Women In Business

Options for funding your business

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You are talented, creative, passionate.

You know you have the next idea. The One. The idea that is going to change a small, or a big, part of the world. There are days where you can think of nothing but how your idea is going to explode into reality. But how do you go about funding your business …

It was always meant to be the thing that you were going to do, It is your mission, your purpose and everything in between, You decide to start. And to start, you need money. Well, read on, because I am going to take you through some of the most tried and tested, as well as some of the more daring, ways to find the all important start-up capital necessary to turn your business into reality.

Starting your own business is like jumping off a cliff and assembling a plane on the way down.

Your vision and excitement will build the body, your passion will put wings on it. So far so good. But you’ve only built a glider. Eventually, without fuel in your engines, that glider will softly land, and with that, end your dream. In order to keep flying  you need to power your engines with capital, with money, with investment. Read on.

Find an investor 

This is the hardest thing to do, which is why it is the best thing to do. Whenever you may be in a quandary over what to choose over several options, always choose the hardest option. And be prepared, because approaching an investor with an idea that is untested, under-developed, and gliding on the wings of passion and ambition are usually unlikely to get a lot of instant yes’s.

But if your idea is developed enough, or the ROI (return on investment) is particularly without risk you may just find that people are willing to turn a favourable ear. But tread carefully, the business world is full of cautionary tales where entrepreneurs gave up valuable leverage and options in order to raise capital, only to find that they almost didn’t control the very business that they spent years building.

That’s the risk you take with venture capitalism. On the other hand, you can head for a tried and tested institution like a bank in order to seek finance, but the percentage of acceptance is lower still. However, if you can negotiate the right terms, this remains one of the best ways to seek start-up funding for your business.

Crowd-source your project

People love two things: They love getting on a good idea early and they love helping the underdog. They especially love helping an underdog who has a brilliant idea that is going to make their lives easy. And while we’re at it, let’t be honest, most people get a bit of satisfaction sticking it to the big companies too.

All of these things is what makes crowd-sourcing so successful. In order to crowd-source your funding, you need some important things. First, you need a compelling product, or a compelling story, and preferably both. You want people to buy your product not just because it’s great for their lives, but because they want to see YOU successful.

Your story taps into their instinct to help the underdog, while your product lands the knockout punch, because face it, it’s a great product. Sites like gofundme and kickstarter are painted thick with examples exactly like the description above.

Build adjacencies

This approach is my personal favourite, and it has seen me through some sketchy times indeed. It requires creativity, a high tolerance for risk, a clear mind, and a strong martini on hand. When you think about it, building or selling something else completely different to your core offering in order to fund your core offering, takes some doing.

Most times, the products don’t even have to be connected, all you need to ensure is that you’re raising enough capital to fund that next marketing campaign, or stock order. The trick is to build something that doesn’t take long, and that you can uncouple in a hurry if need be. What you don’t want is your adjacent business sucking up energy and resources that should be used in your core business. It has to be simple, it has to be smart, and it has to RETURN money.

So if it’s that good, why wouldn’t you simply turn it into your main gig, I hear you ask? Because it was never meant to be the main gig. It is there simply to fund your at a time, for a limited time. I personally know of very charismatic and influential women who sold items on auction sites, or entered high margin markets, such as intimate apparel for women, or mens accessories, temporarily, just to raise capital quickly.

Necessity, they say is the mother of invention. My own slant on that saying is that Necessity is the mother of creativity. So keep your ideas flowing always, and look for needs in the market. You may just be the person to capitalise on an opportunity because you know more about it, or are in the right place at the right time. And when that happens, you owe it to your business to make it take advantage.

About Sarah Hadgkiss

Sarah Hadgkiss is an Entrepenuer, founder of Hello Brows and Tea With Me. Sarah created a strong Instagram following of over 40k prior to launch date of her business Hello Brows. Sarah was recently nominated for Top Innovative Entrepreneur of 2016. Sarah’s brands have been featured on a top morning show on Fox8 in the USA, featured at Australian Fashion Week and various magazines in both Australia and Internationally. Her brands are stocked in 4 countries. Sarah lives in Melbourne.

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