Starting a successful company takes more than a solid idea: it requires small business capital. Finding those funds can be one of the greatest challenges to getting your venture up and running. Acquiring a traditional loan for start-up costs can be difficult, not to mention pricey, due to high interest rates and fees. Thinking out of the box got you this far; consider unique avenues to find investors.

Seek, Don’t Hide

You will quickly find that trade shows are an excellent way to meet all kinds of people: other entrepreneurs, consumers and merchants. You can also find backers who are actively seeking individuals like you. Take advantage of the opportunity to network by planning in advance. Reach out to potential lenders who will be attending and arrange for a short meeting where you can explain your idea and ask for advice.

If you want small business capital, you need to show you are knowledgeable and organized. Prepare an information package that includes your card, materials about your company and your plans for the future. Make it simple for someone to understand what it is you do and how to contact you if they are interested in learning more.

Renew Past Relationships

If you have already established yourself in one type of commerce, you can contact people you have worked with in the past. Don’t call up friends and start out by asking for money. Instead, remind them of the successful collaboration you had before and talk about what you are doing now. You can even ask for advice for your new project.

Although you may have worked with someone in the past, it does not mean you can sit back and expect old successes will speak for you. Plan to give plenty of facts to show that this new idea is marketable and will be fruitful before asking for any money.

It’s Who You Know

In whatever line you are currently in, even if it varies greatly from your new idea, you can still make contacts. When you attend a meeting, make it a point to set up another conference with a potential supporter. After consulting with that contact, ask if he or she knows someone else who might be interested. Building a network of possibilities greatly enhances your chances of finding the right person to help fund your dream.

Keep in mind that investors offering small business capital are usually interested in what they are already familiar with. In addition to helping to bankroll your company, the financier who understands your field can also offer expert advice.