It's common in business to head straight to the bank when you need a financial boost, but many find that when this doesn't work out it's not just a step back for your business but a bit of a kick to your confidence too. So, what if there were other ways to secure funding? Well, there are! We've compiled a list of alternatives to bank lending to help you find your perfect match.

1. Unsecured Business Loan

An unsecured business loan is great for businesses who don't have assets. As you probably know at this point, without assets you wouldn't qualify for secured finance. Unsecured sounds like a scary word but in this case, it's not. This type of borrowing is the most popular choice in the business sector. They're made to be simple, flexible, competitive and best of all, fast. The loans range from £1000 to £500,000, and you don't have to secure the funds against an essential asset like your property. Approvals are quick meaning you can get on with the important day-to-day running of your business.

2. Secured Business Loan

You've probably guessed that a secured loan means you need an asset to secure the loan. This could be a property or some other asset that allows the lender to lend you the money in good confidence. If you fall behind on your repayments, by law, the lender is then within their right to seize the asset that you offered, to settle the loan.

3. Merchant Cash Advance

This type of lending has been described as one of the most innovative alternative finance products available to borrowers in recent times. Mostly, it's available to merchants who accept payments via credit and debit cards from their customers. The lender bases the amount of funding available on the borrowers average monthly turnover of card transactions. The loan is then repaid automatically via a percentage of future card sales. Technically not a loan as the lender is purchasing future credit card sales.  Best of all the repayments are in-line with your cash flow making it a highly flexible way to borrow.

4. Invoice Finance

Not the most well-known type of lending but still an excellent choice for some businesses. It is made up of three forms, invoice factoring, invoice discounting and selective invoice finance. It's perfect for businesses who use regular invoices to obtain payment from customers. Primarily, the lender purchases the company's invoices and a large percentage of the invoice value is released right away. Once the customer has paid the invoice, the final balance (minus the lender's fee) will be credited. Managing credit control is also included when you opt for invoice factoring however if you decide on invoice discounting, you'll be required to chase repayments from the customer yourself. The whole book of invoices needs to be sold to qualify for these two types of lending.

Selective invoice finance is what it says on the tin. The business owner can choose and select individual invoices to factor instead of one job lot plus the responsibility of credit control remains with the business and not the factoring company.

5. Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P)

Mostly, it's businesses helping out other businesses. Individual UK based investors will make up a panel of other investors and hear your case.They're willing to lend their own money in return for an agreed interest rate (usually the loans run from one month to five years) You'll have to prepare a full profile of you and your business plus your reason for borrowing. Then they'll decide based on the information that you've supplied. If successful, you'll repay the loan in monthly instalments until the loan is settled.

6. Angel Investor

Sounds like a guardian angel and sort of is! An angel investor is an individual who offers capital in exchange for equity of the business. These types of investors are willing to take a little bit of a risk. If you're not a 'traditional' business and the bank has declined you, then an angel investor might be what you need. Often associated with online and industries such as Ad-tech, they are usually wealthy individuals who have a fountain of knowledge for your industry. You're not just getting a financial boost but also much needed mentoring from someone in the know - plus they're available throughout the UK.

7. Crowdfunding for Business

A relatively new type of funding but nonetheless it's worked well for a lot of businesses. It works on the premise of a lot of people donating a small amount until you reach your target loan amount. It's popular with start-ups or individuals who are looking to fund an idea for a business. Getting the word out is key for this type of funding to be successful for you.

To learn more about the different types of funding options available to your business, or to get your free no-obligation quote, visit Capalona business funding