ne of the most difficult challenges you will face as an entrepreneur is having to fund your startup idea. In an ideal world, you’d manage to gather the initial capital necessary to begin your business without any bumps on the road. Unfortunately, getting people to invest in your dream is not easy, and saving can take up a great deal of time. There are other ways to fund your start-up idea, though, and you’ll find plenty of advice on the matter in this article, to help you turn your dreams into a reality.
1. Check if you are eligible for a loan or line of credit
This is the first step you should take. Surely not everyone will be readily approved, as you must have a good credit history or assets to your name, but if you manage to get one, it would be a good first step in funding your very own business. There are also programs that help small business owners get line of credits they would not usually be granted without meeting the normal backup requirements you could look into. Some research will be necessary.
2. Consider a crowdfunding campaign
If you have a solid idea for your startup, perhaps you can convince people to make online pledges and pre-buy your products or services in advance. If they like the idea enough, they might even give donations, and it would be wise to put up a reward system for pledges, to encourage them to actually hand over their hard-earned money. If you choose to go this way, it’s important you have an inspiring or moving story to convince people to actually pledge to your cause.
3. Sell on Etsy
Sure, you will need some initial money to actually purchase the supplies you’ll use, but your finished product will probably sell for several times what you paid to begin with. This is a good way to begin getting your product out there before you actually fund your own business and it might even grant with loyal customers who can vouch for the quality of your services.
4. Buy and sell on eBay
If you are wise about what you buy for cheap and sell with a profit, you will be able to actually make enough money from these transactions to fund your business idea. It will take time, patience and careful investing, but it can be done.
Just be mindful of what you acquire: Consider each purchase carefully and be sure to store it in a place where it doesn’t get damaged. Do some research on collectible trends: Perhaps a single item won’t be of interest to a collector, but once you gather enough items, it might be worth far more than you initially paid for them individually.
5. Visit thrift shops and garage sales
These locations might be great spots to find hidden jewels if you take your time to search through the inexpensive items. Sure, you won’t find a great buy to sell for profit on each visit, but with some patience and understanding of the products you browse though, you might make enough profit to actually fund your own venture. So, make a schedule to visit these places regularly, and be on the lookout for those great finds hidden between all the regular items.
6. Start Freelancing
A good way to begin your business with little to no capital is to send the services you plan to provide, instead of the physical product itself. If you only plan to offer the former, then you already have an advantage right there.
If not, perhaps you can make use of the skills and talents you already have to offer to potential clients on the internet, such as accounting, writing, drawing and even offering advice on your area of expertise.
There are plenty of websites online you can sell your services for a small percentage of your profits, such as Fiverr and Upwork.
7. Work and save more
If you already have a full-time job, it might be the right time to begin maxing up your saving game. It will require you to cut back on unnecessary expenses and limit the budget you currently assign to actually going out, but in the long run, it will be worth the extra effort.
Stay in and have a nice dinner instead of eating out, watch a movie at home instead of going to the movies. As the saying goes: A penny saved is a penny earned.
8. Use low-cost services to build up your own business
Initially, you will want to try and waste as little of the capital you managed to gather in your venture’s first steps. This includes getting branding materials, personalized items, a logo, and the likes. For all these needs, there are great sellers online who are trying to manage a side hustle, perhaps even to save up in order to fund their own small business, just as you were.
Check websites like Fiverr and Elance when searching for designers: There are many great ones out there, and depending on your budget, you can get many different options for half the price an established professional would charge. The great fact about these websites is that you can check the seller’s previous work as well as read reviews written by customers who worked with them in the past!
9. Be ready to use a whole lot of hats in your new business
Once you actually gather enough capital to fund your startup idea, you’ll have to make sure you’re ready to take on more tasks than you otherwise would have. There will be time to hire more employees as your income grows, but to start with, it’s a good idea to spend your initial money wisely.
You can also save up by getting virtual IT-support instead of hiring an in-house expert to handle your computer issues. There are a lot of great options out there, depending on your budget, such as iYogi, Support.com, and PlumChoice.
10. Consider Joining a startup incubator or accelerator in your area.
There is numerous business support organization with most of them providing free resources to startups, including office facilities and consulting, but many provide seed funding as well. In Ireland for example, if you have a new business idea, you may qualify for funding and supports from are such organizations such as Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise offices or the New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Program. Also, the NDRC offers startup teams commercial advice, investment and mentoring in a unique accelerator program.
If your start-up business has the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale on international markets and the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in export sales within 3 years of starting up, then you may qualify for assistance from Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Start-up (HPSU).
What part of this article resonated most with you and why? How have you managed to fund your startup idea and what challenges are you facing with funding your startup idea? Share your ideas, tips, thoughts, and experience below in the comments.
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