What’s keeping you from starting your own business? Is it a lack of capital? If so, you’re not alone. Among U.S. adults currently trying to start their own businesses, 40 percent say they’re having trouble finding startup financing, a Harris Interactive survey conducted for lender Borro found.
Two-thirds of adults in the survey say they don’t want to start a business because of the current economic climate, but more than half (52 percent) say they’d be more likely to start a small business if it were easier to get financing. And among all adults in the survey, 80 percent believe it should be easier for small businesses to get financing.
Even for those who do get businesses off the ground, things don’t get any easier. More than 22 percent of business owners surveyed said they have passed up potential business opportunities due to lack of financing.
Financing has always been a challenge for small businesses. But don’t let this survey get you down. The good news is, today there are more ways to start a business for less than there have ever been before. The Internet has opened up a world of opportunities for business ideas that can be built out on a dime (well, maybe not literally a dime, but almost). Here are some ideas for saving money on your startup so you don’t need much capital to begin with:
• Use the Internet to survey customers or prospects online and get immediate feedback on your business ideas.
• Market with social media—it’s free, so you won’t need a huge ad budget.
• Partner with other startups that have complementary products or services, either to market your businesses or to offer more to your customers than you could on your own.
• Barter with other businesses for products and services so you can conserve your cash.
• Outsource tasks to freelancers instead of hiring full-time employees with their accompanying benefits and management hassles.
What if, even after cutting startup costs to the bone, you still need some type of financing to make your dream happen? That’s where the experts at SCORE come in. Get matched with a SCORE mentor, and you can get free 24/7 help with all aspects of financing, from developing your financial projections to calculating your startup costs and applying for a loan or line of credit. You and SCORE can make it happen. Visit the SCORE website to learn more.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Rieva is a regular contributor to SCORE Small Business Success Blog. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rievaand visit her blog at SmallBizDaily.com.
Reprinted with permission from blog.score.org.