Funding a small business without loan is not only difficult these days, it’s one of the main reasons most young people have withdrawn from business.
Especially around the developing world.
As I type this, I know of a good number of small business ideas with good prospects that have been dumped or about to be dumped because there’s no money to get started.
And this is really sad.
I mean, sourcing for funds to start your small business is hard. Especially if you’re a young hustler doing your stuff part time like a student for instance.
In the first place, most of the time you will be struggling with approval issues.
People won’t believe in your idea. I mean even the people close to you…
They won’t easily see the viability of what you’re doing.
Considering that these are actually the people you should go source for start up funds.
This makes the whole idea of approaching your family for funding very discouraging most times.
As a matter of fact, you may expect that they will someday believe in you and your stuff so you decide to keep explaining yourself.
After a while you get tired and out of frustration decide to go out on your own.
But there’s no money and there’s no real hope of getting started.
So you ask yourself this question repeatedly, how can I raise funds for my small business without getting loans?
Alright. Let me answer your question.
Like I said earlier, sometimes it can be really difficult raising funds for your business without loans.
So instead of bothering yourself trying to explain your business to others, why not try something better.
Here’s how to fund your small business without loans based on personal experience.
1. Bootstrap. You’ve probably heard about bootstrapping a business.
In a small business context, bootstrapping is simply about starting a business with your own money (say savings) instead of sourcing money from investors.
Of course this is one of the best ways of raising funds for your small business without loans.
When I started my online business, I actually had to go this way. I bootstrapped my funds.
This money came from savings I made for months. (Don’t worry, it wasn’t such a big sum anyway).
As a university student, I remember there were days I had to save my pocket money, skip some meals because I needed money for a business website.
That was where it started.
Of course no one actually saw any break through in what I was doing. So how could I convince them to support me.
In fact, I was tired of explaining myself. Tired of trying to get approval from people around me so I decided to launch out with my savings and save myself the stress.
As a start up entrepreneur, your number one source of funds is yourself.
Forget about the people around you.
Most of them may not support you either because there are sceptical or they don’t understand you.
Some of them may even steal your idea from you.
The ones that may end up supporting you could become your worst critics if your business ever fails.
Let me say something at this point, when my first business model failed and my website expired, I felt completely disappointed.
I felt like a failure and what have you.
But you know what?
The fact that I bootstrapped my business helped me in getting back on my feet.
The fact I didn’t have people to account to or explain why I failed or prove to them that I’m not a failure helped me get back on my feet.
When I failed, I knew the number one person I failed was myself. And the few people that believed in me.
This helped me get back to work. Without undue pressure from having to pay up debts or be in someone’s good books.
So bootstrapping is still one of the surest ways to raise funds for your business if you don’t want to go into loan.
2. Source for funds from your business as you grow. Here’s another strategy. Instead of sitting and waiting for clients to start coming, go out and meet your clients.
You have people you know that might need the services or products you’re offering.
They could be colleagues, church members, friends, family, etc. Meet them.
Tell them what you do. Cut down your prices and get some good jobs done for them at a token.
With this you’re not only getting some funds to out back into your business, you’re also building a portfolio to show your future clients.
3. Team up with other creatives. OK so you’re a graphic designer and you know a website designer that would need your services right?
You two can get into an arrangement where you design a set number of graphics and have him set up a website for you in return.
Same thing goes with a video editor or photographer that knows a social media influencer.
You can take up their videos or pictures, work on them and get exposure in return through their platform.
It’s a simple win win situation here. More like using what you got to get what you want.
4. Start with an alternative and cheaper hustle. OK. Let’s say it’s confirmed you have a certain set of skills.
For example, you’re a writer, good singer, video editor, photographer or whatever.
OK let’s go with a writer here.
As someone with a flair for writing and some good social media skills, instead of waiting for money to launch a copy writing website, you can start with social media management as part time hustle.
With this, you may not really need a website. All you need do is put your social media profile in shape.
After that, reach out to people who are not too familiar with social media or people who are too busy to manage their handles.
Once they are ready to work with you, you use your writing skills to help them and get paid for your services.
With this, you don’t only save enough funds for your business, you evolve a brand for yourself at the same time.
At the point you’ve made enough savings from this, you can then go start up your main hustle.
5. Get into contributions. Especially if you have an idea that demands much larger sum of money to take off.
You can gather or join a set of like-minded people where you guys contribute a fixed amount of money individually.
With such arrangement, at a set time, one contributor takes from the whole contribution to cater for his needs.
Only to pay back little by little as the cycle of contribution continues.
With contributions like this, you don’t need collateral but you get free loans to start your business while paying back in bits as the cycle of contributions continue.
What is important here is gathering like-minded people. And being able to enforce consistent contributions.
6. Talk to someone. While I do not believe everyone is interested in your success or willing to help you…
There might be one or two persons out there whose single call or email can help your small business fly.
It may not necessarily be your family members here.
All we need is someone that believes in you. Or perhaps someone that’s helped you before…
And would most likely be interested in your success or open to help you again.
You might want to talk to these ones.
And even if they don’t end up helping you financially, they may have connections with people that can help you.
7. Try online funding competitions etc. OK OK. So many people think opportunities don’t exist out there. Of course they do. And yes, you can raise funds for your small business through my online opportunities.
Even when it can be really competitive sometimes, there are investors and sponsors willing to invests in small businesses.
Most of these opportunities are largely announced online.
For example, there are government funded opportunities out there. individual funded and even corporate companies funded opportunities.
All you’ll need is find out the one that’s worth putting in your effort into.
Be careful not to waste your lean resources and time on opportunities you don’t have much potentials with.
Alright. So since we’re writing on how to fund a small business without loans, I’m going to stop right here.
The good news I have to tell you is that you don’t have to own the whole money in the world before you start your business.
As I write this part my heart really goes out to those younger entrepreneurs with good ideas who lack funds to get started.
Trust me, I’ve been here.
The thing I want to say to you at this point is that it all lies with you. There’s always a way, where there is a will.
Want more ideas on how to start and grow your business online?