With 2017 quickly coming to an end, it’s time to turn your attention to the new year.

Are you an entrepreneur with a big idea? Are you a small business owner with visions of growing your company in 2018?

If you answered yes to either question, there may come a point when you begin your search for funds. In other words, “it takes money to make money.”

While there are many places to turn during your search for funds, don’t lose sight of the fact that some sources are better than others.

Here are three of the best ideas to consider:

  • Cash on hand. If you have enough cash in the bank to start or grow a business, this should be the first place you turn. Here’s why: you don’t have to rely on an outside party, meaning you’ll never pay interest.
  • Bank loan. A common funding source, there are both local and national lenders hoping to hear from you in the near future. Compare several lenders – paying close attention to the terms and conditions of the loan – to ensure that you make the right decision.
  • Credit card. Often preferred over a bank loan, you can apply for a credit card today and have access to the funds you need by tomorrow (as long as you’re approved).

With pros and cons of each option, you can’t afford to make a rash decision. The funding source you choose could have an impact on the trajectory of your business, so there’s no room for error.

Speaking of making an error, don’t think twice about doing business with a loan shark. This may sound like a great idea, as you can obtain the cash you need in short order, but the interest rate (and other pitfalls) will have you regretting your decision soon enough.

With so many alternatives, there’s no good reason to turn to a loan shark.

It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a new business or growing your current company, cash is and always will be king. If you need funding in 2018, start with one or more of the ideas above – but never a loan from a loan shark!

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