Awesome business idea: Check
Business plan in the works: Check
Money to fund your dream venture: Eh…
If you find yourself in this position, don’t let it stop you! Don’t leave that brilliant business idea dead in the water simply because you don’t have the funds you need to get going.
Believe it or not, you have options.
Below are a few tips to guide you through the process of securing the money you need:
1. Don’t quit your day job
Not yet, at least.
Of course, you need the income to live from and provide a bit of support to some of your start-up costs. Taking risks is definitely a big part of being an entrepreneur, but quitting your job before generating income from your new venture is not a smart risk to take. Sure, you’ll need time to devote to your new business, and quitting your current job would free up time for you to go all in on your venture, but it’s a pretty big gamble.
Instead, do something that will further develop your entrepreneurial skills; schedule and prioritize the time you do have. If you’re determined to keep your day job and work with the few hours you have left, you definitely have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.
2. Ask for advice and feedback
For those who love their business idea but aren’t quite sure how your target customers will feel about it, you may want to test some things out.
Launch a small-scale trial by giving away samples of your product or service, and observe the responses you get and gather feedback.
Another smart action to take is to get feedback and perspective from another business owner in your industry. They might be able to give you some knowledge and insight into the highs and lows of the business, as well as a heads-up on what to expect and what they wish they’d known beforehand.
3. Create a detailed business plan
The feeling of being overwhelmed has killed many great business ideas before they every even got off the ground. It’s the worst, right? There’s so much to do, but you’re not sure what you should tackle first, or how you should go about tackling it…and further and further down the rabbit hole you go.
The best antidote to feeling overwhelmed is a detailed plan. Your business plan will help you focus the limited time that you do have to be the most productive possible.
This step is crucial to achieving your entrepreneurial goals as quickly as possible. If you have a clear track laid out in front of you, all you need to do is follow it. You’ll never be left wondering what to do next.
Part of this business plan is figuring out how much money you need. Once you have that number, you’re ready to explore your funding options.
4. Find the money
Here are tips for finding money to fund your business.
- Networking is a great way to find the money you need. You may not have the money to invest in your business, but you can find an investor who does. Attend events and tradeshows in your area to make sure you’re out there among potential investors. Creating a solid business plan and having knowledge about your market are vital to securing investors.
- One of the most popular trends for entrepreneurs to raise money is crowdfunding. Yes, it’s a bold and undtraditional approach to outright ask individuals to give you money, but you’d be surprised at the response. Entrepreneurs are raising a lot of money nowadays using this technique. Think about if this approach will work for you.
- Don’t be afraid to go the small business loan route. It’s one of the many resources out there to help ensure the success of small businesses. You only have to meet a few criteria, one of them being to qualify as a small business, under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guidelines, by incorporating your business.