If you have a really good idea for a new business to start in 2014, but you don’t quite have the capital to realize that dream at this time, it’s time to raise the fundraising flag. You need to let people with deep pockets know that your business idea is sound and ripe for investment. Who you turn to, how you ask for the money and how much you actually ask for could mean the difference between operating in lavish luxury and working in your mother’s basement surviving on Hot Pockets and Mountain Dew. Here are a few steps that will make the process of fundraising a little easier for the ambitious – yet still green – new business owner.
Family and Friends
Raising capital in 2014 is much easier than it was in times past. These days we all have social media at our disposals. This ability allows you to start raising capital almost immediately with a PayPal account and a few well-timed posts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
In marketing circles, this is known as bootstrapping. Most experts recommend that you start this way – either self-funding your project or requesting money from mom, pop, your cousins and BFFs, before you start eying the more substantial means of capital fundraising. If raising capital in 2014 represents your first time ever engaging in the activity, it is recommended that you start off slow before you get in too over your head.
On the other hand, if you want to start raising capital in amounts that force people to stop and pay attention, and if your family and friends just can’t seem to come up with the capital you need to make your dreams come true, you can always approach your local banks for loans, take out a second mortgage on your house and max out your credit cards to get the much-needed funds you desire.
You’ve probably heard of businesses receiving the funding they need on sites like Kickstarter and Fundable. OUYA, a company that makes an Android-based gaming console, recently raised $8.58 million on Kickstarter alone. These sites allow anyone to start raising capital from anywhere, as long as they are able to explain their vision effectively and they are able to come up with a variety of enticing rewards for actually donating.
Crowdfunding represents another branch of social networking. People who contribute to your business will want something in return – a stake in the business, to be listed in the credits, to receive a personal Skype session lasting five or ten minutes; stretch your imagination, tap into the wants and needs of your audience and allow those that give to your cause the ability to share in the success of your enterprising new venture.
Golden Seeds and Tech Coast Angels are two networks that will put you in contact with willing Angel Investors who have deep pockets and ambitious dreams. These forward-thinking individuals can’t wait to throw their money at the next big thing. If you can convince one or more serious investors to give your operation a chance, you could end up being like the dozens of startups that have gone from meager beginnings to international stardom in a matter of months. Celebrities, billionaires and millionaires alike are looking to help businesses everywhere in their attempts to start raising capital. If you don’t put yourself out there and make your ideas known, you may miss a massive opportunity.
It all depends on how high you want to dream. Do you want to keep things simple? Go bootstrapping. Use social media and seek simple means of funding from those who know and trust you. To dream bigger, start raising capital by turning to the banks, additional mortgages and credit cards. Or turn to the Internet and use crowdfunding to make history like OUYA recently did.
Yet if those amounts aren’t cutting it and you want to make history by raising millions like startup Clinkle just did, find one or more Angel Investors and woo them with your drive, foresight and untethered enthusiasm for greatness.
If your business idea is as good as you say it is and your business plan conveys that idea accurately, you should have no trouble implementing these steps to get all the funding you need. Whether you need a little or you need a lot, there is plenty of capital to be raised if can manage to reach out to the right people at the right time. Good luck and may you get all the funds you need to achieve your 2014 business goals.