The "But I don't Have any Money" excuse is no longer acceptable
By Jane Button
wish I had a $1 for every time I hear the "But I don't have any
money" excuse. I don't mean to be harsh, but it is an excuse. It's
an excuse not to do something, not to experience something and an
excuse not to get going with what you really want to do.
I would probably say to my 3 year old grand daughter, it's a stall
You've said it, I've said it - and again I don't mean to be harsh,
but when you say those words to yourself or anyone else, you
instantly shut down and stop thinking about what it is that you
want to create. A wall goes up and the creativity goes down.
Think of all those amazing inventors, designers, artists and idea
people like you and me who went out into the world and pushed
through with their passion and got it done. These may be some of
the very same people we think are "overnight successes" because we
don't necessarily see everything they went through behind the
I'm here to tell you - there are ways you can come up with MONEY
to start your business; create new prototypes, buy raw materials,
hire people to help or make more products to ship.
Here are my favorite ways:
But wait - before we start on that, here's a big question I have
for you. Before you start saying I don't have enough money - do
you really know exactly how much you need?
- I thought not.
before you start - figure out what you're going to need...and I
mean exactly what you anticipate. Are you in phase 1 of your
business where you're just starting out? Do you have orders in
hand like I did with that $40K order I received from Nordstrom
that I didn't know how to fund? Do you need money for prototypes
or samples? Before you begin - know how much and what the money is
going to go for.
When I work with clients and we start on the money part - they
have overestimated the amount they need - usually because they put
the cart before the horse. And often are looking for the whole
enchilada instead of one piece at a time.
again, here are my favorite ways:
Self-Finance by Selling Products
This is the way I started out. To self-finance, you take orders,
fulfill them and collect the money. Then use some of the income to
buy the raw materials, create more product, and then sell, sell,
sell as many as you can while racking up kudos, testimonials,
vocal fans and more orders. You can sell the products retail or
wholesale. A great way to promote yourself is through a blog and
social media on Facebook and Twitter. They are your least
expensive marketing "strategy" creating both enthusiastic
word-of-mouth buzz. For selling wholesale, showing to stores,
taking an order and requiring pre-payment is a way of getting
from Yourself: Put your money where your mouth is
Along the way, this was another thing I did in order to get
financing - I borrowed from myself using a credit line from my
home as well as borrowing against investments or using my own
savings. At first I thought it was too risky - but I came to the
conclusion that if I didn't believe in myself, my business and my
own products - how was I going to ever ask anyone else to invest?
A huge red flag for any potential investor down the road is that
the business owner does not want to invest any of her own
capital. If you don't think you have any to invest - look around
you and check out some of the other possibilities below.
Stuff You Already Have
you know you'll be needing cash-in-hand for a business-related
purchase - consider posting unused or lightly used equipment,
clothing, tools, furniture, extra cars, DVDs, CDs and other items
you have lying around the house. List everything on eBay and
craigslist that you can live without - generally eBay is a place
where you'll get more for what you're selling. I've known people
who have had antiques, jewelry or a car they could sold because
the business was more important than "stuff". These things may
take more than a simple listing on eBay by searching out specialty
auction houses or other sales avenues.
Fun fact: Most people have between $2K and $10K worth of stuff
that they rarely use. Imagine what you could do by turning those
items into cash and dedicating it to launching your business?
have a mentor who sold his motorboat for his start-up. It was
worth it to him and he figured down the road when he was
successful he could buy another one. And, yes, he was able to many
actually once sold a knitting machine on eBay for a down-payment
on a house - and it worked, we bought the house. Be creative - you
usually don't NEED everything you have sitting around.
(Lightly and Legitimately) on Family and Friends
Who's most likely to want to see you succeed? Unless you find
yourself in a 100% dysfunctional environment, the answer is
friends and family who believe in you. If they catch your vision
and your enthusiasm, they'll be happy to help to the degree they
can. But be aware: If your enterprise fails (which it won't if
you come at it with the right passion) these are the folks you'll
be beholden to for a lot longer than you probably envision.
sure you write up a contract and agree to pay at least some
interest -- unless they entirely reject the notion of interest;
some will, as act of love. If they do, realize that their loan
will actually cost them money in lost interest and thank them
profusely. Be sure the money you get from friends or family is in
the form of a loan - not a gift. Just because. You'll be glad you
did. Getting loans keeps you accountable and your mind will be
more keenly focused on results.
Just Do It: Use What You Have to Start - Bootstrapping is Scary
When you go with the resources you have - you develop feelers and
become resourceful. You remain alert to every possibility and
option at your disposal. You talk about your scary fun adventure
to comrades who will often network with their friends, families
and business associates to help you find what you need.
People who start out with a large funding source often squander
large portions of it because they don't know what they don't know.
What you'll learn by bootstrapping your venture will pay dividends
for decades. You can go without fancy office furniture; a fancy
office and other unnecessary items.
Your funds should go towards creating your product - getting
expert help - branding and marketing. These are the things that
will grow your business faster than anything else.
Instead of the habitual daily $4 latte or the drive through fast
food lunch or dinner, eat at home and put the money you save into
your business fund. You'll be amazed at how quickly these things
add up! When you buy clothes, be sure you really need them and
that you can mix and match them, then off-load two older (but
little-used) clothing items at your garage sale or donate them. By
developing a sense of detachment from eating out and unused
wardrobe, the freedom you feel is worth its weight in gold. You
quickly realize that you are completely in charge of where you'll
end up as an entrepreneur unless you're fated to get hit by a Mack
Your Start-Up at Home
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did it. There's no reason you can't.
You don't need a warehouse - yet. Or a conference room - yet. Or
an executive suite in a high rise - yet. Don't despise small
beginnings. They have a way of growing, into bigger and better
things. And you'll grow right along with them.
© 2010 Jane Button International Design2Market Success