tl;dr: You don't need to get a loan to start your repair business. But if you want to accelerate your growth, you might need startup cash. And don't forget, loans need to be repaid.
Why We Don't Like to Talk About Financing ¶
We insist that you can start a business with just a few tools, an entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work.
How? Start your business by fixing all the broken stuff in your personal network. Take those earnings and invest in more tools, some inventory, and then start marketing your business.
This method lets you start small and grow your (side) business as your skills improve and your confidence increases. There's no financial risk. After all, we don't want you to quit your day job only to find that you don't actually want to run a repair business or that your community doesn't need an iPhone repair shop.
If you add a loan to the mix, you might end up with an abandoned business startup and a small pile of debt.
Why We Need to Talk About Financing ¶
What if you want to jump in head first, take a bigger risk, and make this new business of yours scale faster? You'll need tools, inventory, marketing resources, and accounting solutions. That'll require an investment—money you might not have. You'll need a loan.
Not all loans are created equally. You'll probably pay 5-15% interest on a loan. The value to your new business will depend on the loan amount, interest rate, and term.
A five year, $5,000 loan at 5% will cost $5,661.37.
A five year, $5,000 loan at 15% will cost $7,136.98.
Financing Options ¶
Lenders always say it's "fast and easy" to get a loan. While that may be true, we insist you take your time. Make sure you have a plan for the money before you borrow. And make sure you fully understand all the terms and conditions.
Kiva Zip is a non-profit organization that crowd funds small business loans.
- 0% Interest
- Borrow up to $5,000
- Borrower requirements:
- 18 or older
- Have a PayPal Account or are able to create one (for loan disbursement and payment)
- Not currently in bankruptcy or foreclosure
- Under $100k in annual household income
iFixit is a Kiva Zip Trustee. Work with us and we'll help you get a crowdfunded zero-interest loan. Email us at pro [at] ifixit [dot] com for more info.
Lending Club offers crowd funded loans for small businesses. They're the largest online lending marketplace.
- Rates start at 5.9% interest
- Borrow up to $100,000
- 1 to 5 year terms, fixed rate
Prosper offers crowd funded loans for small businesses. They've loaned over $1 billion.
- Rates start at 6.73% interest
- Borrow between $2,000 and $35,000
- 3 or 5 year terms, fixed rate