When you’re excited to start a business. You may have an idea, or you may just fascinate with the idea of launching and growing your own enterprise. You may be ready to take some risks like leaving the current job or going without personal revenue for a while but there’s one hurdle stopping you that is you don’t have enough money. It may seem like a major problem but lack of capital shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams. If you know what you’re doing then it is really possible to start and grow a business with almost no personal investment.
Why a business needs money
There is no fixed ‘startup’ fee for building any business. Different business has different needs. One needs to just estimate how much they ae going to need before starting the business before they find alternate methods to fund their business. This aspect is very important as it can be really helpful.
Consider the following uses:
- Licenses and permits. It depends on your region that what paperwork and registry you may need to operate for the registry.
- Supplies. You need to list down the supplies required like buying raw materials or the computers or other devices needed.
- Equipment. You should know what software you’re going to need.
- Office space. This is a huge expense, and you can’t neglect things like Internet, utilities costs, janitorial services and whether to outsource back office tasks, like payroll and invoicing.
- Associations, subscriptions, memberships. You need to see to what publications and affiliations will you subscribe to every month.
- Operating expenses. Dig into the nooks and crannies here, and don’t forget about marketing.
- Legal fees.You need to keep an eye on the expenses if you are consulting a lawyer throughout your business-development process.
- Employees, freelancers and contractors. If you can’t do it alone, you’ll need people on your payroll.
You will have two main paths of starting a business with less money: lowering your costs or increasing your available capital from outside sources. You have three options here:
1. Reduce your needs
Your first option is to change your business model to demand fewer needs as listed above. For example, if you were planning on starting a company as a consultant or freelancer, you could reduce your “employee” expenses by being the sole employee at the start. Unless you need office space, you can work from home. You can even do your homework to find cheaper sources of supplies, or cut out entire product lines that are too expensive to produce at the outset.
There are a few expenses that you can’t avoid in a business. Licensing and legal fees will set you back even if you cut back on everything else. According to the SBA, many micro businesses get started on less than $3,000, and home-based franchises can be started for as little as $1,000.
Your second option is the idea of a “warm up” period for your business. Instead of starting the full-fledged business mode, you’ll start with just the basics. You might launch a blog and one niche service, reducing your scope, your audience and your profit, in order to get a head-start. If you can start as a self-employed individual, you’ll avoid some of the biggest initial costs. A payment processing company can be a big help when you are struggling to invoice and follow up professionally.
Once you start realizing some revenue, you can invest in yourself, and build the business you imagined piece by piece, rather than all at once.
Your third option is all about getting funding from outside sources. There are dozens of potential ways to raise capital — even if you don’t have much yourself. Here are just a few potential sources for you:
- Friends and family. Don’t rule out the possibility of getting help from friends and family, even if you have to piece the capital together from multiple sources.
- Angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who back business ideas early in their generation. They typically invest in exchange for partial ownership of the company, which is a sacrifice worth considering.
- Venture capitalists. Venture capitalists are like angel investors, but are typically partnerships or organizations and tend to scout businesses that are already in existence.
- Crowdfunding. It’s popular for a reason: with a good idea and enough work, you can attract funding for anything.
- Government grants and loans. The Small Business Administration exist solely to help small businesses grow. Many offer loans and grants to help you get started.
- Bank loans. You can always open a line of credit with the bank if your credit is in good standing.
With one or more of these three options, you should be able to reduce your personal financial investment to almost nothing. You may have to make some other sacrifices, such as starting small, accommodating partners or taking on debt, but if you believe in your business idea, none of these losses should stand in your way. Capital is a major hurdle to overcome, but make no mistake — it can be overcome.