A Running Start: How Do You Get Your Business Off The Ground?

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There’s a thrill to starting your own business that few things can really compare to. Every successful entrepreneur remembers that moment where their idea fully crystallized into focus and they knew that they had something special on their hands. You become completely obsessed with all of the tiny details of your business: who your demographic will be, what kinds of marketing techniques you’re going to use, how you’ll stay ahead of the competition. There’s only one problem, all of this is in the abstract. Nothing’s actually happening. This is the first, and potentially biggest hurdle that every business owner faces. That moment when you know what you want, you have the drive to succeed, but you just don’t know how to go about turning your idea into a reality. There’s a good reason this often becomes a genuine issue for many business owners, and that’s that taking that first real step is incredibly difficult. Not just because it’s the first step in a long road filled with risks and dangers, but because starting a business requires more than just drive and a great idea and there’s one thing that every business needs more than just about anything else: money. Without a certain amount of capital that you can invest into the business at the start, you’re never going to be able to turn your business into anything more than an exciting idea. Far too many potential entrepreneurs are left confused and discouraged, leading them to give up before they’ve ever even had a chance to give their business a genuine shot at becoming real. To help make sure that doesn’t happen to you, here are some things that you can do kickstart your new venture and get your business off the ground.

Take out a loan

There are as many types of loan available to you as there are reasons that you might want to take one out. If you’re only looking for a small loan, perhaps just to create a proof of concept for your product that you can show to investors, then you’re probably only going to need a small, relatively short-term loan. Fortunately, finding online loans is easy, especially if you’re only looking for an amount in hundreds or thousands. If you’re looking for a slightly more significant loan, then you may want to think about taking out a business loan from a bank. The interest rates will be far lower on this kind of loan than on a short term loan, and it can help you deal with much larger issues like finding an office space and creating a full manufacturing process for your product.

Find investors

Make money online

The most classic method of bringing money into your business is through investors. Investors are usually parties with large amounts of capital who are looking to inject money into a business that they believe will offer them a significant return. Investors are unlikely to throw their money around carelessly, so you need to be able to convince them that your business is a smart place to put it. You’ll need to do a huge amount of research into things like your target customer, manufacturing costs, marketing techniques, and just about every other part of your business in order to show investors that you can be trusted with their money. Of course, if something goes wrong with your business then you could well be left at the mercy of the people who gave you that cash injection in the first place, so it’s important only to take money from investors if you’re ready for the pressure that brings with it.

Crowdfund it

This might seem incredibly similar to using investors to bring money into your business, but there are some significant differences. Crowdfunding is one of the most popular ways in which many modern businesses are able to raise the capital that they need. Simply put, sites like Kickstarter allow your customers to donate money to your business in exchange for rewards. Lower donations often offer simple rewards such as getting the product before general release for free, whereas larger ones can be anything from spending the day at the headquarters of your business to having a hand in the design of the product itself. It’s a fantastic way to democratize investment in a business, but these kinds of sites usually come with the condition that, if you’re not able to reach your funding goal in a set amount of time, then you give back every penny that was donated. If you feel confident that you can pique the public’s interest enough to get them to donate, then crowdfunding can be an amazing way to raise the money that you need.

Dip into your savings

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This is your business after all, so it’s pretty likely that you’re going to need to put some of your own money into it. This, of course, depends both on how much money you have saved and how much money you actually need. But if there’s an investment that you can make personally, it puts you in a position where you’re not going to beholden to anyone else, and you retain complete and total control over your business. Just don’t bankrupt yourself. A business is always a potentially risky proposition, and you don’t want to find yourself in dire financial straits in the event that things don’t work out the way you planned.

Of course, some of these options aren’t going to be right for you or your business. As you can see they each come with their fair share of both positive and negative qualities. You’ve got to figure out which of these methods will put you in the best position to give your business that jumpstart that it really needs. Once you’re over that initial hurdle, you can start thinking about your business in far more concrete terms, pushing it forward to new, even more, exciting places. Once that happens the balance between money that you need to invest in the business and money that’s coming in will, ideally, become much more even. This will allow your business to become self-sustaining in a way that it needs to be in order to become a genuine success.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who shows women entrepreneurs how to use solid marketing strategies to turn their life’s passion into a profitable, service-based business. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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