Many people always think you need a lot of money to start a business
“I’ve got a great idea for a business. But I don’t have any money to start it up.”
This phrase is something I’ve heard again and again and again—from students, friends, and sometimes even colleagues. While it’s true that a generous credit line, a team of investors, or an uncle with deep pockets can make starting a company easier, not having money is no excuse. If you are confident that you have a product or service people want, don’t allow the lack of capital to deter you from your business goals. By pivoting, grinding it out, getting creative, and differentiating yourself, you can bootstrap your way to a successful busines
Creating and sustaining your own business isn’t just a way to wealth – it’s a way to pursue your life’s dreams and find personal fulfillment. This path isn’t an easy one, but it’s one that all of history’s greatest entrepreneurs have had to follow. Though starting a business is easier if you have vast reserves of cash, it’s possible to build a successful business from the ground, up with smarts, perseverance, and dedication even if you aren’t loaded. If you’re prepared to work hard and learn from your failures, you have the once-in-a-lifetime chance of building a successful business you can proudly call your own.
- This first step is all the more important if you’re supporting a family. Don’t jeopardize your family’s future by giving up your primary source of income to pursue a personal dream. Though it’s harder to balance your side project with your day job and your family life, it’s much safer.
- If you think you may want to start your own business in the near future, avoid signing an employment contract with a clause restricting your ability to pursue other sources of income. Don’t be afraid to carefully go over your contract with a lawyer.
- How much will it cost you to provide your product or service to the customer?
- How much will you charge the customer for your product or service?
- How will you increase the volume of your business?
- In what ways will your business offer a better deal than your competitors?
- What kinds of people will you need to hire? Can the work be done without these people?
- Not all industries are equally easy to break into. Business research firm IBISWorld recommends certain industries to aspiring small business owners for their low entry cost and high growth potential. Among them are: human resources & benefits administration, street vending, online auctioning & e-commerce, ethnic supermarkets, wine/spirit brewing, internet publishing, and more.
- Business plans are evolving documents. If the results of your research or testing contradict your current plans, don’t be afraid to change your business plan or even start from scratch. Doing so can be frustrating, but it’s far smarter than risking the failure of your business on an idea that won’t fly.
- If you need to go back to school, apply for every scholarship and financial aid package you’re eligible for. The paperwork can be time-consuming, but the results (in the form of money saved) are worth it.
- If you have a home, use it as the initial site of your business, rather than renting an office. This way, you’ll save the money you would otherwise have spent on rent. For tax purposes, you may want to write off part of your home as a home office.
- Keep in mind that, today, depending on where you live and the kinds of people you employ, you may be required to pay for an employee’s medical insurance in addition to his or her base salary.
- It may be an especially good idea to have a clause specifying that if the business fails, you’ll have an extra-long time to pay back the loan (or won’t have to pay back the loan at all).
- Operate for profit
- Meet SBA guidelines for what makes a business “small”
- Operate in the United States or its territories/possessions
- Have sufficient equity (basically, value.)
- Exhaust other reasonable avenues of raising money before applying
- Be able to demonstrate a need for the loan
- Be able to show a sound use for the money
- Not be delinquent on any existing loans to the government
- Today, you also have the potential to reach your customers online via a successful social media campaign. Social media is an effective way for a small business to represent itself to its customers online. Best of all, it’s free for your business to join almost all major social media sites. Make an account on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks, and encourage your customers to add you to their online circle (possibly by offering small perks to customers who do so) so that, you can notify them about deals and promotions.
- Keep in mind, however, that online customers are used to being constantly bombarded with ads. Try to make your online content genuinely funny or striking – you’ll be more popular than if you use social media solely as a platform for ads.