I have a great idea for a business but need money to get it started? I considered asking family and friends but doing so would put too much pressure on me from day one. I have a business plan but don’t know where to start! How can I get funding?
Chris Thompson – St Louis, MO
Brother, you have just encountered the number one obstacle that individual run into while attempting to start up their dream enterprise. The following are 7 tips for raising money to start your business.
1. Use your personal savings – Most people save for retirement, vacation, or that “Rainy Day”. Not being satisfied with your current job and wanting financial freedom sounds like a rainy day to me. If you were disciplined enough to create a substantial savings I know you wouldn’t fathom using it to start a business but if you have a solid idea and are confident in your ability to execute it, then this is ideal! Using your savings is advantageous because not only will you be living your dream, you won’t have to worry about paying anyone back as well. Make sure you are not making an emotional decision because this may come back and bite you later. Instead, if you have a well thought out plan and are making the decision to jump into entrepreneurship with sound mind then by all means go for it. There is no price for your financial freedom.
2. Get a loan from a bank – Despite what is going on in the economy, bank funding is still an available option but you are going to need a solid business plan. Most banks don’t provide start up loans and require that you are in business at least three years but the SBA (Small Business Administration) does partner with certain banks to provide SBA guaranteed loans to start your business. Please visit SBA.gov for a list of those banks.
3. Take out a home equity loan or refinance your home — If you are a home owner and have accumulated some equity in your home then you can take out a home equity loan or refinance in order to get the capital needed to start your business. The good thing about this type of loan is that some of the interest paid may be tax deductible.
4. Apply for grants — Most people are unaware but there are tons of government grants out there that are specifically designed to help start-ups. The great thing is that these are not loans at all. They do not require you to pay back this money if you are using it for its intended purposes and you are providing the service you said you were providing.
5. Angel Investors or Venture Capitalist
Some people are opposed to Angel Investors (AI) or Venture Capitalist (VC) for the mere fact that in order to get them to fund your project you have to be willing to give up some control over your business. Basically, an AI /VC would provide the funding needed to start your business as long as they see this as a solid idea and know that they will see a profit from their investment. They also require ownership in the business as well. The good thing is that most AI’s and VC”s have access to Public Relations and marketing so they can get the word out about your business at a faster rate. Taking this option isn’t for everybody; the AI/VC would be considered a “silent partner” so any decisions that need to be made would have to go by them first so make sure you’re ok with that. If so you are ready to take over the world!!
6. Monetize a website — This might be the easiest and most cost effective way to start a business. With free access to millions of people on the Internet starting a website and monetizing it is relatively easy. If you know how to build and promote the site you can be in business in no time making money and becoming financially free.
7. Kickstarters.com – This is actually a new way of starting a business that I heard about through a friend. This is a donation based website where people can donate money to help you start your business. The way this service works is; 1) You shoot a video talking about your business idea 2) You set a target amount of money that’s needed to start this business 3) You set up donation tiers stating what a donor would get if they invested in your business and 4) Promote your video and watch people donate! The excellent thing about this is that you don’t have to pay it back.
Taking the first step in the mind and telling yourself that enough is enough is a great start but once that’s done continue to plan in order to execute your well thought out plan. Once you can obtain funding that’s when the fun begins!! Keep staying focused! The World is Yours!!
Ash’Cash is a Business Consultant, Motivational Speaker, Personal Finance Expert and the author of Mind Right, Money Right: 10 Laws of Financial Freedom. If you have any financial questions for Mr. Cash please visit his website, www.AskAshCash.com, email him at Questions@AskAshCash.com or write to: Ash Cash Enterprises, LLC; P.O. Box 2717, New York, NY 10027