Image by: 401(K) 2012
By Charles Lewis
You have yourself a real winner on your hands, you are sure of it. You’ve prepared an outstanding business plan that is sure to rock anyone’s world. The numbers are solid, the market ripe for the picking. On paper, it seems a sure thing.
You can’t believe how good this idea is, and how much money you can make with it.
Actually, coming up with the idea for the new business is the easy part. The more difficult task is securing the funding for your grand adventure – unfortunately for you, bootstrapping won’t work you due to the financial circumstances of your proposal (translated: you don’t have the required start-up money).
So, you aren’t sitting on a pile of cash. Now what? You will need to begin the painful process of pitching your proposal to every person in the world. You may even pull a muscle in your arm sticking out your hand so much.
But who do you turn to when you are ready to beg – I mean – borrow? I’ve compiled a list to get you started …
Family & Friends
This is the first place most people look for start-up money. It should be the last. While it is as easy as a phone call away, getting money from family and friends is a risky proposition. If your business fails, the fall-out can be devastating in two ways; one, your business is dead, and two, now there’s long-term damage to your inner circle.
And that inner circle is filled with the very people you would hope you can turn to in times of crisis, like when your new business venture fails. Guess what? They’ve already heard all about it from Uncle Joe, and he didn’t paint a pretty picture. But the rates are great and who can forgive like friends and family?
Besides, get it right and you will be the toast of the inner circle with more money than ever at your disposal for your next big idea. Everybody loves – and finances – a winner.
The guys (and girls) have lots of money to try out new and exciting business ventures. And you have just the exciting business venture for them. However, to get the angel to foot the bill and take on all the risk, the winged ones will most likely demand a sizable ownership stake or some other painful consideration.
Deal with it. Investors are part of business life, and if you can find an angel to glow all over you then go for it. Otherwise, what are you going to do? As they say, it is always better to invest other people’s money.
You know who and what I am talking about. Last resort lenders such as loan sharks and the mafia will hook you up with the cash, no problem. But they will also eat you alive, steal your dreams and then let pigs feast on your bones. Metaphorically speaking, of course – those loan terms are brutal.
Wait, why are you even considering this? These are not – and will never be – real options.
Save While You Work A Job
This is by far the least glamorous and possibly the most damaging to your master plan, but if this is the only option left, roll up your sleeves, put your head down and plow through it. The only possibly downside is the timing of it all, as some ideas require lightning-quick maneuvers to get the gold. Hope this isn’t one of them.
Look at it this way, when your business is successful, you wont have anyone else reaching into your cookie jar. Oh, and the best part – you will be a better man for it. The hard work and dedication it takes to pull this option off is, first, commendable, and second, one of the greatest lessons in life.