5 ways to Fund your creative business



There are a variety of funding sources available to creative business owners  regardless of your passion- Musical Artist-Film Maker- Painter- Sculptor- Clothing designer-Writer- Photographer- or a fortune cookie writer.
 Financing is essential to sustaining and growing a successful creative business.  You know you can’t do it all by yourself, You want to focus on your creative endeavors, do need help growing your business?  and wonder how you pay for it?     
Beyond taking out a loan from the bank or borrowing against your 401K I have listed 5 funding sources you can immediately utilize to grow your creative business-
1)    Host a class or workshop:  What better way to connect with your fans than to host a class or workshop? You are able to use your skill to teach others, you grow your network of fans who purchase goods or services from you! Check out the internet for local community centers, and schools for places you can host your event.  Make sure you can accept credit /debit card orders and And you have created a additional revenue stream to your independent creative business.
2)    Keep the change-  When I quit smoking years ago, I set aside the $1 a day I spent on cigarettes, and at the end of the day, that dollar bill, and the the left over change from coffee  or lunch that day also went into the jar. The jar filled several times to a goal I set of  $5,000! Which helped me make the down payment on my very first condo! It felt GREAT!! *back in the dark ages $5,000 went a lot farther than it does today!
3)   Small Business Administration- The SBA offers loans and grants  for small business owners, You benefit from digging around this site, see the funding requirements, and see how you can tap into help.
 Trades and  Barters The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that 25 percent of the world’s trade is still done this way. Many albums and art installations have been helped along by trading and bartering services with friends. From designers and illustrators, to do posters, cards,  to Haircuts,  makeup, staging, etc..
4)    Credit Cards- I don’t encourage running up or maxing out lines of credit, I recommend you keep some credit available in case of emergencies.   HOWEVER, if you know that you will earmark the re-cooped money to quickly pay off the  debt , then make the investment in growing your business.
5)    Fan Funding sites: There are a variety of sites dedicated to you setting up a project funding site, with a  tiered reward menu  for investors to participate in your creative project.   Marillion - is a UK band recognized within the music industry as the first established band to fully utilize the power of the internet, they have funded four albums through pre-sales to fans and totally re-vitalized their career in the process.
I have listed some of the more popular fan funding sites, Look at each site, since fee's and audiences vary. Make note of the most successful funded programs, and their  video promo’s and funding rewards.  Keep in mind crowd/fan funding is a very emotional, your success is based in the appeal of your idea! Work it!!
 Kickstarter: Projects must obtain 100% of their funding goal for donors to pay and creative projects to obtain financing.
ArtistShare:  Started in 2000 the 1stcrowd/fan funded site / label
PledgeMusic- Launched in August 2009.  Enables fan project funding through unique incentives and opportunities for fans, with an percentage of the projects proceeds donated to a charity of the artists choice.
Sellaband: -  Fan Funding website in Europe launched in 2006 that as of mid 2009 had helped 33 artists raise $50,000 euros.
Have you used these or other creative ways to  finance your business? Let us know in the comment section below!
If you or a loved one  have questions about how to  manage a creative business?
Are you ready to launch a new project? or start planning for 2012?
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Tamra Engle is a independent business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your independent creative business, You can read more about her at www.TamraEngle.com  you can email her at guitartam@gmail.com  
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