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    7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2012 1:34 PM by Moderator Cath

    Farming for Fashion!

    mlacarey Newbie

      Hello Everyone,

        I am looking for help in a venture that I would like to start. To give you a brief background, my husband and I own a small sustainable alpaca farm that we started in dec of 2008. We started with two animals and now have a herd of 18. Our goal is to produce animals with high quality fiber to enhance the textile industry. Anyway, since we love the fiber so much we are wanting to open a full service fiber processing mill here on our premises. I am in the process of building a strong business plan and already have a substantail amount of future clients backing us in hopes we can get the funding.

       

      We would appreciate an information or direction in which we can locate funding. We have not been able to receive a loan for the asking amount so interested in other options or investor(s). Thank you so much for your time.

        • Re: Farming for Fashion!
          Moderator Ilona Ranger

          This sounds like a great idea and it looks like you have it well thought out. So here is to all our knowledgeable posters on here, please help out and post your tips and helpful hints right here.

           

          Ilona

          • Re: Farming for Fashion!
            Tran Nguyen Tracker

            Hi Icarey,

             

            It's great to see that you are having such good success with your business!

             

            Well, to acquire funds is going to take a bit of an indirect approach. In my professional experience, my clients approach me (their accountant) to ask if I can refer them to investors/bankers/or anything along the line when they want to expand or open a new business. In most cases, they leave very satsified because I work myself to death in maintaining my professional network that consists of potential investors, bankers who trust my referrals, and so on.

             

            Thus, the idea to get funding is simple -- you need to approach a well-connected accountant/attorney/physician/etc. Consider asking your current accountant if he/she can refer anybody to you -- remember, a good accountant will always be happy to volunteer their professional network to their clients. Also, consider looking into your local Chamber of Commerce to see who you can approach. But overall, an accountant will be your best bet on acquiring funds.

             

            Because they have a lot of dealings with banks, vendors, lawyers, and high rollers, they will have the pulling power that a bank is looking for. For example, I know for a fact that I can get any of my clients a $100,000 loan from a local bank just because I work with the owner on several occasions and he trusts my judgment. On the same token, he knows he can trust my client with a $100,000 loan because I'm the accountant.

             

            I hope this helps you get your business up and about more. Best of luck to you! Please let me know if you have any further questions.

             

            Tran Nguyen

            Accountant & Owner

            Tran'sActions Accounting

            • Re: Farming for Fashion!
              boonodoh Adventurer

              Depending on your location, your local/state governments might have incentives.  SBA also help small businesses with funding requests (my experiences have been that they work with established small businesses). Since you started in 2008, you might have enough history to show and get them to help with securing a loan.  Also, in NYC, you can reach out to NYC Business Solutions, it's a government agency that helps local businesses secure loans, etc.  If you are not in NYC, maybe something similar in your city?

               

              Also, if you already have potential customers/backers... a nontraditional way to raise money using crowd sourcing might be something you want to consider- especially if you can tell a compelling story.  Checkout kickstarter.com.  I know a few friends who started successful kickstarter campaigns.  It's an "outside of the box" approach.  There are many of these crowd funding sites out there.  Definitely do your research to see which is right for you, and put some thoughts into your campaign (video is a must)!!

               

              Hope these help you get started.

              • Re: Farming for Fashion!
                Moderator Ilona Ranger

                , how is everything working out for you. Did the advice you got here help you out at all?

                 

                Ilona

                • Re: Farming for Fashion!
                  Moderator Cath Guide

                  lcarey, a bit offtopic but something to try if you haven't already thought of it.  Knitters, spinners, weavers, dyers, other fiber artists, and especially yarn shops would love to hear of your alpacas.  Reach out to them and you might begin to draw some business in - business + some money too. 

                   

                  Speaking as a knitter, we are always looking for great sources of fiber.  Sorry I can help you with funding information but maybe it will help in a small way.

                   

                  Cath