5 Places to Find Start-Up Funds

You’re awaken from your sleep at 2:30 in the morning because a business idea was birthed in your soul. You hop out of bed to scribble your brainstorms before your early morning dreams send them to the land for forgetfulness. Your heart bubbles over with excitement. The level of inspiration the quiet hours gives you makes you feel as if you can conquer the business world.

Then the sun arises and reality sets in. You start to question how will you launch a new business? Where will you find the time? Where will you find the money to cover startup costs? What about the marketing dollars needed for customers to even know you exist? Please don’t count yourself out before you even start. Step 2 of last week’s article suggests that goals are broken down into weekly milestones. This makes everything more manageable and incentivizes you to keep moving forward with a sense of accomplishment. Staying encouraged in the face of doubt is the hard part; finding money to launch your business in right under your nose.

Here are 5 places to locate capital that requires minimal effort:

1. Unclaimed Property

Thanks to gift of the internet, a simple search of you name on sites like missingmoney.com allows you to find funds that you may not have known existed. I searched my name and found a $6.34 check from Quest Diagnostics for who knows what. I also decided to search the names of relatives who have passed in recent years that I am considered an heir (parents, aunts/uncles who had no children, etc.), and discovered nearly $1000. After signing affidavits proving I am, I was able to claim the money. Make sure when you search, you visit every state website that you ever lived in. While the $6 check may not be much, it comes from a state that I hadn’t lived in for ten years.

2. Purge and Sale

Yard sales are probably the oldest, most tried and true way to clean the unnecessary clutter and convert dust to dollars. From Craigstlist to OfferUp, Facebook to LetGo, there’s no more lugging all of your unwanted items to the front yard and hoping someone will stumble into your subdivision based on a sign. You can snap photos and post to your preferred site in minutes. If you post wisely, the items could possibly be gone the same day. I purchased a Keurig at a store closing sale back in April for $60. It’s been sitting in the box, on my floor, since then. A quick search on Amazon revealed that this model is selling for $80-$90. I can sell it locally for $70 and recover all my money spent while rehoming it to someone who is still receiving a great deal.

3. Adjust Your Tax Withholdings

For those who are growing the businesses as a side hustle to start, this is a different strategy that is recommended with great caution. Adjusting your W-4 with your HR department to increase your exemptions means larger take home checks each pay period. Some wage earners take advantage of this when they have worked a lot of overtime. This is not for everyone however. There are plenty of stories of people who adjust their withholdings but forget to switch it back. When they sit down with their tax preparer the following year and realize they earned $60,000 and only had $700 withheld all year, the amount the IRS states they owe will be alarming.

4. Have a No-Spend Month

Having a no-spend month is not limited to November. Rearranging your spending and budget for a short term will result is an unexpected financial surplus. Whether you forgo your daily Starbucks or abandon dining out for the month, these slight shifts in your spending habits are achievable. An unexpected benefit of your no-spend month will be you learning that some of the behavioral shifts can be permanent moving forward.

5. Seek Friend-vestors

It is important to not share your new ideas with everyone from the start. Not everyone will be happy for your progress. Some may try to undermine you and still your idea. Be wise and discerning but also be open to those who believe in you and are willing to invest in you. This investment can come in various forms. Your friend who’s a graphic designer may barter your services in your newly launched photography business. Another friend may buy you a new mixer for your home based bakery as a Christmas gift. Everything you need is within you reach. Stay focus and believe the right people and resources will come at the right time.

 

Do one or all of the above suggestions. The most important thing is you take action towards fulfilling your dreams. Don’t let anyone, anything, OR even your own thoughts stop you for what you are already capable of doing. Go be great this week!

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Business and the Holidays

We are 53 days away from the biggest gift giving day of the year. I’m sure you are making all your gift giving lists and checking them twice. Every year I tell myself I want to be completely done with my Christmas planning and shopping by October and somehow still manage to find myself in all the shopping plazas on December 22nd trying to pick up the last items. As a business owner, we cannot wait until November to plan our Holiday Season. From client gifts and cards to promotions we want to run to maximize sales and revenue, we should now be in the execution stage of our holiday business plan. Big box retailers were on to something by planning Christmas in July and having Christmas decorations available for sale by September. If you are behind on your plan implementation or don’t have one in place yet, there is still hope for maximizing what’s left of this year.

For those of you who applied to college, do you recall how you ranked your schools? There were your dream schools you thought were out of your range but still applied to: the long shots. Then there were the schools that you would still be very happy to attend but are still very competitive to get accepted to. And sweeping up the application list were the safety schools: the schools you applied to just so you could get out of your parent’s house. Set your goals in a similar fashion: one goal that’s easily achievable but will give you the confidence to get another notch under your belt; one goal that is where you really want to be in your business; and a reach goal that will have you on cloud 9 with excitement.

While setting ambitious goals may be intimidating, it’s imperative to know where you ultimately want to be. Keeping this in mind, allows you to set smaller benchmarks to ensure you are staying on track with your progress. Whether you smaller tasks are listed in bullet format in your day planner, on your white board in your office, or as a quick note saved in your phone, they need to be thought through and written down to help track your progress.

Sometimes we as women carry loads that are not intended for us to carry alone. Even if you are the sole proprietor of your business, there are resources out there such as Fiverr or even bartering services with friends and colleagues to make things happen. Ask yourself: What’s more important, being able to do everything by myself or achieving my reach goal this holiday season? As the picture says, LISTEN TO WISDOM.

We at W.A.L.L. wish you much success in finishing 2017 strong. We are here to help you with business advise, goal setting, accountability, and getting plugged in with a group of empowering women who are ready to celebrate all of your victories with you. Stay encouraged and focused to give yourself the best springboard to start 2018 better than you have any other year in business.