November 2011
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Fundraising for a New Business

It’s one of the great challenges, and one of the most rewarding experiences, to begin a new business venture.  Taking the time and the energy to put a vision to work in the world is always a risk, but it’s one of those risks that can have enormous payoffs in the end.  Having realistic expectations is essential, and although positive thinking certainly will pave the way to success, naïve ideas about profit can stand in the way.  It’s important, then, to maintain a spirit of discovery, with the understanding that setbacks do not equal failure, and that too much luck at the beginning can be misleading.


With any business, brand new or well-established, there are always going to be periods that are slow, and points where things pick up.  Part of the challenge, then, is to organize and plan so that it’s easier to weather the ups and downs.  Having sufficient start-up funds is of course one of the most essential things to getting the project up and running in the first place.  This means having sources of funding from all over the map, from fast loans from Money Mutual, to a list of potential lenders.  But having enough of a prudent reserve for tough times definitely needs to be factored into the equation.  For many businesses, having enough funds to cover basic operating costs for six months is recommended. This is a reasonable amount necessary to be able to weather unsuspected storms, treating the business like an individual, protecting themselves against the possibility of unemployment. Of course, for many small businesses, it’s not possible to have that kind of liquid income.  It’s definitely possible to survive, but riskier.


In either case, one will need to cultivate a head for fundraising.  In the non-profit world as well as in businesses for profit, fundraising is a skill that carries over into most every other aspect of running a business.  Finding sources for fast loans that can get things rolling, from places like, is definitely one crucial piece of the puzzle.  But it’s also necessary to start thinking about networking in a totally different light, where every encounter can be one that leads to potential sources of income.  Talking to family members and extended family members is one way that new businesses get a leg up, Learning how to introduce the mission and purpose of the business to family and friends is not only a way of tapping potential funding, but it’s also good practice for talking to strangers.  This is the testing ground, then, where one learns how to talk about their ideas, and ask for money, all at the same time, and these are the skills that every successful business owner gets to utilize, and continue learning, throughout their lives.

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