How Do I Find Funding For My Business as a First Time Entrepreneur
I often get the question how do I build a business with no funding? How do I find funding for my business and is it as easy as pitching your idea and getting a check based on the magnitude of what you think it’s an “amazing” idea. Sorry guys, but it just doesn’t work like that anymore.
The truth is now in days raising money is really hard unless you’ve built a successful business before. Of course, this makes sense given that building a company takes time so it will give your potential venture capitalist your past experiences. The idea that an investor will fund a first time entrepreneur simply based on an interesting idea is exceptionally small. They might invest in your talent by offering you a partnership, or making you the employee, but in many cases an investor will not fund your company without a structured business plan of action and an amazing marketing plan. If this is the first time the investor hears about your project, he will want to see facts, business models, marketing tactics, past employment history and so much more.
Have you seen the movie the “social network” in where Mark Zuckerberg didn’t want to seek investment until he figured out what the “Facebook” was? Suddenly his network was the biggest thing to hit the Internet and VC’s were jumping with joy for this genius idea? Mark had very minimal investment only $1,000 to cover his servers cost, but he was smart enough to push and invest his time on his product to build credibility and buzz in the industry.
So the question is how do you overcome the odds of getting funding as a first time entrepreneur?
Get friends & family involved: Figure out who of your friends or family members can afford to put some money into your company, find someone who believes in you without caring much about the idea. Even if it’s a small amount from different members this will create more evidence that you’re building a fundable business. Our company Market America started on a shoestring, just a little savings that my husband JR had. We started the business with my younger brother Marc Ashley and his college buddy Joe, what we invested more so than money was sweat equity, with the attitude and belief system that is going to work we were simply were going to make it work and committing to doing whatever it takes. We attempted to build a foundation for the business, through a network we were introduced to a successful businessman and entrepreneur Marty Weissman who believed in us and contributed his business acumen and some financial resources.
The most important thing as an entrepreneur that you can do prior to raising money is to keep building the business regardless of the funding situation. Continue to validate the market opportunity and try to prove out that the founder’s convictions is real. I recommend to build a team of people who will work for sweat equity. I believe that as an entrepreneur you can continuously show progress and have a good shot of convincing investors that you are capable of running a business.
Certainly as an entrepreneur you should not sit around and wait for a check in order to really start building a business. You must be passionate, determined, outgoing, unstoppable, relentless and proactive when building your business, remember, Rome was not build over night. At some point if your company is showing progress investors will start to show up. Work hard in what you believe in and the money will come.
Being an entrepreneur can be fun and yes there will be some challenges to overcome. Most successful entrepreneurs have inspiring stories of perseverance. It's a question of objectively assessing the depth of the entrepreneur's conviction, how much struggle he/she can endure, and how much progress he can make without capital.
So are you ready to take the first step and work hard towards your dream? Investors? Who needs them? Use social media to get the word out there about your company, the Internet is a powerful tool for any brand.
working towards your goals? tell me about them, send me a tweet @lorenridinger