Small business now generate 64% of net new jobs over the past 15 years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. As a result, now, more than ever before, America believes in the small business. While business solutions help with the mechanics of getting the business going, getting funds can be easier said than done. Here are a few options to fiscally provide for your startup.
Just like your Ma or Pa would tell you, “Pick yourself up by the bootstraps.” So what exactly is bootstrapping? Essentially, bootstrapping entails funding your own business. It might take you longer to get your business up and running with this model, however bootstrapping gives you freedom and flexibility, without the external pressures of stakeholders or the need for a 20-page business plan.
2. Scrimp Where You Can
No one likes budgeting, but in the beginning stages of your (hopefully) soon-to-be booming business you’re going to need to penny-pinch. Try to avoid hiring consultants, renting office space, or buying new equipment. Haggle, if need be. Be as prudent as possible.
3. Put It On Plastic
Sergey Brin and Larry Page famously funded Google with credit cards in the mid-90s. Sam Thacker, owner of Business Finance Solutions, explains: “The biggest pro to using credit cards in this economy is availability.” The money comes fast and the budget is big. However, using credit cards can be risky. While paying off credit cards is relatively easy as a successful business begins to grow, if the business fails, bankruptcy and shoddy credit are immanent.
4. Deposit the Cash
Dal LaMagna, author of Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right, advises depositing the money you get from selling your products, including cash. He reminisces back to when his back made their first loan to him. He asked, “Why Now?” and the loan officer replied, “Besides the fact that we know you are in control of your business — those monthly statements — we know you are honest.” LaMagna reaped reward by depositing lots o’ cash.
5. Borrow Small
When starting a business, it could benefit you to borrow from family and friends before using credit cards. This way, you start with borrowed money rather than investors’, thereby avoiding giving a share of your business to an investor. Once and if your business grows, investors will flock. However, always sketch out a legal document, even for business contracts with family members. Put ink on the page and require a signature. This allows you to avoid the run-of-the-mill “drama” that accompanies lending/borrowing.
You don’t need a ton of green to get your business idea off the ground. If you’re smart and prudent with your cash, more money will surely come pouring in.
James Kim is a writer for Choosewhat.com. ChooseWhat is a company that provides product reviews and test data for business services and products. Their goal is to help small companies make informed buying decisions on business solutions that help their business.