Do you have a great business idea you haven't started working on because you couldn’t raise all the capital you need? You should no longer let that deter you. According to Robert Kiyosaki, “It does not take money to make money.”
There may be days ahead of struggle, of working through the night, of feeling exhausted. But if you really want that business bad enough, you will have your dream. Below are eight smart things to do when the capital for your start-up isn’t enough.
1. Don’t start with a bang.
The best business advice I got from my mentor just before I started my own business was to start small. According to him, even though I had a global idea, I should start locally. This advice spurred me to start my business with the little I had at my disposal. The conditions were not perfect, my savings was not enough either, but I started all the same.
You should do the same. Work toward starting with whatever you have at the moment. It is always better to start small and grow bigger, with time, than to start big.
Moreover, not all businesses require a lot of capital to start. For instance, I started my first Internet business with less than $20. All I needed was my laptop and Internet access.
2. Do some hustling by the side.
The second thing my mentor drummed into my ears was to look out for ways to generate passive income as support in the early stages of my business.
The founders of Airbnb did not allow their lack of funds to stop them from building the business of their dreams, and neither should you. In fact, when it looked as if their little company was going to fail, they used the little cash they had to create fictitious cereals, which they sold to bloggers as "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCain" treats repackaged in specially designed, $40 boxes.
They made over $30,000 at the end, which was more than enough money for them to continue their original business.
In the same vein, Dan Bilzerian is recognized today as the king of Instagram. He has a net worth running into the millions. But that is only because he has his hands full with his trust funds, business ventures, poker-playing pursuit and Hollywood roles.
Similarly, you should look out for ways to hustle and make the extra money you need to invest into your business.
3. Reduce your expenses.
Who says you have to hire an expert for every service you require? You can minimize your expenses by doing some of the jobs yourself. The "do-it-yourself" start is a wonderful way of learning everything about your business. It will also make you better qualified to delegate work to others later on.
4. Take loans from private organizations.
Taking loans from banks usually comes with a lot of requirements. This makes the loan process tedious and discouraging to many entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there are a lot of private organizations that offer online personal loans to entrepreneurs, enabling them to start their businesses without having to go through the hassles typical of seeking loans from banks.
5. Make the most of available business grants.
Every year, a lot of individuals, government bodies, foundations and corporate bodies provide grants to support entrepreneurs. Look out for these opportunities and kick-start your business. You could get the grant if you apply. But even if you don’t, you will have at least learned how to write a good business plan.
6. Partner with an angel investor.
Angel investors are people with means who derive joy in investing their money in startups as their own way of giving back to the society. Another great thing about them is that most are available to offer mentorship and coaching from their vast experience.
7. Use other people’s money.
As a consumer goods entrepreneur, I remember collecting money from a customer who had put in an order for some of my goods which she wanted at a later date. Since I had the products she wanted, I used the money to make some necessary purchases for another customer trying to order a particular product that I didn’t have.
8. Take advantage of free social media and word-of-mouth advertising.
If you have, for instance, up to 2,000 Twitter followers and 1,000 Facebook friends, you have more than enough of an avenue to publicize your startup for free. Let the people around you know what you do. Word-of-mouth advertising is still the most effective advertising system.
Have you ever started a business even though you didn’t have all the capital you needed? Please share your experience in the comments section.