Who doesn’t fantasize about owning their own business? The thought of not being tied to a desk job and not being answerable to any boss will make you want to start a business stat. If only it’s that easy. Even the smallest of businesses take time and money to get launched. But don’t fret. Plenty of businesses start with less than $1,000. And even if you don’t have that kind of money, you can still turn your dream into a reality.
Your finances might be limited, but that shouldn’t mean giving up on your dreams of owning a business. There are plenty of options you can explore. You can apply for personal loans, business loans, borrow from family and friends, and spend your savings. But whatever you decide on, make sure to get fair terms. Don’t get into the kind of debt that your business cannot shoulder in the future.
Many entrepreneurs launch their own businesses on the back of their savings. But that being said, don’t drain your bank account. You need these savings for emergency purposes such as medical expenses and if your business fails to “make it.” This is your buffer. You’re going to dip into these savings more into the future as your business grows, either for investment or to boost your capital.
You can also consider borrowing from family and friends. But this is a tricky option and one that you should think long and hard before going into. The reason why this is a good option is because there is little to no interest when borrowing from your loved ones. Many business owners have also started their businesses because their parents loaned them money.
For everyone’s protection, put the terms of the loan in writing. Even though they won’t impose an interest on the money you borrowed, make sure that it is written down when you will pay the loan and how much you owe them. This is for their own protection and peace of mind.
You can apply for a small business loan, but this is not a guarantee. Banks want to see an iron-clad business plan. They want to make sure your goals are aligned with the money that you’re asking to borrow. They may also want to see you investing your own money into the business. That shows them you’re serious about growing the business.
When applying for a small business loan, it’s always better to apply to the bank where your personal savings are. They’ll have your financial history on hand. You’ll have a better chance of getting approved for the loan.
You have two options if you want to use a credit card to start a business. You can either use your personal credit card or apply for a business credit card. This isn’t an option many entrepreneurs are fond of. Remember that credit cards have high-interest rates. You could end up with a huge debt that you cannot pay off. It could already cripple your startup.
If you’re sure that credit cards are your only options, apply for one with the lowest interest rates in the market. Be an excellent payer, too. Pay off more than the minimum amount due.
Investors are more probable with high-growth businesses that have a great cash flow. Investors are only willing to part ways with their money when they are sure they’re going to get a great profit from it. Still, it’s worth taking a look at this possibility. If you have a great product offering, some investors may want to cash in on your business’ future value. They may be willing to pour resources into your company as long as they see your dedication to it.
However, investors will want a stake in your company. You’re not just going to pay the interest, but you’ll also share your profit with them. Some ask for a share of ownership and control, too.
Many government programs are designed to cater to small business ventures. Some of them cater specifically to women entrepreneurs such as the Women’s Business Centers while others are open to people from economically disadvantaged areas. For veterans, there’s also the Veteran’s Outreach Business Centers. All of these have properly trained consultants to advise you on the best options for business loans.
Admittedly, it takes a lot of guts to get into any business. Imagine risking your savings and your credit for a business idea. That’s why you need to be 100% sure that you’re going to commit your time to growing the business.