Recently I was discussing with one of our clients as to whether they needed investment or not and I realised very very few of our clients started their business with outside investment. Before you go looking at raising capital I would strongly suggest looking at the following.
- Can you adjust the business model slightly to allow bring in revenue sooner, I know some IT Entrepreneurs who consulted for other businesses during the start up phase to provide working capital for their own business. This left them with no investors, no outside pressure and really incentivised them to get their product to market sooner
- What do you want the investment for? Sometimes business owners expect to need a lot of cash to start up, Often you don’t. For example we have assisted one of our retail clients to get 12 months rent free on premises. This reduces their need for investment.
- Can you get it? Before spending months on a business plan which requires investment do some research and see is investment achievable. The banks are still not lending and outside investors are few and far between in Ireland
- Can you work with an outside investor? By their very nature entrepeneurs like doing their own thing, Investors want a return on their investment, Nothing else. Richard Branson floated Virgin on the stock exchange , had a few stressful years and then bought it back.
If your looking for Inspiration CraigsList was bootstrapped and showed revenue of over $100M in 2011. Threadless was started with an investment of $1000 and is now worth $40M
It can be done!