When you read entrepreneurial success stories, the consensus seems to be that all you need to start a business is a laptop and an internet connection. While this may be true to some extent, ordinarily you need some capital behind you to turn your ideas into a profit-making reality.
The first port of call to access funds may be to friends and family, to see whether they can invest in your business. However, this option can be problematic, and you risk damaging the relationship if things don’t quite work as well as you had forecast. You could also try obtaining a bank loan, but if your credit history is a little chequered, you will not be granted this opportunity. So how can you pull together some funds for your fledgling business? Here are 3 unlikely ways to gain some money for your start-up.
You will be familiar with the concept of Dragon’s Den; angel investing is a way of obtaining funds in exchange for a stake in your company. This may not be what you had envisaged when you first thought about starting your own company, but there some very attractive advantages to angel investing that you may not have considered. The investors bring with them industry expertise that they will share with you through mentoring, and they will have a network of contacts that will benefit your business.
Crowdfunding is an online method for gaining a collection of investors into your business. You will need to be able to explain your business idea in a captivating way that will appeal to potential financiers. You may feel that you don’t want your idea to be published in the public domain, especially if it is particularly innovative, but there are benefits to crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding provides a gauge as to how successful your business idea is before you have committed funds. If you have limited interest, you may want to review your business plan and the direction you were intending to go in. You will have numerous investors who will all be keen to promote your business’s products or services, and marketing wise, you have a ready-made fan base keen to help your venture succeed.
You may be scratching your head as to how you can fund your business yourself, but that reality is that you may just have to. You may have to sell the possessions you no longer want on eBay, or even sell your worn out vehicle to Scrap Car Network, but to get your venture off the ground, it will be worth it.
When entrepreneurs start a business with little or limited funding, it is known as bootstrapping; this may be what you were hoping to avoid, but bootstrapping has its own merits. The skills that you will pick up and develop will stand you in very good stead for future successes. Every penny counts, and you will become a shrewd businessperson understanding the value behind every pound.
You have the idea, and you have the energy to pursue your business venture, but you must also develop your resilience. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy route, but with hard work and determination, you will make it a success. Good luck.