I have a candle company that is growing organically but I need some capital to take the next step. I know about traditional fundraising for tech Startups (that's my background) but I feel like no one is helping small independent makers get the small capital they need to grow their business.
When it comes to raising money you must remember that risk is a perception. Your job is to drain the risk!
Below is a link to a resource I provide my investors. The 50 questions are specific to product design/development but the 15 categories are questions that apply to any industry.
If you can answer these questions about your deal you will have gone a long way to "drain the risk" for your investors and get funded.
Once you have answered the questions for your deal schedule a call with me and I can help you integrate the answers into your investor pitch.
The best options for funding the expansion of small businesses are typically debt not equity simply because there's far lower investment appetite for investing in small businesses given the risk/reward ratio. If you haven't already done so, I'd encourage you to really exhaust all the government-funded or supported entrepreneur initiatives that might be available to you.
While they vary from country to country and area to area, there are a surprising number of programs that support different economic initiatives and often even more-so for women, minorities, young people etc.
If you have exhausted those opportunities, you might look at Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or other online initiatives that could give you some enhanced cash-flow.
Typically, investors outside of friends and family, will want far too much of your business for far too little value (money only) so I would encourage you to think of equity investors as the last resort.
Best of luck.
Firstly, you have to understand that for investors "money" is a product. They are also in a business. They invest money so they can make more money from the venture in the future.
Tech startups often offer the kind of reward that investors look for. You have to really prove that investing in your company will make them money in the future- that will make the deal a lot more attractive for them.
Also, there are many programs offered by government, banks, other organizations for funding small businesses. Connect with your local chamber of commerce and other business organizations in your area who may be helpful.
If you are confident in your venture then funding it via debt is not a bad option, most small businesses are funded this way.
The other way to try is crowdfunding.