Step by step, deep breaths and a lot of conflicting thoughts later, you’ve decided that it’s time to take the chance and get your start-up off the ground. The obvious thing to focus on first is funding. Asking family and friends is the obvious first choice; people who support you through life will want to support your ventures as well. If that’s not an option for you, don’t fear, there are other avenues to seek.
Make sure before anything else that you have more than an idea- you need something tangible, something solid. People invest big money in things that they believe in so, give them more to believe in. Stay social, speak to everyone that you can, network as much as possible and, finally, in the words of Steve Jobs (who was admittedly quoting somebody else), “stay hungry, stay foolish”. The road ahead won’t be easy but if you’re determined, it’ll be worth it.
Crowd funding is becoming increasingly popular and with good reason- it cuts out the middle man, it gives indie entrepreneurs and artists a platform to showcase their work and most websites- especially Kickstarter- have a great, supportive community that thrives on seeing others succeed. One of the biggest downfalls though is that there is no advisors, no support and you really will be vulnerable so unless you are confident in your abilities to make your product grow and flourish, this may not be your best option.
For those who are starting from scratch, business incubators are huge support systems that provide everything budding entrepreneurs need- they provide mentoring, networking and training. These things can lead to entrepreneurs being more confident, having a better idea of where they are, where they’re going and what exactly their business or product needs to get off the ground.
If you’re prepared and ready to launch but haven’t got the cash to buy everything you’ll need in terms of office supplies etc, a great option is private lending! It’s a great short-term solution and will carry you through until you’re financially secure enough to buy your own equipment.
Angel Investors are people who look to spend their disposable income on investments. Angel Investors bring not only money but experience and expertise to projects. They tend to have a re-payment plan between 3 and 8 years and tend to be heavily involved in the growth of a business. Angel Investing is one of the strongest sources of investment in the start-up community and it’s no surprise considering the amount of support- not just financial- on offer, it’s no surprise really.
Whatever you choose should be based on your own expertise, experience and confidence in your industry and product. There are plenty of resources available and a huge amount of support should you need it.