There's never been a more exciting time to be a small business owner. Whether you are a sole proprietor or have a team of employees working for you, never before have so many innovative tools been available to improve your business.
Investors love it when entrepreneurs draw little or no money from their startups. It extends the cash available for research and other necessary fixed costs and gives the fragile, young company more "runway" to get to breakeven.
One of the first challenges new entrepreneurs face is finding a way to finance their businesses. You have a great business idea but little money to implement it; and, like every entrepreneur before you, you try to scrounge enough money to launch your startup—your dream.
Business plans that I see often show three to five years of projections, demonstrating profitability at the end of so many months of operation. Most every one of these uses an accrual basis for determining break-even, never attempting to predict the cash impact of major items.
Knowing the most common funding options gives you the foundation you need to develop your customized fundraising strategy. So here is a quick(ish) overview of the most common funding types for early-stage startups.
Crowdfunding, sometimes also referred to as "how to get strangers to pay for your stuff," is a relatively new concept. If you're not familiar with it, popular crowd funding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can help people to fund projects that they wouldn't be able to get a traditional loan for.
Retail space... expensive equipment... unanticipated extra costs... these can be significant costs of running a small business. Reducing expenses help maximize the bottom line. Here are some tips on how to reduce the start-up costs of your small business.
Plenty of entrepreneurs have found success with their crowdfunding campaigns. Failure though, is always a possibility—even when the end is in sight and it seems to be a sure thing. Crooked Bottle, an aspiring local brewbub, learned that lesson the hard way.
I think so-called "crowdfunding" is being oversold. Many people seem to think it's going to mean a lot new investment money for U.S. startups. I don't think so. Not yet. Maybe never.
The key to gaining investors is the ability to convince them of your passion and drive to see the success of your one-of-a-kind business all the way through. Aside from that, though, there are some concrete things that look good on paper to investors that make them...