Regardless of the industry you are in it takes capital to make it all work. The difficult part is WHERE to find the capital. Bootstrapping is one way to go to build capital to start or grow a business. Bootstrapping essentially is building a business out of very little or virtually nothing. Boot strappers rely usually on personal income and savings, sweat equity, lowest possible operating costs. I have one bootstrapping tip that can help your business without having to reach out to a bank! The resource is closer than you think!
Family and Friends: Raising capital from family and friends can be one of the best ways to raise capital and should be the first place you go. Often I hear people say “I don’t like asking people for things.” And my response is always “If you lack the courage to pitch those closest to you, then you’ve already lost.” If you cannot feel comfortable pitching to your friends and family how will you be comfortable pitching to a room full of strangers? Get used to it
Don’t create objections for people! You really NEVER know until you ask!
Often times entrepreneurs do not want to approach family and friends because. “I know that they don’t have any money.” “They don’t even understand what I’m doing.” “They don’t have time to listen to me.” and so on and so on. And while all of these things may very well be true, you still need to, MUST approach them. Your job is to raise capital for your business, not to create objections. Allow them to object or say that they don’t have any money. So that you can ask
a) Do you know someone who does? Your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends have a wealth of resources at their fingertips even if they don’t know it or know how to tap into those resources. It is your job as a fundraiser/entrepreneur to guide them, lead them and instruct them as to how to help you eventually be able to help everyone. Notice that I said “help everyone”. The fact is no one wants to work and get nothing in return. Assure them that as your success translates into dollars that they will get to enjoy the benefits of that success. They have coworkers, bosses, friends, pastors and others in their lives who very well may be the person who decides to bet on you!
b) How else may you assist?The one thing that everyone can offer is feedback and possibly their time and other resources. Which in turn becomes their investment. Identifying the skill set of those around you and finding roles for them within your business can save you both time and money. In addition when you pitch your business idea to them the feedback that they provide is invaluable. It is a great “dress rehearsal” for you to hone your skills to potentially pitch to someone that can write you a check.
Enjoy this time of sharing your business with your family and friends. The feedback, the questions and even the objections will only help you become a better fundraiser. As your business grows and begins to flourish remembering when you first approached them will be just another part of your story.