Starting any business at any time is bound to be an enormous undertaking. But if you’re trying to get your business off the ground at a time when funding is hard to come by and consumer spending is scarce, you might feel like you’re facing an uphill battle that you can’t possibly hope to win. However, even in times of economic turmoil a motivated individual with a great idea can find ways to secure the startup funds needed to launch a business venture and find ways to make money. Here are just a few tips to help you do just that.
- Find a niche. Part of starting a successful business in a poor economy is providing added value to consumers that are being selective about how they spend their money. Basically, this means that you either need to improve upon a product or service that people already feel they need, or else create a new product or service that they didn’t know they needed until your began offering it. This is no small task, but if you are smart about what you spend and how you go about marketing your business, it could be easier than you suspect. However, if your plan involves offering something that someone else is already doing better or cheaper, you may not get the interest you crave from lenders or the public.
- Create a killer business plan. This is the key to starting any business, especially during an economic downturn. So don’t phone it in when it comes to your business plan. Take the time to do the necessary research and make sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. You’re going to get out what you put in on this score.
- Do your homework. When it comes to securing a loan you might have to do your homework if you want to find the right lender. This means looking for banks that have a good track record of granting loans for businesses of your size or industry. You also need to check out several lending institutions. Of course, even this might not be enough to get you the funds you need. But there are other options, such as personal loans (from family and friends), venture capital, angel investors, or even partnerships to consider.
- Lower overhead. If your business is one that can start out by operating online you can save on the overhead associated with opening a brick-and-mortar location (such as a lease, utilities, staff, and insurance). This could definitely lower the amount of money you need to get started and allow you to get the loan you need. And once you succeed in the online arena, you can revisit the idea of opening a store in the real world. Of course, if you need to start with a physical location, you can still cut costs by scaling back your operation or taking on a business partner to absorb some of the costs.
- Use the economy to your advantage. The one good thing about a poor economy is that you’re not the only one looking for money. You may be able to get workers, supplies, and other business needs for a lot less money than you’d pay in a thriving economy. Use this to your advantage if you want to make your startup a success.
You may equate finding financing in a bad economy to locating a brake bleeder on your car or pointing out an obscure constellation in the heavens. If you don’t have the correct knowledge going in, you’re unlikely to find what you’re looking for. But even in a bad economy there are steps you can take to get your business enterprise off the ground. So don’t hesitate to do whatever is necessary to get your business going.