How to find the initial finances for a micro business

You’ve got the idea.

You have a clear vision of where it could take you.  You positively pulling at the bit with enthusiasm to get started.

Then you realise that money is tight.

The doubts creep in.

You wake up at stupid o’clock, your mind whirling and negative voices whispering in your ear.  Those hours between 2am and 4am can be soul destroying.

Money feels like the major issue coming between you and your goals.  So, you start to tell yourself that you should give up before you have started and the frustration and resentment starts to build.

Before you know it, you have talked yourself out of your idea, parked it and feel frustrated and resentful because you feel like there is no way out of how you are feeling and what you are doing.

Well the good news is, most micro businesses can be started on a shoe string.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but with determination (which of course you have in buckets loads), it is possible.

Here are some of my suggestions to building up your initial start-up fund.

  1. Have a good clear out and sell your unwanted stuff.

A few suggestions would be:

  • eBay
  • Local Car boot sale
  • Gumtree
  • Facebook selling groups
  • Mobile apps such as decluttr or vinted – there are absolutely loads of them
  1. Get someone else to pay.

Yes, you heard right!  Have you got a birthday coming up or another occasion where you receive a gift?  Ask your nearest and dearest to pay for, or towards, something that you need for a business such as insurance or a course to upskill.

  1. Do an exchange of labour aka a skills swap.

You want a jazzy original design for a business card and your artistic friend would absolutely love some laser coaching for a current issue.  That’s how I managed to get an original watercolour to use for a business card.  Or you need some babysitting so that you can attend a course or appointment.  What can you do for others that they cannot do themselves and see if they are happy to provide something for you in return.

  1. Good at crafty projects?

Start making and selling online at places such as Etsy, Facebook, Folksy.  Just make sure you are not spending a fortune on materials!

  1. Be an expenditure expert.

Get up close and personal with your finances!  Are there direct debits going out for things you do not use (think gym memberships, magazine subscriptions……….)?  Can you get a better deal on your utilities and save money?  Do you have a savings account lying dormant and unused?  I discovered I had 4 – not with huge sums but collectively, they paid for some cheap printing of business cards.  Shop around or haggle with current provider for your annual renewals such as home and car insurance.  Have you got any returns waiting to go back to the shop?

  1. Host a ‘business’ fundraising event.

It could be a curry night, a girl’s night in pamper party, BBQ and Pimm’s garden party, bingo or quiz night – the only limit is your imagination!  Be upfront and say that you are trying to raise funds to start a micro business and obviously you have to provide the chosen food, entertainment etc. so that people are getting something for their donation.

  1. Be on trend with vintage and upcycling.

In other words, consider second hand for items you might need such as a desk, a printer, shelving.  Look at Facebook pages, freecycle etc. to see what you can get for next to nothing or free.  It might not be your dream piece of furniture or technology but if it tides you over or frees up cash for items or services that you really need, then it’s the way to go for minimising outlay.

  1. Crowdfund

Set up a crowdfunding page showing how much you need to raise and what you are raising for.  Just be mindful that to ask for pledges of cash, you will need to be able to offer something in return which is great if you are planning a product-based service but if you are service based, you will need to remember not to over commit on your time and then not be able to deliver.  Popular crowdfunding sites include www.crowdfunder.co.uk and www.gofundme.com  Again, there are many out there.

Those are just a few suggestions to get you going.  What have you managed to do to raise funds?  I would love to know in the comments below.

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