Funding your great idea is more like growing a tree from a tiny seed. It takes a lot of work and care and all of the right circumstances in order for the tree to grow and the finances to flourish.
Bank loans are not your first resource for funding your idea, they want to see your equity and what you have done to contribute to the financing of your idea – they need a track record.
Your first funds will come from you…your savings, your vacation fund, your 401K, your kids’ college funds, your credit cards (and all of the other credit card offers that come your way!), your lemonade stands, and your friends and family. That’s the ‘dirty’ truth.
Your resources may not be the great pool of funds that you were hoping for, but they are what is available to you and that is what you have to start with. What this probably means is that you also have to start your business smaller than you wanted to. Work out of your home, work in the evenings, open tables at local shows, a small kiosk instead of a store, online sales versus traditional retail, etc. Small beginnings grow to larger profits (or…in some cases, they mean less of a loss if your idea doesn’t fly!).
One of the best parts of this phase of the business is that you learn how to be resourceful and creative, “where there is a will, there is a way”. You will never, ever have ‘enough’ money for your business, there will always be more that you can do if you just had more money. You just as well start with that mentality and make the best use of the money that you have available.
Another ‘dirty’ truth is that things are not as rosy in this economy as they were a few years ago and you really have to do some serious research and planning in order to ensure that your idea is going to work and that the funds that you spend will not be wasted. As the builders say, “Measure twice and cut once”; it’s critical that you do way more researching and evaluating before you start spending the money on implementation.
Get more information via the Twitter play-by-play for Financing Your Great Small Business Idea from today’s ShopTalk discussion with the Charlotte Observer at … http://m.charlotteobserver.com/charlotte/db_97739/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=WDhNB0LC
Many thanks to our friends at the Charlotte Observer for the opportunity to participate in this morning’s ShopTalk panel.
P.S. Here is a link to the Charlotte Observer Article: