By Mike Michalowicz
QUESTION: "How does a small regional company such as ours go about searching for investors or other sources of funding which will allow us to more quickly implement a nationwide marketing program?"
MIKE'S ANSWER: The best source of funding is people that know you and know what you are capable of. While the starting point is often friends and family and the next step is typically banks or venture capital, a couple key sources are often skipped... vendors and clients.
Contact vendors and tell them your vision, goals and financial needs. They will have a good understanding of your market and a really good understanding of you. The years of being their good client can result in them investing in your growth. As your business grows, with their help, your needs for their services will increase too. A win-win situation all around.
Clients are also a good source of funding, but a little risky. If you
approach them and they fear that you are in financial trouble, they may not only not fund you but also jump ship as a client.
Questions? Comments? BigIdeaCES@CNBC.com