Financing a small business start-up without breaking the bank
Increasingly, traditional employees are abandoning their offices to launch small businesses. Perhaps you are one of them. The pull seems especially strong on those mornings that traffic creeps or on the days your cubicle is maddeningly small. If financing is holding you back, move forward with a little creativity and patience. You can find firm ground between risking bankruptcy and sticking with your cubicle until you get the gold watch.
15 Ideas for financing your small business costs
Consider some of the following ideas:
- Try telecommuting to start. Telecommuting boosts efficiency and productivity (great selling points for your supervisor). You may find you have time to maintain your current job responsibilities as well as launch the first phase of your business.
- You can also maintain current income security by launching your small business on evenings or weekends. This is a great option if you are considering an online business.
- Write a small business plan. The plan will help you move your idea closer to reality. Your small business plan should:
- Identify your target market
- Illustrate the need for your product or service
- Detail start-up budget projections and anticipated income/expenses.
- Outline your qualifications and experience
- Discuss your marketing plan
- Long and short-term goals
The plan should be well-conceived and flawlessly presented. You can use your plan to support funding requests to agencies such as the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA and similar agencies offer low-interest small business loans.
- Launch a service based, rather than product based, business. The logic is simple; inventory introduces a layer of costs that can be prohibitive for start-up business. A service-based business requires significantly less capital. You, your experience and expertise are the most important asset.
- Rethink your idea. For example, if you love to cook and dream of opening a restaurant try a catering gig first. You can use the money you save to open your restaurant later.
- Inventory your personal resources. Sit down and take a look at your income, expenses, and budget. If there are places where you can cut back, do so. You may find that your lifestyle is significantly downsized, but the rewards of realizing your dream will be worth the short-term sacrifice.
- Rely on a spouse or partner. If your new budget and expense plan allow you to live on one income and you don’t anticipate too much strife go for it.
- Ask family or friends to loan you the money for start-up costs. This can be risky, so make sure that you are prepared to discuss plans and expectations for the loan. You should also discuss how a repayment plan might look if the unthinkable happens and your business folds.
- Start your business at home rather than renting space.
- Share space with another small business.
- Consider a home equity loan.
- Use your income tax refund.
- Talk with other small business owners for advice
- Consider buying a business that is already established.
- Be patient
Of course the list is not exhaustive. There are many ways to finance small business start-up costs. Find one that suites you and follow your dream.Of course