Over the past several months you have been working diligently on an idea for a new business that is going to be your ticket to fame and more importantly, fortune. Your due diligence has shown a several billion dollar market opportunity, and you are now convinced that you have the right strategies to garner a huge share of those available customer dollars.
Your friends and family love the idea. The counselor from your local Small Business Development Center had some very positive things to say. Your accountant and attorney have encouraged you to pursue your dream.
Having completed your business plan (hopefully with Jian’s business plan software for Mac or Windows) you are ready to go! All you need is an investor willing to invest in your company and you will be off and running.
Isn’t that what every entrepreneur wants? To start their business with someone else’s cash, often referred to as “Other People’s Money”.
For some, raising capital from investors or lenders is a reality. However, for many startups, Other People’s Money is simply not realistic. In does not mean your idea lacks potential. It does not mean you should give up before you even get started. It simply means you are going to have to go about it a different way, where you use your creativity and outside the box thinking to get ahead. You may have to grow slower and smarter than if you had outside funding, but that does not mean your firm’s potential is limited.
Our team at Jian Software speaks with hundreds of entrepreneurs each week. We are always amazed and inspired by the level of determination many of our business plan software customers demonstrate as they reach for their goals even while being underfunded.
We have heard stories of entrepreneurs who worked 40+ hour per week jobs while at night and on the weekend they were able to build a side business doing hundreds of thousands, if not millions in revenue.
We have heard stories of entrepreneurs who used every last dime of their savings or retirement account in order to quit their day job and start a business for which they were truly passionate. Their belief and commitment was so strong in what they were doing that never once did they consider the potential negative consequences of investing their nest egg.
We have heard stories of entrepreneurs who maxed out credit cards and home equity lines of credit on several different occasions. While this strategy should be a LAST resort for any entrepreneur, it is one that has been used successfully by many. It is a prescription for heartburn, but if you can stomach it, you may have all the cash you need to start and grow your venture.
We have heard stories of entrepreneurs who were able to barter their way into business, and tales of entrepreneurs who were able to negotiate with customers who prepaid for products and services that did not yet exist.
Yes, Other People’s Money is the easiest and most preferred route for funding a startup business. But, a lack of money is never an excuse for not following your entrepreneurial dreams.