If you honestly and truly believe you have an original, exciting and marketable new idea for a business then take a moment before rushing off to seek investment capital. It’s always worth looking at other success stories to see how they started out.
Who better to study than Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook? Facebook was conceived at the tail end of the dot-com revolution, and Zuckerberg had seen how many of the people involved in those companies had given away almost all of their equity in order to get venture capitalists involved. He wasn’t going to make the same mistake and he held on to 28.1%, which is now worth $14.9 billion.
This may be an extreme example – although of course you might have a similar kind of success – but if you have faith in your vision for the future, then do try to hang on to your fair share of it. One day, you too may be a billionaire.
First things first
The most logical place to start when you are looking for funds, just as you did at school when you were collecting signatures for a sponsored swim, is with family and friends. They are the people most likely to believe in you and if they are in a position to help, they will enjoy having a vested interest in your aspiring project. Don’t overlook the obvious. You may be amazed to find that a relative has something tucked away for just such a “rainy day”. Be clear to loved ones that they are putting funds at risk and try not to borrow money they can’t afford to lose.
This relatively new concept is picking up speed and gaining in popularity all the time. You propose your idea and people can then fund as much or as little as they can afford, with the idea being that an ultimate goal is reached. Most crowdfunding sites operate a reward-based model where levels of investment reap various rewards. Unbound, for example, a publishing model, offers anything from an e-book up to an invitation to a fancy launch party for crowdfunding a new novel. Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Fundable are all worth checking out.
Your own resources
You may have raided your piggy bank, but before heading off to get expensive finance from a bank or credit card company, do consider carefully whether you have liquidised all of your own dispensable assets. Starting a successful business isn’t without its degree of personal sacrifice, and you may find that you need to sell some of your own things in order to get the money for your investment.
Things you shouldn’t sacrifice
Whilst you may be working to a tight budget in your initial phase, there are some things that you should ensure remain on your list of priorities in order to keep your business growing. Think about executive leadership development for key personnel and ensure your other staff members are clued up with the latest technologies and ways of working. As well as personal and professional development, make sure the office is a nice place to come to, both for your employees but to create the right first impression for new business prospects.