Starting a Business Without Much Money
© Company Reimagined
It’s a new year and time to get your business on track, blazing trails and setting the world on fire! Woohoo!
That means reaching your business and financial goals, going above and beyond your expectations, and meeting expectations of your potential investors. If you’re planning to use 2019 to get your business off the ground and turning your ideas into action, you’ll need a plan to make things happen. Some businesses require a lot of capital to launch, while others don’t need a significant amount of startup cash.
So how do you get your small business or startup actually functioning, materializing in the way you dreamt it, without a lot of money? Can you even get started?
The short answer is yes, absolutely, 100 percent yes! Some of the biggest companies in the world started with little more than $1,000. For example, Apple, worth nearly $900 billion now, had meager beginnings when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs began working on their dream in a garage. As 20-year-old entrepreneurs, they sold a calculator and car to pull together $1,300. That money was the capital they needed to turn Apple into a multi-billion-dollar empire. Also, Amazon, Whole Foods, Disney, and Nike started with $1,000 or less.
Spanx started with $5,000.
It’s attainable, but how do you do it? Here’s some tips to get you started.
Grind. Just put your nose to the grindstone and do the work until you can make your business what you want it to be. Put in the hours, dig deep in establishing your business model, and believe that it can happen. You’ll need some money to fuel this dream, whether it’s a relatively smaller amount or a large sum, but no matter the financing aspect, it will require your hard work, brainpower, creativity and tenacity. That work has to be done first and throughout this venture, and then you can worry more about how you’re going to finance
Consider crowdfunding. GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other crowdfunding websites allow people to raise money for business and other needs. If you have a strong network and think that you could garner funds through social media and word of mouth, by all means, don’t ignore this way to get people to support you and your business. There’s a significant effort involved in establishing crowdfunding sites, pitch videos, promotional campaigns, and social media initiatives to get the best results, but it’s an alternative to traditional business financing. The odds are in the favor of women entrepreneurs. According to a study, women have shown to be 9 percent more successful crowdfunding on Kick starter than men.
Get a small business loan. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing money to make money. If you feel like you’re ready for your small business to take off – that means, you have a solid plan, logistics worked out, staffing planned, and everything is ready except for your funding, then consider a small business loan. Lenders can provide you with the amount you need to get started, and you can shop around with different lenders to determine who has the lowest interest rates, and which will work best for you in your current situation.
Bootstrapping. Many entrepreneurs finance their own business dreams. Until their new business is financially stable and sustainable, they hold onto their current job, using a portion of their salary to invest in fueling their entrepreneurship or they may have some savings to invest. Some entrepreneurs also are able to borrow or seek investment from family and friends. Depending on how much family and friends have or are inclined to risk, it may be a significant financial investment or pocket money to keep the entrepreneur going. It’s a good idea to have a written agreement between friends and family making an investment, just as you would a business associate or lender so it’s mutually clear and in writing what was agreed upon. Nurture and maintain your business relationships on all fronts with transparency.
Entrepreneur: To Be or Not to Be
© Company Reimagined
Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
That’s the question you should ask yourself before diving into the deep end of entrepreneurship, and ask continuously throughout what can be an arduous, but very rewarding journey – do you have what it takes? When you choose the entrepreneur path, you’re choosing a route where success is not guaranteed, failure is always a possibility, and there are unexpected sweet spots and golden moments that make the whole journey one that you’ll never forget. You might not know when your paycheck will come. You might not know if you have a reliable team around you at all times. You might not know where you’re going to be in a month or a year.
However, being an entrepreneur also can bring great happiness, excitement, and amazing results. It’s a worthwhile pursuit for the millions of people who are entrepreneurs. These people typically have the wiring that enables them to face down the manic highs and lows or the agility to learn certain traits to thrive despite the unpredictable nature of being a business owner.
Let’s take a look at the personality traits that lead to successful, happy and healthy entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs are driven by a passion for the quest. There’s a thirst for the unknown, and a willingness to dive right into whatever journey that’s there for them to embark on. To be successful at entrepreneurship, you have to have passion to lead you forward and guide your journey.
Entrepreneurs have to have a strong sense of purpose, and the ability to form a realistic, attainable vision and find the means to reach it. If you’re unable to make firm decisions, adapt to on-the-fly changes, and surround yourself with people who are going to help you reach your goals, you may not have what it takes. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle that can change by the day, or even by the minute, and without the ability to adapt to the changes and to adjust micro and macro goals, you may have a hard time adjusting to the
But, if you have the ability to stay strong in the face of change and stay flexible with change, then you’ll be able to handle the ups and downs, and meet the challenges head on. Being willing to take risks, fight off any self-doubt, and constantly discover new ways to improve, adapt, and thrive are going to be the traits that propel you forward in this lifestyle.
There are ways to develop resiliency and purpose, but passion is something that you can’t learn to do. A true entrepreneur is passionate about his or her purpose, goals and vision for the future.
Overall, a successful entrepreneur is someone who’s ready to tackle a journey that’s full of obstacles and unexpected challenges and opportunities (can you fill the purchase order for 10,000 widgets by next Tuesday?), but also great rewards and amazing, fulfilling moments of success. Someone who’s got what it takes has passion, resilience and a strong sense of purpose. And, the ability to roll with the punches if things change, which they almost certainly will.
Failure is a Part of the Process
© Company Reimagined
“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.”Ellen DeGeneres
It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I paid attention to a message that “failure is okay” in an autobiographical work in a women’s magazine. Throughout my early school years, I was told to shoot for the top, aiming for the grades of A and the occasional B. When playing sports, coaches said to us, “Win! There’s no other option.” Studying for my undergraduate and graduate degrees, my professors focused us young scholars on being academic sensations and applying theoretical and practical knowledge to achieve greatness in the work world.
To achieve success, American culture may provide the right messaging and reinforcement that are then upheld by parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, and other major influencers in our lives. There is a lot of success and accomplishment in the U.S., not only Fortune 500 CEOs, celebrities, military heroes, and politicians that we hear about in local and national news, but many people who touch our daily lives. When I turned my attention to being an entrepreneur and small business owner, I adopted new, mind-expanding ideas about success and failure, learned from those who came before me.
Think about it. It’s human to make mistakes and have failures, but sometimes there’s a lot of shame around it because of how we’ve been taught to feel about not meeting a goal. Acknowledge it. Own it. Learn from it. Fix it. Move on. Each of those steps is important! If you work for someone else, whether it’s a corporate office, a daycare center, a horse ranch, or NASA, mistakes and failures happen there, too, but your workplace addresses the failures, recalibrates and keeps it moving. So, it’s not unusual that you would experience failure, from time to time, as a business owner. It’s part of life. The difference is now it’s on you to remedy, do it quickly, and learn from it, so it’s not a recurring issue. Don’t sit down and dwell and say it’s all over because that’s, indeed, when it will all be over.
When asked about failure, Thomas Edison, inventor of many devices, including the light bulb and phonograph, said: “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” Additional quotes from Edison that we should keep in mind are:
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Do you know people who try something just once or twice before giving up and claiming that they failed at it or that it just won’t work? It’s relative, but assess business decisions, vet problems, monitor crises. Sometimes we just haven’t found the way yet. Don’t be easily deterred by problems, setbacks, roadblocks or haters. This is your dream. If you don’t find a way, the dream goes away. Keep pushing, keep fighting, keep going. Success, of the hour, day, week, year, is often right around the corner.
Lance Armstrong said “Pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever.” Some of us don’t even bother to try because of the fear of failing. This is even worse than quitting because you haven’t risked anything. You haven’t even tried.
Do you think media mogul Oprah, of one name, became a billionaire without failures interwoven in her story of extraordinary success? Did Apple Founder Steve Jobs create a revolutionary computer on his first attempt? I encourage you to read their stories. Read business magazines which also profile lesser-known business people, who starting small, made mistakes and were even subjected to mistakes, wrongs, politics, and foolishness perpetuated by others, but they kept getting up and going for it. It made them stronger, tougher, smarter, and eventually, successful because they prevailed when others gave up.
“The Phoenix must burn to emerge.”
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”
“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.”
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”