Starting a business can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. When you start a business you don’t really know all that comes with it because you are just starting. You do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions to understand what path you need to take for the success within your business. The most common problem that a lot of entrepreneurs face is finding the proper funds to start their business. That has been one of the biggest challenges that I have faced as an entrepreneur myself.
When I first started my female boss brunch I didn’t have any money to start with. At that very moment I could have been terrified and backed down from my idea, however, I knew that this was my purpose and I had to fulfill it by any means. The famous saying “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed” is a saying that I truly stick by as an entrepreneur. The reason is that there is never anything wrong with asking for help when needed. I have asked for support and financial help from family members and mentors.
I am going to give you guys a few tips on how to find the proper funds to start your business:
- Friends and Family. Don’t be afraid to ask those around you for help when needed. You’d be surprised how many people would love to support and sponsor your business.
- Work for the funds. Nothing is wrong with having a regular job and saving up to invest into your dream, even the smartest entrepreneurs do it. You can work at a fast food restaurant or a small retail store in the mall and save those checks week by week to have the proper funds for your business.
- Number three is the most important way to start your business. Start with whatever you have to offer. A number shouldn’t scare you away from your dream. When I say this I say it to say that I had to teach myself how to invest with what I had. Whether that be $0 or $100 I had to reach my goals regardless. If I got scared and lost faith and didn’t push my business forward because I didn’t have the funds, I would never be where I’m at today.
- Bootstrapping The business funds itself. As the business grows, it throws off cash that enables further growth. We know a company that distributes and installs VoIP (voice communications) technology systems. The owner had approached us for an angel investment. After we looked at his books, sales funnel and business model, we turned him down. Instead, we suggested that the owner bootstrap his business. We reasoned that the sales in the pipeline would be sufficient for the growth he planned. He didn’t need outside cash, and we suggested he not sell part of his company.
- Peer to peer lending (P2P) It is now possible to go online and get funding from people you do not know at sites such as Prosper.com and Lending Club.The amount paid for the loan depends on your credit score, the economy, the length of the loan and “your story.” Remember: P2P loans are not easy to get and the interest rates can be very high.
- Using personal credit cards is another option for people starting businesses, particularly if they have good credit. If you’re thinking of going this route, make the most of credit cards with different features for different expenses. For example, a credit card with a low-interest rate, preferably a 0% introductory offer, could be used for business purchases. For large cash expenditures, use your card with no fees for cash advances, then transfer the balance to the card with the 0% interest rate.
- Incubators and Accelerators: These organizations are primarily interested in those early stage businesses (a.k.a., startups) but are there to help all that they share an interest in because they see the growth potential. Not only do they offer funds, but they also can give you office and manufacturing space, mentoring, network contacts, and education and experience to increase the likelihood of that growth. A good place is the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), which has a directory of incubators and links to their websites where you can learn more about what each one invests in, including area of expertise and level of involvement.
If you know that your purpose is to start your business and become your own boss then that’s what you should do and go with what you know and stick to all of your dreams. Money isn’t the biggest and most valuable part of having a business. It does come along the way but it’s not what should make or break you reaching your goals. My overall advice to any entrepreneurs out there who are struggling with finances is keeping going, start with whatever you have, and push your business to the next level no matter what challenges come your way.