When it comes to spearheading a successful business, the amount of money and sweat equity you put in is equally as important as the amount of time for the services you provide in return. People often go to extreme measures to keep their business afloat, some options being more realistic than others.Anyone can start a company, put up a website, and create a Facebook page, but what determines where that company will stand six, 12, or 18 months down the road, is not only sales, but the funding and capital behind the business. You need to be able to keep the lights on, compensate your employees, keep food on your table, and ensure operations don’t come to an unexpected halt.
Being an entrepreneur, mostly within the advertising space, I’ve seen many businesses start, grow, fail, and either bounce back stronger, or just get scrapped.
There are six main things, from what I’ve seen over the years, which your business may rely on. Here they are:
Friends and family.
Word of mouth is always the leanest way to acquire your first customers, create your network, and begin your entrepreneurial journey. The success of your startup, more times than not, relies initially on the support from friends and family. Sometimes that means their time, their emotional support, or in some cases their capital. Because, in the end, who wants to see those near and dear to them struggling?
Music to an entrepreneur’s ears. Through private lenders, founders can gain access to funds without any involvement from the government. It is the most convenient way for most businesses to begin operations. One of the key players in this space is My Business Funded. They have a remarkable reputation for funding startups quickly and efficiently, even they’ve only been operational for 6 months. In turn, a ministration like this allows founders to worry less about operational costs, and focus on selling. Remember, as Shark Tank has shown, a startup doesn’t have to be a tech company; it’s any company on its way up! MyBusinessFunded is one of the quickest growing business funding websites today.
Kickstarter, Indigogo, Gofundme, etc. We’ve all heard of these. Crowdfunding is a centralized way for startups to reach out to a large audience in their niche to make their prototypes or ideas a reality. In return, you not only create a community around your product, but you acquire your first users to test, utilize, and help innovate what you are working toward.
Angel and seed investors.
Sometimes you find these people via the Internet, your personal network, or maybe you cornered Chris Sacca at his favorite coffee shop to pitch your idea. Regardless, your angel or seed investor is your go-to advisor whom you may compensate with equity in the company. Their network is always as rich as their net-worth, so take advantage of it. Angel investors can be found at websites such as Angel.co.
If you’re a Shark Tank fan, you know how much Mark Cuban opposes this idea. This is more of a short-term option and personal investment. Keyword, “personal.” If you can afford it, you can play it smart, BUT remember there is always a bill waiting for you at the end of the month. Businesses survive on borrowed time when relying on credit to keep them afloat.
Related: 10 Top Crowdfunding Websites
When a business starts off with a lack of funds in their pocket, they are considered to be “bootstrapping”. Ampush founder, Jesse Pujji, did a great job bootstrapping his business and growing it to be one of the fastest growing startups in the valley. The lack of external funding and assistance can be a personal handicap, or it can be a blessing. Who knows, 6, 12 or 18 months down the line, you won’t have to worry about paying out an investor. You may see this a lot with Silicon-Valley startups these days.
After thoroughly considering all six options above, receiving aid from private lenders seems to be the most resourceful option available to business owners looking to get started right away. It allows for minimal risk to the business and their founders, while still leaving the other five options at their disposal.