Are you constantly pushing aside your entrepreneurial dreams and forcing yourself into a tediously dull 9-5 grind? Does a lack of adequate financing deter you from actualizing your business plan into a flourishing startup?
You’re not alone. Hundreds and thousands of entrepreneurial journeys are put on hold as professionals struggle to rope in investors and secure financing. Some struggle to get their loans approved, while others save and scrape every penny to create a sizable startup fund.
Many budding entrepreneurs wonder, can you start a business with no money? Indeed, where there is a will, there’s a way, as long as you’re smart enough to find it. Securing funding to launch your startup isn’t as overwhelmingly challenging as it may seem.
Some of the most successful global businesses started from nothing, including Starbucks, Subway, Hewlett-Packard, and tech giant, Apple.
It’s time you channel your inner entrepreneur and take a giant leap of faith by trusting in your business plan. Interestingly, you can explore a wealth of financing options, such as angel investors, crowdfunding, government loans, and more. Keep reading to explore how you can start a business with OPM – other people’s money.
Cultivate Leadership Skills
Entering an industry sector with no money and no skills or leadership abilities makes you an unviable and unreliable individual. Investors, lenders, and crowd funders seek to invest in passionate, intelligent, innovative, and intelligent people. Higher education, certifications, advanced training, and specialized expertise build professional integrity, making you an expert in your field.
Leadership combines hard and soft skills, including intelligence, academic specializations, communication, networking skills, and analytical reasoning. Entrepreneurs rely on these skills to network industries, build connections, sway investors, and secure sizable investments.
Young entrepreneurs often wonder, does an MBA help cultivate leadership skills and amass a lucrative network of like-minded professionals? Yes, it does. As an MBA, it most certainly does, as an MBA is the culmination of advanced training in business administration, helping equip you with the experience needed to step into the market and offer something unique.
An MBA will also provide credibility, the skills, and the resources necessary to manage a profitable business enterprise.
You can start a business with little or no funding, but you cannot achieve this goal without academic credibility and training. Pursuing an MBA is an excellent choice to begin your entrepreneurial journey as an expert rather than a novice.
A Solid Business Plan
Did you know that Hewlett-Packard (HP), one of the fastest-growing tech companies, started in a garage? And Starbucks, the world’s most popular coffee chain, is the brainchild of a writer and two teachers. That’s right; all businesses stem from ideas that spark the fire of creativity, innovation, and originality. However, an idea alone isn’t enough, as you must translate it into a solid business plan you can present at official meetings.
Investors, lenders, bankers, and financers work with numbers, but they also seek entrepreneurs who inspire passion and creativity. Your business plan must reflect the love for your idea and the financial viability of your startup. Be sure to run cash flow forecasts and make projections to impress lenders and investors, swaying them to secure investments.
Consider a Partnership
Can you find a partner willing to invest in your business idea? Many business ventures exist as partnerships between creative artists and financial geniuses. Naturally, this endeavor demands you to share autonomy and profits, allowing your partner to interfere with decision-making.
Suppose you’re not investing anything or a significantly lower sum than your partner. In that case, you will have to carve them a bigger slice of the pie, reserving yourself a lesser share of profits. Scuffles and skirmishes can encourage your more autonomous partner to bring in another creative head or CEO in such situations.
Evaluating the pros and cons is crucial before signing a partnership agreement, especially if you struggle with power-sharing dynamics. You can also look for silent partners who want to reap profits without interfering with decision-making processes.
Be sure to draft a partnership agreement that enshrines authority-related clauses to avoid unpleasant surprises later down the lane.
A Crowdfunding Campaign
Did you know that many successful tech giants made humble beginnings with successful crowdfunding campaigns? Interestingly, crowdfunding isn’t limited to technology and IT-based companies.
For instance, Oculus and Elevation Lab are two businesses that experienced exponential growth after securing startup funds through crowdfunding.
The high-grossing Hollywood movie Veronica Mars was produced through a crowdfunding campaign run by passionate and ardent fans. They managed to raise more than a whopping $5 million! That’s right, the fans of the iconic TV show Veronica Mars wanted to bring back their favorite investigator.
There’s a wealth of crowdfunding platforms that allow people who believe in your idea to invest in your startup. However, you must make an attractive, interactive, and immersive presentation to pull in an avid crowd. Don’t be afraid to get vulnerable as you share your entrepreneurial vision and dreams.
Federal & State-Sponsored Loans
Federal and state governments actively promote business growth to speed up economic growth and facilitate entrepreneurship. Many governments provide loan products to indigenous communities to encourage artisanal crafts and finance indigenous-owned enterprises.
In recent years, sustainable and green energy projects have gained traction as governments unite to fight climate change. Do you have a startup idea for clean energy, thermal power, or other sustainable projects?
It’s wise to explore loans, subsidies, and financing opportunities offered by the state or federal government in this niche.
Many governments seek to promote tourism by supporting businesses in tourist hot spots. All industries and sectors receive government support in the form of grants, subsidies, and low-interest loans. Be sure to conduct rigorous research, and reach out to the federal and state authorities for information.
Roping High-Profile Investors
Investors, venture capitalists, and angel investors provide seed capital to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. We advise budding startup owners to explore networking opportunities within their industry. Networking with high-risk investors will help you make lucrative connections and rope in high-profile financiers.
Many investors might want to enjoy decision-making power or serve as a financial adviser or c-suite executive in your company. In contrast, angel investors put the seed capital and sit on the sides like angels, rooting for your success.
Roping investors isn’t easy, as it demands extensive planning, communication and networking skills, and interactive presentations. You have to sell your business idea to the highest bidder to secure a sizable startup fund.
Starting a business with little or no money isn’t a new phenomenon. It demands a leader’s mindset, savvy communication skills, extensive networking, and endless passion. Remember, if you’re willing to give up on your business idea, don’t expect others to invest in your startup.