Most business owners know when their company needs money. But it's much harder for entrepreneurs to judge what type of financing is most realistic for their businesses. The capital markets can be confusing for small-business owners, so it pays to do your homework before trying to raise money. If you're in the market for cash -- or just want to start preparing for future capital needs -- spend 15 minutes on the test below.
For the sake of simplicity, we've included some broad generalizations about the levels and types of financing business owners tend to require. You may not find an exact description of your situation, but the quiz should help you clarify your needs and identify some of the most appropriate sources of capital. It might even spare you some snooty advice or painful rejections from the wrong type of financier.
The Author: Jill Andresky Fraser, Inc.'s finance editor
What Kind of Capital Should You Seek?
Directions: For each question, select the answer that best approximates your current business situation, even if the details of your case differ.