Stacia Pierce, CEO, Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises
There are many aspiring entrepreneurs looking for more revenue and resources, with no idea how to make it happen. I get letters every day that say, “I want to start my business—but I’m not making the money that I need to do so!” Some try borrowing from relatives and others look for investment capital opportunities. Although getting capital for your business is hard to come by these days, all hope is not lost. You can build your dream business on your own through self-funding.
Many notable business owners have built their companies using their own money. One of the benefits of using your own hard-earned cash is you’re much more responsible and creative on how to spend and making that money stretch. It may require you to learn a few new skills to offset expenses, but in the end you’ll be better for it.
I built all of my companies using my own funds. There’s a sense of accomplishment, freedom and responsibility that comes over you when you’ve invested into your idea with hope that it will turn into a profit for you one day. When you put your own funds in, you become more committed to the project, more motivated to succeed.
Sara Blakely invested $5000 of her own cash into Spanx and marketed her business only through word of mouth, selling Spanx from her apartment, speaking at local events and trades shows. Her hard work has paid off tremendously. She now has one of the most successful privately owned billion-dollar companies.
When you couple your drive and determination with your imagination, you’ll find plenty of ideas to raise capital for your business.
Here are a few self-funding ideas to get you started…
1) Use what you have to get what you want. Look around your home for valuable items to sell and raise capital. It can be anything from used clothing to a car. Consider selling an extra car or even cashing in your 401K. Be sure to follow all stipulations regarding your retirement funds. Many have rules that allow you to borrow against it for a short period of time.
2) Generate income using your dominant skill set. Consider your current gig as a means to an end. What can you do easily and effectively to generate some extra income? Whether it is tutoring, a newspaper route, teaching a course or selling information products online, you can monetize your skills and services. Websites like Fivrr.com, allow you to market yourself as a freelance agent. Freelance jobs are good because you can set your own hours and work around your current schedule. Just remember to save the extra income to support your goal of launching your own business.
3) Get a business partner. While this may not be the best option for all, sometimes it is your best shot at getting a jumpstart on your business. When Rebecca Minkoff was struggling with her accessory brand, she called her father for help. Although he turned her down, he directed her to see her brother, a successful entrepreneur and owner of Fortis Software, LLC. Uri Minkoff decided to go into business with his sister and provided the financial support she needed to build and market her now very successful Rebecca Minkoff brand, which is currently worth over $35 million.
4. Start small and build it big. In the beginning, you probably won’t be able to implement your grand plan for business growth. However, by breaking it down into phases you can start then build on your success. When people see that you have the ability to grow a business, more investment opportunities will come your way.
Two Men in a Truck founder, Mary Ellen Sheets, took over her sons’ business and invested only $350 to buy an old moving truck. With that one truck and two employees, she built a booming local moving company steadily overtime. After a few years of success she developed the first and only franchise moving company in the country. The business now boasts more than 225 locations worldwide with annual revenue of over $219 million.
In my experience, I have found that most people don’t have a money problem, they have an idea problem. Traditional funding methods are not your only option. Take time to journalize and write a list of twenty ways you can creatively raise the money you need for your business and get started right away.
About the Author
Stacia Pierce is life coach, career expert and the CEO of Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises based in Orlando, FL. Stacia is committed to empowering women around the world to live their dream life and excel in their dream career. She’s affectionately known as the whole-life coach because she helps you tighten the unraveled loose ends of your life and discover your true self so you can give one hundred percent to your career, family and personal life.
Stacia has contributed to various national media outlets such as Redbook, Forbes, Fox Small Business Center, Metro, Entrepreneur and Steve Harvey. She also hosts an annual conference, The Women’s Success Conference, which attracts over 5,000 women annually. and was a top winner on Oprah’s OWN Network contest with 7.6 million votes.