benefits for those who decide to chip in usually come in the form of goods and services in advance, perhaps even exclusively.

In other words, you don’t make money, but you get priority access to the product/service resulting from the supported project.

It’s no wonder that crowdfunding is called grassroots microfinancing, primarily aimed at mobilizing the creative world.

For project creators, being able to showcase their ideas to the public and obtain funding can be a godsend, as it allows them to demonstrate the power of an idea that might not otherwise receive funding in the “traditional way,” without intermediaries.

In a romantic sense, crowdfunding is a catalyst for creativity, but clearly, it’s not all sunshine and roses.

Firstly, often at the beginning of a campaign, a monetary goal is set to realize the project, but unfortunately, a large number of ideas fail to achieve success.

There are countless projects out there, and vying for the public’s attention is one of the most challenging tasks, especially in the internet age, where everything moves swiftly, and attention spans aren’t always the highest.


Sure, a good idea might work even without much marketing, but you understand that marketing is almost always crucial, especially for those without significant projects under their belt and lacking an established community.

In other words, merely posting your idea on a platform isn’t enough to garner significant support from people.

Then there are other issues, such as the commitment made to the public.

It’s always wise to indicate an estimated delivery date for the involved service/product, as failing to meet or communicate it properly could deter people from future projects.

This is not to mention the risks associated with crowdfunding; just presenting the idea and figuring out how to realize it could cost a lot of money without any certainty that it will pay off.

In short, crowdfunding is a complex world that encapsulates all the challenges of commerce in general (and probably more, given that it starts from scratch and with an original project).

With that said, and acknowledging that easy gains don’t exist (remember that crowdfunding platforms usually retain a percentage), if you intend to proceed, you’ll need to delve into tax matters and the like with professionals.

There are many variables at play, so I can only delve into detail up to a certain point (after all, this guide is only meant to provide you with some basic insights into this world; you’ll need to do your own thorough research).

Initially, crowdfunding wasn’t regulated, so you could earn much more money than needed.

But many countries realized this and introduced strict rules, making crowdfunding less effective than before.

Italy, for example, is one such case.

They introduced a rule allowing funding for rather small amounts, which is a bit silly.

We Italians are really good at complicating things and slowing down the country’s economic growth.

Our government seems to enjoy seeing businesses shut down and fail.

In more civilized countries than Italy, I’m sure that crowdfunding, despite some rules, is still a very useful tool, although not as effective as before, as I already mentioned.


To learn more, read the blog post titled Crowdfunding on Wikipedia.

There are many crowdfunding platforms worldwide, but I recommend – without any financial interest, as I’m not affiliated – Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is essentially another word for “crowdfunding” because it’s one of the most popular platforms for supporting innovative ideas.

Since its launch in 2009, the Kickstarter community has successfully funded over 240,000 projects, including physical products, films, games, and more, totaling $7.6 billion raised.

Kickstarter is a reward-based crowdfunding platform.

Supporters are offered incentives to back the project, ranging from T-shirts to shout-outs to exclusive pre-order discounts.

Different reward tiers can be offered: the greater the investment, the greater the reward.

In Kickstarter campaigns, access to funds is only possible if the initial fundraising goal is reached; otherwise, funds are returned to the supporters.

The fees are 5% if you reach your goal, excluding payment fees.

Consequently, projects on Kickstarter tend to be of high quality and original, often creative or innovative enough to attract users’ and media attention.

Supporters usually consider these projects more reliable because they only pay if the campaign succeeds.

An example of a brand that raised funds to start on Kickstarter is Léo et Violette, which transitioned from a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to a successful Shopify store.

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