4 Ways to Inject Cash into Your Business

If you are a business owner you could probably use a bigger number on the positive side of your cash flow. Of course, the grand question is how best to accomplish that. You might think the answer to "How do I get more money for my business?" is "sell more of the goods and services my company provides," and you'd be right. But employing the economic skills honed at the lemonade stand isn’t the only way to succeed in business.

There are other strategies for injecting cash into your business that don't involve praying for an uptick in sales to flood your coffers. You probably offer important things you hadn’t thought of before that might be of keen interest to a buyer. And no, not your kidneys. We mean exploring options that you may not have considered previously.

1. Learn Your Grants

You’ve undoubtedly heard all the ballyhoo about stimulus packages and other nice, shiny presents for the “job creators.” Well guess what, Mr. and Mrs. Q. Business Owner: you are one of those fabled job creators. The grants are there, and the federal government is just dying to give you one! Well, “dying” is a strong word. Let’s just say “possibly willing to consider doing so after you fill out the paperwork.”

A grant is a gift to you for moving your business into the future, as a job creator in a desired area, or maybe even as a business that employs cutting-edge energy saving measures. Just check it out—maybe your business qualifies for one of these gifts from one of the 26 federal agencies that provide grants. What’s to lose in finding out?

2. Sell Your Debt

Banks love buying debt. Even today. Even after banks buying debt is what got the banks and the rest of us into the current, ongoing, global, catastrophic economic meltdown. But while banks have (mostly) quit absorbing the toxic loans that first sickened them, banks simply need loans to survive, especially good loans. And your loan—the loan made to a small business with good credit—might look mighty tasty to them.

If you show a history of having enough money coming in to pay off your loan in a timely manner (banks have learned their lesson on that one!), you might qualify for a new loan that pays off your current small-business loan at a lower rate. Of course, shopping around for a new loan is not guarantee of a better deal, but, as with grants, the effort could be more than worth the cost of your time to investigate.

3. Talk to the City, Talk to the County, Talk to the State

The local government in which your business operates has an interest in seeing your business succeed and subsequently create more jobs. Thus, there is a chance that the community, the county, or the state would be willing to give you an ultra low-interest loan to establish, expand, or simply keep your business afloat. Or maybe the local authorities are offering tax incentives to encourage you.

There are many possibilities— tax breaks for locating in gentrifying neighborhoods, resources for getting your store used as a film location, among others. Visit the websites of your various local government entities, call up the civic chain, and find out what’s available.

4. Move the Dead Weight!

"Dead weight" here does not mean the employees who are actively dragging your business under, although, by all means, get rid of them, too. Dead weight means any and all inventory and equipment that is taking up space rather than producing income. If you need cash, move the stuff that’s slowing you down.

One truth for everybody—individuals and businesses alike—is the longer they stick around in one place, the more stuff they acquire. But you can break this habit of accumulation if you just remember that everything you have is wanted by someone. No business should go under when they still have stuff, even if it appears outwardly useless. Someone, somewhere will take it and pay you for the privilege. I have yet to find a single thing that cannot be sold via Craigslist.

Move that dead weight, upgrade your business with the cash you realize, and move forward, footloose and fancy free.

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