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How to Start a Business In 2014: Financing

Festive Productions Prepares For Christmas 2014
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

You’ve come up with the idea of the century. Soon you’ll be making money hand over fist but where will you get the startup money? While it’s true that, “money makes the world go round,” it’s not always the amount that’s important. How you manage what you have or don’t have is more important. Here are a few ways to get that needed startup funding.

Savings

Many great companies have been started in garages with little money. Facebook started in a Harvard dorm room. Apple, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble were all home based businesses started with little or no money but the products and ideas were so good that it didn’t take long before they attracted investors.

Use the 52 week savings plan. There are 52 weeks in a year and each week you save the dollar amount equal to the week of the year. In week one you would save $1, in week 32 you would save $32 dollars, etc. At the end of they year you will have almost $1,400 and double that is you are a two income family.

Credit Cards

I have started some of my past business ventures with credit cards but you have to be good with money for this to be effective. The biggest disadvantages are the interest rates. Depending on your credit rating you might be paying big interest payments if you don’t pay the balance off each month.

I usually paid for supplies and inventory with credit cards because if there was a problem I could stop payment or dispute the bill if necessary. Also many credit cards offer guarantees on products you buy so selling a lemon to a customer doesn’t have to be a big loss to your business.

Friends & Family

If you want to lose all your friends and have your entire family disown you borrow money from them. I think Bill Gates family eventually decided that maybe he was on to something. The best way to deal with friends and family members is to put it in writing with clearly spelled out consequences if you are unable to pay the money back.

Bank Loans

You’ll need a strong business plan that spells out how you will be successful over the long haul before ever contacting your bank. I suggest starting with the bank that has financed your cars, home, etc. They immediately know your payment history.

Eleven banks turned down one local business owner before finding one to take a chance. Today that business has three locations with more to come. Dreams don’t come true without a little bit of stress and frustration.

Small Business Administration Guaranteed Loans

The Small Business Administration has a loan guarantee program that guarantees up to a certain percentage of loans given through a local lending institution. SBA loans in the US have a 93% success rate because they lend to people with sound business ideas and a comprehensive plan.

Crowdfunding Your Small Business

The Small Business Administration definition of Crowdfunding is “a collective cooperation of people who network and pool their money and resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by the startup business. Unlike angel investments, in which an investor takes a large state in a small business, with crowdfunding, you can literally attract a “crowd” of people – each of whom takes a small stake in a business idea by contributing towards an online funding target.”

This spreads the risk among backers and creates a strong network of support for your startup business. If you offer equity as part of your package, your investors can also become ambassadors for your brand.

Some Final Thoughts

Starting a new business is never easy. Eighty-five percent fail in the first five years. Most failures are due to poor money management. So as I said at the beginning of this post it’s not always the amount of money you need but how you use it.

There is nothing more rewarding than starting something that helps others and produces income for you and your family. If 2014 is your year to finally be your own boss now’s the time to start the planning process and make your dream happen.

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