Every start-up started with an idea that popped into a random mind. The ideas are the first prints of any start-up business. You might wonder how to start a business from scratch with no money? But is having an idea good enough? Certainly not. The idea is supposed to be evaluated in terms of how much revenue it will generate, the profits it will make, the possibility of it being successful in the longer run. One of the best ways to minimize the possibility of failure is to learn from the other’s mistakes which are previous start-up failures. The idea in the head can possibly seem 10 times more successful and easier than when it is actually implemented.
Young entrepreneurial minds normally tend to reach this step by making a suitable business plan. What comes next is where most of the start-ups fail or experience a long pause in their entrepreneurial journey. Funds are one of the main reasons why start-ups usually fail. Yes, in this competitive world where start-ups are founded in every corner of the world, it is extremely difficult to get investments. Even start-ups with great ideas and good success rates fail to survive because they evidently search for funds at the wrong places. Personal savings can be a primary source of funds that can give a little push to the business. But entrepreneurs with that option ruled out do not have to worry because there are ways that, if implemented properly, can attract funds from external sources and you can start their business from scratch. There are many possible ways to get funding to start a business.
1) Ask your family and friends to invest in your business
Asking friends and families might sound an easy way to ask for money to start with the business but in reality, it is not. Even though families and friends are the people who are close to you have a limitation when it comes to money. Having trust or faith in you can convince your friends and families to invest mostly in small amounts. While investing in large amounts, anyone would hesitate to invest by taking a leap of faith. Also termed as “pre-seed money”, this investment is as important as keeping the relationships intact. So, it is significant to employ some strategies to ask for money from friends and families.
2) Apply for a small business grant
Start-ups are one of the reasons for maintaining a good economy for any country. Thus, every country has specific small business grants which they give to start-ups with valuable business ideas. Governments have programs to help by giving grants, venture capital or low-interest loans. The only drawback of these grants is that sometimes not every type of business is eligible for the grants. Usually, governments provide grants to start-ups with businesses in specific fields.
Here are some types of start-up funding that the Dutch government provides. They also have a tool called The Start-up Box which can help to identify if your business idea falls under eligibility criteria.
3) Use crowdfunding platforms for start-ups
Starting a business from scratch with no money can be difficult. Getting investment in large amounts from one investor or VC firm is one way of getting the required amount. However, there is another option where you can get the investments but from several people. Crowdfunding helps in funding as well as in getting feedback, brand awareness. It is necessary to run the crowdfunding campaign strategically in order to reach the desired investment. Below are some tips to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
- Calculate the total investment you require and keep it as minimum as possible.
- Marketing the campaign is one of the important aspects as you need to make sure that the campaign reaches the right audience.
- If possible, make an attractive video that can catch the viewers’ attention. Video of a prototype can escalate the probability of receiving funds.
- Have good communication with the potential investors or donors. Answer all their questions to build trust and be honest.
- You can even offer rewards for your choice of category investors. This can encourage potential backers.
4) Pitch to angel investors
Angel investors are high risk-taking people who will invest in start-ups at their initial stages. There are different types of angel investors who have different reasons for investing with one common goal of, obviously, getting returns. These individuals can also provide their expertise and connections which can help your business grow. Though, high-risk investments attract expectations of high return. Thus, your business idea should really be attractive in terms of return on investments. They will make sure that you understand your own idea and all the valuables of your business idea like target customers, future projections, and how much you will make.
5) Solicit venture capital
Venture Capital firms seek young, private companies to invest in. Usually, VCs tend to invest in a company that is more mature. Hence, usually, angel investors are the first investors followed by venture capital. Below are few best places to meet VCs:
- Reach out through their blog
- Find their Twitter handle
- Message them on LinkedIn
- Talk to them during VC meetups or industrial events
- Have a conversation during local events
- Send an email
It is extremely important to make a first impression when you reach out using the above ways. You certainly cannot pitch your whole idea in detail in your first encounter with the VCs. Thus, you need to be ready with an elevator pitch intro of your business idea impressive enough to convince them for a second meetup or further discussion.
The world today is advancing, and start-ups are founded every now and then. Thus, the competition is tough. In order to be distinct from other start-ups, make sure you have a well-structured and feasible business plan. There are a lot of players out there who are willing to invest in excellent business ideas. However, it can be difficult finding a good investor and you can experience failure in getting an investment several times. But you learn from your mistakes and analyze what the investors look for and what will impress them can lead you to win the investment. You now understand how to start a business from scratch with no money!
Entrepreneurs often face problems in financing. You can share your stories on how you managed to find an investment. You can also share any of the problems that you are facing and faced related to investments. The Entrepreneur House created a community for efficient business communication and cooperation. You can join our entrepreneur community from here. Let’s grow together!