Most people want to break into entrepreneurship. The ability to do something you love while being your own boss is a dream. Some people have a great startup idea but simply don’t have the money to make it a reality. If this has happened to you, don’t worry. There are plenty of things that you can do to get your startup off the ground.
1. Take out a loan.
There are plenty of companies that you can look into to get a loan to start your business. You can look into your bank or credit union, or you can also look into other financial institutions. Just keep in mind that some of these organizations make it very hard to get a loan for businesses because they want to know how you plan on paying them back in case your business does not take off. But if you have a very strong business plan, a bank may be the best option for you.
2. Ask family/friends for money.
Although borrowing money from friends and family members can put a strain on your relationship, it’s still an option. If you go this route, and if your family agrees, you need to make sure that you draft up a contract with a lawyer. This way, both you and your friend/family member are protected, and there is a plan in place for you to pay them back.
3. Enter contests.
There are contests out there dedicated to helping startup companies fund their project. Use the power of the Internet to find current competitions that you can enter. Amazon Web Services holds an annual AWS Global Startup Challenge, and you can find many more if you spend some time researching your options.
4. Sell, sell, sell.
Find everything that you possibly can and sell it. Look through your attic and other storage areas for smaller items to sell. You can hold a yard sale or turn to virtual sites like eBay and Craigslist. You should also look into cashing in some of your bonds or stock if possible, and you can also look into selling larger items like cars, boats, vacation homes or anything else that you no longer need.
5. Consider crowdfunding.
You can always look into your customers and the public to help fund your startup. If you’re creating a product, start to sell the product before you’ve produced it. Get the pre-sales in from customers and use their money to fund your startup. If you’re offering a service, try and create your startup so that the crowd funds the entire idea. For example, Kickstarter is a company that is based solely on crowdfunding. Artists and other creatives place their projects on the site, and other people or organizations can donate their money toward the projects. Kickstarter takes a small percentage, and other than money needed to keep the website alive and pay employees, there is no overhead.
If you don’t have the money to fund your startup, you don’t have to kill your dream. Instead, opt to use one (or all) of these five ideas to bring your dream to fruition.
Julie Myers is a social media manager and customer interaction specialist. She enjoys blogging and has recently been giving tips and ideas for social funding.