As you read about one startup after another scoring a round of funding, you may have pondered what it means for you to say “enough with the bootstrapping.” The world may call it a bold dream. But in reality, is it achievable?
Citing data from Small Business Administration in 2013, Forbes reported that there are about 600,000 small businesses started in the United States each year. Further, 99.5% of entrepreneurs will not get venture capital in the early stage.
Do not get bogged down by the statistics. In the first place, your creativity and resourcefulness are what got you venturing into business. Use them to keep you in the game and even speed up your startup’s growth. Here are 7 examples to begin:
1. Ramp up your credit score
One way to build a positive credit score is to borrow money from the bank. If that is not possible, try lending companies that cater to small and medium enterprises. Once your loan application gets approved, make sure to repay the debt religiously.
It is important not to miss your due dates. But how do you do this? Borrow what you can afford, advises Small Business Loans. At the same time, use the funds on activities that will yield good returns. That way, you will be able to grow your profits, pay your loans, and ramp up your business credit rating.
2. Try crowdfunding
This tactic gained popularity because of individuals and organizations raising funds on the internet for projects and causes. However, the business world was also quick to catch up. There are crowdfunding platforms dedicated to serving the needs of enterprises, such as Fundable.
Crowdfunding is different from investing because it does not involve offerings of securities. You are going to get support based on the merits of your idea, technology, product, or service. At the same time, this method allows you to test the marketability of your idea, technology, product, or service.
3. Tap your networks
Peer-to-peer networks make for an alternative source of funding. Expect that you will come across someone who knows an investor or two. In this case, prepare to pitch these investors when you meet them. Of course, there are also the good old loans from willing friends and family. But treat them like banks with a strict debt repayment policy. Ensure you will pay them on time to gain not only social points but also a good credit reputation.
4. Hire a high-quality team
When starting, you may be able to hire few people to handle development, administrative, sales, and marketing. Depending on your cash flow, you can onboard in-house or freelance employees. The more important thing here is that you select the best candidate for every post you want to fill. In tech, for instance, your team will help you build and sell the prototype of your product. It matters that all of you share the same regard for excellence at work.
5. Offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Another way to raise funds is to offer Software-as-a-Service that follows the subscription model. Here, you will ask your clients to pay for the upfront cost before they can gain access to your platform, tech, or tool. It is how Airbnb got itself off the ground, according to TechCrunch. It is now a shining example of resourcefulness. By asking for payment from the get-go, it was able to fund its operations and expansion.
6. Keep your day job
If you have not started at all, you might as well keep your day job until you have saved enough to pursue your dream business. Some passionate yet naive entrepreneurs just quit their full-time work without considering the consequences of their actions. The first months of a business operation will already eat up most of your savings if you do not prepare well.
7. Apply for government loans and grants
Last but not the least, do not hesitate to apply for government loans and grants for small businesses. According to the Kristopher Jones of LSEO.com, some of the entities you can contact are the following: chambers of commerce, small business development centers, and community and economic development offices. Know the requirements they need. Most of all, show to them that you can create more jobs and there is money, added Jones.