If you ran your own lemonade stand as a child you began learning about business early on in life. Now that you’ve grown, however, it’s likely that you’ve moved on to bigger and bolder business aspirations. Kudos if you have! But how do you turn your interesting, innovative, jaw-dropping business idea into a reality? The answer is money. You’re going to need funds to get your idea off the ground!
Startups have been popping up in the news often. Loads of interesting businesses seem to be launching themselves out of thin air (and right into San Francisco if you’ve noticed). Although many articles have covered the most successful startups to date, few people seem to know where to start. It is possible to follow in their footsteps. Start by following the three tips below for finding and securing funding for your startup idea. Maybe yours will be the next “big thing” to take off!
#1 | First things first.
Turn that idea of yours into a strong pitch and practice, practice, practice. Before you begin the search for funding you need to be able to present your idea as clearly as possible. Think about what sets you and your idea apart from the crowd. After all, these people may also be competing for funding in your niche market. Keep in mind that potential investors and lenders want to know where their money is going.
How much of a return on their investment do investors stand to gain? Is your business a service that capitalizes on an uprising trend? Is your idea for an interesting new product? Will your business provide a quick turn around for investors? Or will profits be highest in the long term?
Know the answers to these questions so you can answer with confidence. You should be an expert on your idea! Once you’re comfortable pitching your idea in practice, try pitching to a few friends or colleagues. Ask for feedback on areas they feel you can improve upon.
#2 | Know where to go.
If you have good credit, consider applying for a small business loan from your bank. With a good track record, it could be an easy decision for them to extend you a line of credit sufficient to cover your startup costs. If you think your product, app, or service will be popular, then you should consider crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo.com or Kickstarter.com. Both websites offer a place to present your idea to the world. Once your project goes live, you’ll be able to receive crowdfunding from people who want to support your idea.
Crowdfunding campaigns are a lot of work, and require a level of dedication and communication that is important to maintain. Ensure you answer questions your potential investors ask you, and provide your backers with timely updates on your progress. A variety of entrepreneurs follow these rules and have been successful in their campaigns.
In fact, 2014 saw an astounding 22,252 projects secure funding on Kickstarter to the tune of $529 million dollars. It is no easy task running a campaign and requires constant work to stay in motion. If you put in the effort to get your product name out there though, you could find loads of people interested in investing.
#3 | Get ready for a reality check.
Your idea may be great, but that doesn’t mean the masses are going to fall to the ground with wallets raised high ready to invest. There are countless entrepreneurs who have faced rejection and failure. You could very well be among them.
However, it is important to remember that failure is an event, not a personal label that you have to carry forever. Stay focused, be positive, smile and say thanks for all that you do have. Say thanks again for all that you have learned along the way as well.
A positive mindset is crucial to your ability to bounce back from any setbacks or obstacles that may come your way.
What tips or advice do you have for entrepreneurs seeking funding? Share with us in the comments!
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