This is the part that no one wants to think, let alone talk about. Whether you are offering a service with generally low overhead or need raw materials to develop your finished product, some cash is going to be needed in order to get your business off the ground and sustain operations until you become profitable.
Let’s break out that Small Business Expenses worksheet and figure out whose going to pick up the tab!
If you think your product, service or company will reach people’s hearts **and **wallets, then crowdfunding is a small business financing option to try! However, you are going to need a lot more than a compelling product or service in order to successfully generate money. Thousands of companies are online right this very second, soliciting thousands of dollars for their small business! You need to have a great plan in order to get a piece of the action.
- First things first; you’ll need to look at the different online platforms for crowdfunding. Each one has different terms, audiences, and rates (that’s right, they aren’t free) so you’ll need to research a few to figure out which one best suits your business. A few popular ones are: Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
- Once you’ve picked a platform you now need to create a compelling story. This is a great time to start thinking about how you want to brand your company! We strongly recommend using videos in your crowdfunding efforts. Videos offer a unique way for you to tell your story and allow you to showcase who you are as a person and small business owner! I know what you’re thinking right now, “I can’t produce a video all by myself”. YES YOU CAN!!
- Found the online platform you wanna use? Check! Created your awesomely compelling video? Check! Now, how do we get it all out there? Well, how do you get a million people to watch a rodent drag around a stale slice of pizza through a New York subway? SOCIAL MEDIA! You better learn to love social media because it’s one of the best ways small businesses can drive results, including results for your crowdfunding efforts! And remember, more is always better! You want everyone to be sharing, retweeting, liking and following your crowdfunding activities. Again, being compelling is key!
If you have a solid network of like-minded entrepreneurs and small business owners, then bartering is your best friend!
Small Business Loan
If you have a legitimate business plan, solid market research and strategic plans for creating profit, applying for a small business loan will be a great way to jumpstart your small business. There are millions of banks and credit unions that you could easily drown in. Find out what they have to offer and if you are eligible before going anywhere else.
Friends and Family
If you have relatives who are big supporters of your dreams, then asking for moral and financial support won’t be awkward or weird. From downright investing to monetary gifts for Christmas, your birthday, etc., this is a great way to get the cash flow started! Don’t get lazy, though! Not that you would, but we want you to make the most out of everything you do for your small business. These talks with your friends and/or family may be informed, but this is a great time for you to work on your sales pitch, should you want to seek more formal investors. Use this opportunity to perfect your pitch, get comfortable answering questions about your business and show off the research and hard work you put into your business plan!
Do It Yourself
If you have a healthy savings account that is COMPLETELY SEPARATE from your emergency savings account, then this is a viable option for you! You’ve already invested so much of yourself into your small business; why not invest your money into your dreams or passion! Being financially vested in your company will give you all-the-more reason to give this your all and fight for success! If you don’t have a savings account at all, don’t even consider this option. Starting a small business is stressful enough, adding your personal financial health to that stress can equal disaster!