Got a great idea for a business? Fabulous! Motivated, educated, ready to start? Great! No money? Uhmmm…Problem (or, “challenge” as I like to say…)
Many people just like yourself become stymied at this point of the business startup process: where do I get the cash to make things happen?
After all, most of us are not sitting on trust funds. I’ve compiled some ideas as to how to get some cash to get things going.
The rest, of course, is up to you.
(I don’t recommend accepting money from business partners that don’t have the same passion as you. If they are simply into it for the money, run!)
What options exist for you to get startup funds while keeping your “home-court advantage“?
There are many ways to get cash or funding to start a new business. If you are doing it by all by yourself (common for entrepreneurs), involve your family, spouse, and set clear expectations and goals. The mindset and support game is just as important as the systems game. Losing your health insurance for investment into a business they don’t understand at home, is a recipe for disaster, for example. Everybody must be on board with you.
There is a fast way to get the funding you need, and a more measured, organic way to do it. Depending on your situation, I recommend trying to build out organically at first. Prove your worth, so to speak. Many businesses start on a shoestring. Clearly, every situation and business opportunity is different. What works for a Donald Trump will / may not work for you (or me).
1. Start part-time.
If you’ve already got a job and would like to keep your health insurance, this isn’t a bad option to start out on. If you can work part time at a day job and part time from home, you’ll have a good balance of funds and time to get things started.
2. Start the business from home.
If you don’t have to pay utilities and rent on a separate office space, you’re already ahead of the game. According to the US census, nearly half of all businesses are based out of homes, and for good reason – it’s cheap! If you have young kids around you – try to set up times when they are in school, or elsewhere. They will find the perfect time to see you. They always do – you must be the manager of this.
3. Live frugally.
Seems obvious, but if you need more money to divert from one source, you’re going to need to take it from another. A pot of coffee made at home is cheaper than your daily Starbucks, and even though it’s a simple example – that’s money for your business.
4. Apply for a business loan.
A small business load is an alternative to a home equity loan and generally better if you can get it. Banks, particularly in the current market environment, are often leery of lending to startups. But if you don’t mind a few hours filling out paperwork, it’s always worth a shot. You never know. And, you should not give up if you get denied the first time. In fact, expand your regional search, and don’t quit. What if you tried 5 times, and stopped? (Maybe the 6th time was the charm). Stay with your passion.
5. Use a credit card.
If you’ve got good credit, a business credit card could be your plastic ticket to the startup you’ve always dreamed about. However, be careful – you’ll be stuck paying the charges whether your business is successful or not. Make sure you have enough cash-flow, while not burying yourself in debt. You need to plan for this.
And, before you start any business opportunity, ask this: “what one skill, if you could have that by tomorrow, would make the most difference in advancing yourself towards your goal?” The answer should be clear, if not – go back to the drawing board. Most people will know the answer. It may mean going back to school, reading and going to seminar to pick up the core skill to make you a superstar for your new venture. Rich people have found a way to provide immense value for their products and services. Others – well, they work for minimum wage, and never seem to get anywhere…
What have you found to work in generating cash for a new business?