Where Businesses Get Cash

Quick Insight

There are many ways to get cash for your company.  The best sources change during the life of your company. These surveys list the most popular and show your many options.

I go through a series of survey results in my entrepreneurial finance course that shows popular sources of cash for small businesses and how they change as the business ages. 

For startups, these are the 5 most popular sources of startup funds per a SCORE (SBA) survey (For all surveys, percents listed are the percent of companies that said they used this source. Total percentages from all sources may be greater than 100% because companies use multiple sources):

  1. Personal funds (66%)
  2. Income from another job (28%)
  3. Friends/family (17%)
  4. Bank loans (11%)
  5. Cash advance from credit cards (9%)

Things change quite a bit four years after startup. Here are the four most popular sources firms after four years in business according to the SBA.

  1. Business loans (19%)
  2. Credit line (16%)
  3. Personal loan (13%)
  4. Owner/family equity (13%)

How about all small businesses? Here are the top five types of financing according to a National Small Business Association survey.

  1. Earning of the business (32%)
  2. Credit cards (31%)
  3. Bank loans (29%)
  4. Private loans - friends or family (13%)
  5. Vendor credit (12%)

These are the most popular sources but there were many others listed in the surveys: grants, crowdfunding, investors, leasing, online lenders, credit unions, and selling/pledging accounts receivable.

I hope you find the cash you need for your business. I wish you well.

- Rob Stephens

Further Insight

CFO Perspective Resources

  • Video: Get a Better Business Loan Rate - Just a few easy moves could save you thousands in interest and fees on your business loan. Let me show you seven tips that could lower your loan costs.
  • Video: Is an SBA Loan Right for You? SBA Loan Pros and Cons - I’ll explain some of these pros and cons to help you make a better decision. I'm not a lender, so I can give you an unbiased look at the plusses and minuses of SBA loans. You'll discover six benefits of SBA loans and five reasons you may decide SBA loans aren't right for you.
  • Course: Business Loan Basics – Get the basics on how to business loans work. I’ll show you how to navigate the loan process. You’ll also learn tips on how to get lower loan rates.
  • Course: SBA Loans - Funding and Resources for Small Businesses - Discover SBA loan programs and resources that could help your business. This course helps business owners and their advisors better understand the purpose of SBA loan programs, who's eligible, and whether U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are the right funding for the business.

Get all the CFO Perspective resources with a FAST (Finance and Strategy Toolkit) membership.

Get the tools, guidance, and support for superior business performance

Get all the CFO Perspective courses plus more in one package. FAST (Finance and Strategy Toolkit) is the membership program that gives you the resources for better strategic financial management. Get direct access to me as well tools for improved decisions that lead to superior business performance.

The right tools save you time, reduce your stress, and improve your effectiveness.

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!