Marketing expenditures account for roughly 11% of a company’s total budget, according to a Deloitte survey. This makes sense, given that marketing is the business function involved with creating, keeping, and satisfying the customer.
Without solid marketing, your business can neither grow nor achieve sustained success. From traditional billboard ads and TV commercials to social media campaigns and a website blog, there are lots of channels to drive leads and convert new customers.
The reality is that all those things cost money. To ensure your business has adequate working capital and funds to grow your marketing channel, consider a loan.
Here are five great financing options to cover your marketing expenses:
3 loan options for young companies to fund marketing campaigns
The fact is that it’s going to be very difficult to get a favorable term loan from a traditional bank or SBA if you’re just starting out, don’t have high revenues, and/or lack great business credit. Don’t panic, though. You have other options to finance your marketing activities.
Listed here are three to consider:
1- Business credit cards
As a new company, there are many reasons to consider a business credit card to pay for marketing expenses, including:
- Getting approved won’t be difficult or time-consuming. Even if you have bad credit, you can apply for the Capital One Spark Classic for Business. You just need a credit score of 550 or higher. On top of that, you can still earn 1% cash back on your spending.
- You can save money. Speaking of cash back, many cards offer cash back (from 1–5%) every time you swipe. Some have high cash back rates in categories where businesses tend to spend, such as hotels, airlines, office stores, etc. For example, the American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card offers 5% cash back for purchases at wireless providers and office supply stores.
- You can benefit from a big sign-up bonus or a 0% intro APR period. If you qualify, a card with a big sign-up bonus, like the Chase Ink Business Preferred card (80,000 points in early 2018), could get a free flight to go market in a new region. Or, a card with a 0% intro APR period could allow you to fund your marketing activity without incurring interest charges. How great is that?
Just be aware: APRs can get high with business credit cards. Paying 15% or more on what you borrow isn’t uncommon. So, it’s vital to pay as much as possible each month to reduce interest charges. Opt for a 0% intro APR card if those fees are going to be too much for you in the beginning. Keep in mind that after the 0% intro period, the APRs will vary with the market Prime Rate.
All of these terms, conditions, and APRs are subject to change. See the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest information.
2- Line of credit
A line of credit functions much like a business credit card, except that limits are often higher (can even be higher than $100,000). There are many advantages to using a line of credit to fund your marketing budget, like:
- Only having to pay interest on the funds you withdraw: This isn’t the case with term loans.
- Access to actual cash: Sometimes it’s not convenient to just have a credit card. For example, swiping a card to pay a writer, SEO specialist, designer, or another contractor may result in you paying fees.
- The ability to replenish your credit limit: Like a credit card, a line of credit is revolving credit, meaning the amount you can withdraw goes back up after you repay. For instance, if your limit is $50,000 and you withdraw $10,000, your available credit will be $40,000. Pay that $10,000 back and your available credit is back at $50,000.
- Reasonable interest rates: They’re often lower than a credit card.
3- Personal loan for business
Personal loans come in smaller amounts (typically up to $35,000), as they’re designed for personal use. They don’t require collateral.
If you have good credit, a personal loan can be a good idea to finance your marketing campaigns, as you’re free to use the money as you please. Just treat it like a business loan, being sure to not mix in personal expenses.
To get approved for a loan, you generally need a credit score of at least 580. Loan terms typically last from 3–5 years, with interest rates being as low as 5.99% and as high as 36%. You’ll get lower rates with a higher credit score.
2 loan options for established businesses to fund marketing campaigns
If you’ve been in business for a while, bring in steady income, and have built your business credit, you should be able to qualify for a better loan product to finance marketing endeavors. Think high amounts of cash that come with low-interest rates. Sounds nice, right?
Your options for paying for your marketing expenses with a term loan include:
1- Traditional term loans from a bank, credit union, or online lender
When a bank or other lender gives you a term loan, you get a lump sum of cash that’s to be repaid, along with interest, over the course of several years. Term loans typically range from 1–5 years, with interest rates spanning from 7–30%.
To get approved, you generally need at least $90,000 in revenue, one year in business, and a credit score of 600+. Collateral is generally required as well. Keep in mind that you’ll get more money and pay less in interest the higher your credit and revenue are.
Since you can get anywhere from $25,000–$500,000, you have fewer barriers to doing what you need marketing wise to succeed. A term loan has the potential to give you plenty of capital to unleash a powerful marketing strategy and achieve great business growth.
2- SBA Loans
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantees loans to small businesses. Generally, these loans are not only available in high amounts, but also often come with the lowest interest rates and longest repayment terms.
Here’s what SBA loans typically look like:
- They start at 6.7% APR (as of early 2018).
- Amounts can range from $5,000–$5 million.
- Loan terms can be as short as 5 years or as long as 25 years.
So, if you’re looking to fund a large marketing campaign abroad, which will cost a lot of money, there are few (if any) better options than an SBA loan. Or, if you just need cash to pay for local radio advertising, you can opt for a smaller loan through the SBA as well.
Of course, lenders that work with the SBA have strict requirements. You must have been in business for at least two years. For good rates and terms, your credit score must exceed 680. Your company also needs more than $100,000 in yearly revenue.
Getting the right loan to support your marketing function
If your marketing team is limited by cash flow, you must find a loan if you hope to achieve business growth. So, do your research and see what type of loans and financing products you can qualify for.
By exploring all your options and comparing offers, you can get the right loan or mix of loans to fund your marketing endeavors. Then, you can focus on what’s important: Running a great marketing campaign and winning new customers.