The reality is if you’re struggling to make ends meet and you want to start a business that is going to replace your full-time income (and more), and you want to do it quickly it’s going to take money. Of course, there are success stories and exceptions to the rule but let’s assume you and I are no exceptions. We’re going to need money and maybe we're not going to need lots of it, but the truth is there is no such thing as starting a business for free. You can get started with a small investment and in fact getting your first group of clients doesn't have to cost you a dime but creating an actual business is another story. If you’re anything like me the idea of working for yourself gives you warm fuzzy feelings inside and images of traveling the world. But if your situation is anything like mine was you were thrust into your entrepreneurship dreams sooner than expected with little to no money to get started. Maybe you were laid off, had a health crisis, or some other life event that lead to being in your business full time unprepared.
It's going to cost you something, either time or money. The more money you spend, the less time it will take. The more time you spend, the less money it takes. There's a direct relationship between the two. Trust me I know because I spent the first year and 1/2 investing a lot of time in my business and barely any money. When I started investing more money in my business things began to happen quickly, and I was even able to free up more of my time. If you're curious about what it really cost to start a blog and run a successful creative biz check out this post from Sarah at The Creative Boss The Real Cost Of Starting A Profitable Blog.
So was it worth it spending more time than money the first year? No. If I had to get started from scratch all over again I would do things differently.
On that note, if I can save you from spending time when you can spend money I'd rather encourage you to spend money. Money is a renewable resource whereas time is not and when it's gone it's gone. I don't want you to waste your precious time it's priceless.
Here are 6 Ways To Find Money When You Have No Money For Your Biz
- Cut back on your expenses:On the surface are you telling yourself that you can't afford to invest in your business, but the money is there? Is it hiding in daily trips to the cafe, dining out, or mini shopping sprees buying new Essie polishes? You'll be surprised when you take a real hard look at your moo-lah to see where it's going. I bet you have more money than you thought to invest in your side hustle.
- Get a part time job (or another full-time job):If you're struggling to make ends meet you'll probably be better off picking up some extra work or job. When you have a cash flow problem in your business, and you're using your personal finances intermingled with your business finances, it's not only time to separate them but time to bring in some more money. Don't worry you're still an entrepreneur even if you're working for someone else. It's ok if now is not the time to be in your business full time.
- Liquidate Some Assets:Savings, stocks, and 401k can be good resources to tap into when you could use some extra funds to get your business started on the right foot. For those of you thinking but Sharice I don't have any of those - sell your stuff. I've done and continue to do it because I like recycling all my gently worn clothes to new loving homes. I sell clothing from my closet on Poshmark. I sell collectible toys, vintage finds that are taking up much-needed space in my basement on eBay and occasionally for larger items I list them on Craigslist.
- Credit Cards and Loans:I don't like talking about this option. In 100% transparency, I'm not a huge fan of using credit cards, bank loans or borrowing money from relatives. But is this an effective strategy? YES, I have personally done it? YES and it was incredibly helpful at getting my business started. But what I don't like is when coaches or mentors push this option. Taking out a loan or using credit cards is a very personal choice that you should take very seriously if you go this route.
- Fundraiser/Sponsor:This is a new idea that I haven't tried out, but you could totally run a Kickstarter and raise the funds you need. Have you tried this one? I'd love to know your experience.
- Ask for a payment plan:A lot of coaches and mentors have payment plans and are more than happy to help make working together a reality. When in doubt let them know that the issue is coming up with the money. Alternatively, they may also offer lower cost options like group mentoring.
There you have it. If you look close enough, the money is there. However, if it's a stretch to invest in your business and you can't spare a dollar, then it might be best to focus on generating income even if it means you have to put all your focus into getting full-time employment. Not being able to pay your electric bill is no Bueno. Let me know in the comments your go-to tactics for getting extra money to invest in your business.