How you obtain the money you need for your business matters? Everyone has opinions on the best way to get money, but you need to know which methods are worth your time.

Don’t get caught in methods that require extensive effort for little return. If you’re going to spend eight hours a day generating a couple hundred bucks, you may as well fund your business with a part-time job.

If you’re using the following methods to fund your business, you should reconsider:

1. Asking Friends and Family for Money

Unless your parents are infinitely rich and can give you everything you need up front, asking them for startup money is generally a bad idea. Owing your parents money can be worse than owing investors. If your business goes bankrupt, investors will move on, but you’ll owe your parents for the rest of your life.

Also, your friends and family may not understand that they should be earning a return on their investment. While it’s nice to receive free money, don’t take advantage of people, hoping you can get investment capital without having to provide a return.

It’s okay to accept money from friends and family for small things such as web hosting, a WordPress theme, or other technology tools to set your business up. Your college roommate probably won’t care about getting a 3 percent return on her $20 investment that bought your domain name.

2. Promoting Crowdfunding Campaigns on Social Media

How many crowdfunding campaigns have you donated to? Have you ever ignored a friend’s fundraiser asking for help with medical bills or school supplies?

Crowdfunding requires more effort than most are willing to give. Creating a campaign and blasting your lists with the link isn’t an effective strategy. It’s called crowdfunding for a reason. First, you need a crowd, an audience, a following that hangs on your every word – not random people who friended you on Facebook because you like cats. Angel investors and venture capitalists don’t spend their time on Facebook, scrolling through their newsfeeds, looking for businesses to fund. You need to properly market your campaign. Put in every ounce of effort you can and see it through to the end. Crowdfunding works when used correctly.

3. Going to the Casino

Some people can walk out of a casino with a jackpot almost every time. If that’s not your usual experience, be aware that trying to fund your business with wishful thinking is a bad idea. You’ll end up donating more money than you realize.

If you’re stuck trying to fund your business on your own, instead of gambling, consider investing in futures trading. There are risks, but they can be managed.

If you’re not familiar with futures trading, it’s buying and selling contracts based on the future price of goods. For instance, if you buy futures contracts expecting the value of wheat to go up next week and you’re right, you can earn a good chunk of money.

This detailed guide explains, “The concept of selling something you don’t own is often a stumbling block for traders new to futures. But it’s easy to overcome. Just remember that a futures contract simply represents the commitment to either sell or buy an asset at a future date. So when you sell to initiate a position, all you’re committing to is selling at that price in the future. In the meantime, you don’t need to own the underlying commodity or financial instrument.”

If you’re inclined to take calculated risks to fund your business, futures trading is a much better option than hitting up the casino.

4. Selling T-Shirts and “Merch”

Seeing how fast t-shirts sell at concerts makes selling t-shirts seem like the ultimate solution to get fast money. Just put your logo and a sarcastic slogan on a t-shirt and everyone will buy it… or not. People don’t buy t-shirts unless your design is extremely clever, or your design connects to their emotions. People buy t-shirts at concerts as souvenirs to remember the event. The same shirts sold outside the event might sell if the band is popular, but the big sales will happen at the concert.

Is making t-shirts and selling them for $20/each worth the time and effort? It sounds good, but is it the best use of your time? Will anyone outside of your friends and family buy them?

There’s nothing wrong with selling t-shirts to raise capital. Just remember that unless you already have a fan following, don’t count on it being a sustainable or long-term solution.