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Inside each of us is the seed of an idea just waiting for us to water it. You have&nbsp;such an idea in you — that business or startup that the world must experience. You’ve mocked out the plans, come up with the name, branding and website. Everyone loves it. But do you know how to fund it? It turns out seed watering isn’t cheap.

Have you seen the before-and-after Jeff Bezos meme? He’s not superhuman. He’s super “human.” We all are. We all start in a garage (Jobs), in a dark dimly lit office (Bezos), in our parents’ basement (Branson). The key is simply to start. So whether you’re trying to jumpstart your business or you need to boost the capital to take it to the next level, here are five ways we’ve seen hundreds of founders begin their ascent to the long mountaintop of entrepreneurship.

Self-Fund Or Bootstrapping

If you aren’t invested in you, who will be? Self-funding your business will force you to be more strategic. The main goal here is growth, which is typically cash flow, reach, users or client acquisition. Make sure that you’re generating a consistent stream of revenue or adding new clients before you start experimenting with other ways to grow. I’ve built most businesses by re-investing in them. Make a little money, hire a marketer, make a little more money, increase your Google AdWords spend, make a little more and bet on your business.

Incubators And Accelerator Programs

If you choose to go with either an incubator and/or accelerator program, make sure that you have a viable product first.

Incubators will help you along in the early stages of your business … for a fee. You can look at an investment like this as a type of business school that provides a myriad of resources, such as office space, legal counseling — not to mention more money to help get your business off the ground. To get this money, investors need to believe your idea or product has enough juice for them to help nurture and grow. In my experience, the top tier incubators are absolutely worth it. The lower tier are absolutely not.

Once you’re up and running, you have to keep that momentum going. Some join an accelerator program once they’ve successfully launched their businesses. These programs typically last from three to six months. So if that’s the route you’ve decided to take, take advantage of the resources and funding to get the most out of your mentoring experience.

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Shutterstock

Inside each of us is the seed of an idea just waiting for us to water it. You have such an idea in you — that business or startup that the world must experience. You’ve mocked out the plans, come up with the name, branding and website. Everyone loves it. But do you know how to fund it? It turns out seed watering isn’t cheap.

Have you seen the before-and-after Jeff Bezos meme? He’s not superhuman. He’s super “human.” We all are. We all start in a garage (Jobs), in a dark dimly lit office (Bezos), in our parents’ basement (Branson). The key is simply to start. So whether you’re trying to jumpstart your business or you need to boost the capital to take it to the next level, here are five ways we’ve seen hundreds of founders begin their ascent to the long mountaintop of entrepreneurship.

Self-Fund Or Bootstrapping

If you aren’t invested in you, who will be? Self-funding your business will force you to be more strategic. The main goal here is growth, which is typically cash flow, reach, users or client acquisition. Make sure that you’re generating a consistent stream of revenue or adding new clients before you start experimenting with other ways to grow. I’ve built most businesses by re-investing in them. Make a little money, hire a marketer, make a little more money, increase your Google AdWords spend, make a little more and bet on your business.

Incubators And Accelerator Programs

If you choose to go with either an incubator and/or accelerator program, make sure that you have a viable product first.

Incubators will help you along in the early stages of your business … for a fee. You can look at an investment like this as a type of business school that provides a myriad of resources, such as office space, legal counseling — not to mention more money to help get your business off the ground. To get this money, investors need to believe your idea or product has enough juice for them to help nurture and grow. In my experience, the top tier incubators are absolutely worth it. The lower tier are absolutely not.

Once you’re up and running, you have to keep that momentum going. Some join an accelerator program once they’ve successfully launched their businesses. These programs typically last from three to six months. So if that’s the route you’ve decided to take, take advantage of the resources and funding to get the most out of your mentoring experience.

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