Anyone who’s ever tried it knows that building a real, working business is no easy matter. For every business you see that’s growing out there, you can find probably thousands that are on their way to failure. You see, it takes a lot more than a terrific idea to be successful. You need to have a “never say die” attitude and almost a relentless energy to work your way through the hard times – and make no mistake, there will be hard times. But if you have the right stuff, you can make it work.
In many cases, the hard times that plague startup businesses revolve around money, or more to the point, undercapitalization. It takes real money to open a business and to keep it running. Lots of startup moms and pops usually turn to their personal savings or other assets to do this and that can be a mistake. More often than not their money simply wont last long enough. And when it runs out their fledgling business folds and theyre left without a business or any savings.
Business journals, text books, and business gurus will tell you that you need enough money in a startup business to keep your doors open for the first six months to a year. Without that minimum amount of cash you’re looking at only a small chance at success. Savvy entrepreneurs know this too and therefore give themselves a solid chance at success by finding their capital in the form of business startup loans.
However, the kind of business startup financing most entrepreneurs need isn’t available to just anyone. Lots of banks and lenders consider these types of loans pretty risky vehicles and so the barriers to qualifying can be quite high. Still, any fledgling business owner can increase his or her chances by taking the time to prepare themselves thoroughly – that’s the key.
Look at Your Numbers
Start by making a thorough examination of what your operating expenses and potential returns will be. You’ve got to be realistic and even conservative. Figure there will be unexpected expenses and build them into your plan. Also figure that your sales or returns will be less than you hope. Add up the numbers so that you have a reasonable figure that tells you how much money you’ll need to make it through your first year of business.
Just how much of your own savings and assets you can bring to the table? Again, be conservative. Don’t commit all of your available money (experienced entrepreneurs never do). But you need to commit some of your holdings because every lender you deal with will want to know you believe in yourself. And taking a financial stake in your own new business will show them just that.
Create a Business Plan
One absolute necessity in all of this is a sound business plan. Don’t count on receiving any financing without one. Business plans are nothing more than evidence (factual and/or anecdotal) that demonstrates your business will succeed. And lenders want as much evidence as possible. They actually want to make the loan and building a strong business plan tells them that you’re probably also capable of building a strong business.