Not every small business opportunity requires a massive chunk of capital to get off the ground, especially in the age of digital entrepreneurship. Small business loans have been a traditional method to raise those start-up funds but sometimes those aren’t always the most practical solution. Small business loans can be complicated, require collateral or a co-signer, and aren’t really geared to independent businesses that maybe only need a few hundred dollars to get off the ground. Not everyone has a rich relative that they can hit up.
For example, I recently decided to take my freelance journalism efforts to the next level and expand into a full-service media production house. In order to do this, my main priority was upgrading my video and camera gear enough to produce content that was at industry standard levels. I didn’t need a load of capital to do this so I was able to accomplish everything through a personal line of credit through a credit card. With a little shrewdness and business savvy goals, I was able to wisely use this credit to purchase everything I needed and was able to save a ton of money while being REWARDED for shopping in the process.
When you are ready to get started, CreditCards.com is a great resource to make sure you find the credit card that will best suit your needs. Here’s how I was able to use my personal credit card to kickstart my small business:
Identify your primary needs: As I mentioned before, the main component I needed to launch my business was a video camera that was able to shoot cinema-quality 4K video. This was by far the most expensive thing I would be buying to start my business so it was my priority when making purchases. I did extensive research on different cameras and narrowed them down to three models that would perform everything I needed a camera to do. Then I waited, occasionally scanning websites to see if those cameras went on sale. Sure enough, one of them did. I found a factory refurbished model of what was originally a $1,300 camera on sale for $700 just two weeks later. As an added bonus, I found a clearance deal on a shotgun mic that was being discontinued by the manufacturer to make room for their new line of products. What was once $300 was available for $189. It was time to buy.
Take advantage of introductory offers: The online retailer that carried the camera and microphone I wanted had an introductory offer with its branded card that gave me an additional 20 percent off my initial order when I signed up for their credit card. I added a few more essential items, such as SD cards and camera cases, to my cart to make the total almost an even grand. With the intro offer rebate, my total came in just under $800 dollars. Sure beat the beach towel I got when I signed up for my last credit card.
Use those points wisely: Another perk of the credit card I signed up for was the bonus points. Not only was I able to use the initial intro offer to get a big discount, the major purchase also enabled me to stockpile a bunch of bonus points right off the bat. By keeping many of the smaller accessories I would ultimately need in my cart, I was able to see when they went on sale or had a major price reduction. When they did, I would cash in my bonus points. I was able to buy nearly $100 in additional accessories like a slave light, shoe mounts and lavaliere mics using nothing but the points I accumulated from that initial purchase. We love those rewards! PLUS, I was able to track my spending, saving, and rewards all from my mobile device.
No interest rates: Since the credit card offered no interest for the first six months, I have been paying down the principal balance as fast as I can before the APR kicks in. If I had opted for a small business loan, this probably wouldn’t have been a possibility. By using a personal credit card to fund my initial business expenditures, I now have a professional grade camera loadout that is capable of doing cinematic quality television production — which is what I do now — that I was able to purchase for 1/3 of what it would have cost had I paid full retail on it. Plus, I won’t have to pay a cent of interest on.
With a little bit of shopping savvy and the right line of credit, you can do the same thing for your burgeoning small business, whether it is buying a mower for a landscaping business, or a grill for your barbecue catering company, or a new computer for your web-based enterprise.
It may not always be the best option, however, which is why you want to start your search with CreditCards.com. Their goal is to help people seize greater opportunity through smarter spending. Through innovative tools, experiences and advice, CreditCards.com helps people find the right cards and use them the right way—everyday. They rate and reviews credit cards to provide objective, useful comparative information to help you choose the right card for you.
And, hey, if you are in Florida and need a professional videographer for your new venture, I’m available.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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