It’s easy to come up with a list of obstacles standing in the way of you and launching your business. It’s often harder to come up with a list of opportunities that are right in front of you. If the thought of starting a business with no money scares you, stop and reflect on what you can do without right now.
What’s essential to your business? Do you need the slick, custom-designed website when you’ve only perfected three items for your new store? Could you do with creating a Instagram page to promote your business locally, instead? Or, would it make more sense for you to post your products for sale on a site like Etsy? Would it make more sense for you to design your own marketing materials on Canva? Could you barter and trade your skills/products/resources with someone else in lieu of payment?
When designing your business plan, be frank with yourself about how much you’re spending and how much revenue you’ll likely bring in. Then, be realistic about how long it will take before you see a profit. Usually, it takes about at least six months before you start seeing any cash flowing in. Make it a goal to save at least six months’ worth of living expenses so you can devote yourself to your new business.
Ask your friends and family for extra funds
Remember, you’re not asking for charity. You’re not asking your friends and family to support your wacky business idea. No, you’ve got a dream of a business and your business plan is solid. You’ve crossed your t’s and dotted the i’s. That’s why you’re looking to those closest to you when making your pitch. Use your friends and family as multi-layered resources.
Practice your sales pitch with them. Ask for feedback. And, when you’re ready to launch your business, ask if they can help with a small loan to kickstart the business. Just be sure to get everything down in writing and when you’ll pay them back. You can even use a crowdfunding platform to encourage the people around you to encourage their networks to pitch in.
Truthfully, grants for small businesses aren’t always the easiest to find or get. But, once you’ve got your business up and running (no matter how small), you can begin searching in earnest for free cash. Always remember that grants will usually have specific application requirements. So long as you meet those, you’re in the running for a pot of cash that’s all yours for the taking. Start your search in government databases and always be sure to ask your local small business administration chapters for help.