Whether your business is product or service based, it should be centered around solving a problem. You may have done all the research and prep, had business cards printed, designed and built a website, and set up profiles on all the relevant social media channels. Now what? Now you need capital to get all those things done right, to market your business successfully, and to keep your business afloat while it grows. But, where do you turn for small business funding? Try these ideas.

Bootstrap your way to success. Start small and let your business grow organically. This works especially well for service based businesses because you can request an upfront deposit that covers all your expenses and bill the client for the final amount on delivery. Satisfied clients lead to referrals and you’ll be up and running in no time without spending your own money.

The popularity of Shark Tank and other reality business programming has led to a plethora of small business pitch competitions. Enter one of these contests, craft a well thought out, thoroughly researched pitch, and you may just win enough funds to get your dream business off the ground, while possibly drawing the attention of investors for later in the growth process.

Consider crowd-funding your business. Everyone from authors to tech inventors to service based businesses are jumping on the crowdfunding platform. The keys to successful crowdfunding are having a new, innovative product that solves a problem, having a fantastic online presentation, and offering compelling investor rewards. Check out sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Next Gen Crowdfunding.

You can start a small business and find the business funding you need without taking on loan debt, maxing out your credit cards, or depleting your savings. Remember that funding isn’t a one size fits all endeavor. Go beyond the bank and build the business of your dreams.

What are some ways in which you have gained the funds to starting your business?