When you need money for your business (and let’s face it – all businesses need money) you need to think outside of the box if you hope to surpass your fundraising goals. The traditional means of starting or growing a business is to put together a solid business plan that you can then show to loan officers. This is done in the hopes that your idea will urge them to give you the resources you need to enact your plan of action. That is the usual way of doing things; but now it’s time to go above and beyond with an entirely new way of thinking. Here are a few out of the box ideas so that you can start raising capital right now.
Raising Capital 101
Before you start raising capital, spend time polishing your business plan. Your business plan should include your mission statement, cash-flow projections, details about the value you will be offering to your target market, information about that target market and obstacles that your type of business is likely to face – and how you will overcome those obstacles – in the near future.
Even though we are looking for out of the box methods for raising capital doesn’t mean that you should try to take any shortcuts. Make sure that your business idea can be thoroughly explained and even demonstrated if the right people show curiosity. You should also make sure that your business is likely to survive for longer than five years, which is the length of time it takes the typical business to fail.
Now you are ready to raise the capital the new and futuristic way. Here is how to do just that.
1. Use Your Connections
Go through your social contacts and rack your brain to come up with associates who may be able to connect you with one or more capital investors. You don’t even have to tell them your idea if you don’t want to. You can simply tell them that you have an idea for a business, it’s a really big idea and you would like to get it funded. Get word started that you need funding online and off and then sit back and see what happens.
2. Crowd Funding
There is one more online method of raising capital that deserves to be mentioned, and that is the process known as crowd funding. With sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others you can make a profile, raise capital and get others involved in the capital raising process.
It works like this: Let’s say that you want to start raising capital for a robot that cleans kitchens. First you will create a profile on the crowd funding site of your choice and then you will explain your idea in full-detail. While you are at it, you will establish certain rewards or enticements that others will receive for helping you fund your project. You may offer them a discount on your robot, a plush replica of your robot or you may put their name in shining lights on your kitchen-cleaning-robot website.
The better your rewards, the more excitement you will build and the easier it will be to start raising capital immediately.
3. Hit Up the Celebrities on Twitter
This idea for raising capital is so out of the box it’s almost crazy; but if you have a good idea that can’t be suppressed, it just might be crazy enough to work. Many celebrities are on Twitter and because of the nature of the micro-blogging platform, many everyday people have access to celebs unlike any other time in history. This is a prime opportunity for you to start raising capital with the likes of Ashton Kutcher, .50 Cent and any other celebs who are currently pursuing other professional goals.
Ashton Kutcher is a good example because he has backed several business ideas now and more celebs are starting to take note. With celebrities earning multiple millions of dollars for their book, television and movie pursuits, one or more famous people may feel like putting some of that cash to good work; namely by investing in your business.
You must be tactful and concise (you only have around 150 characters to do it in, after all), but sending a quick message on Twitter to a celebrity investor that explains your idea, provides a link to your Kickstarter or Website and one even offers a demo of your prototype in action, you might just start raising capital that puts your business on the fast-track to success.