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Startup Financing 101: Finding Your Best Options

by Irfan Ahmad

One of the biggest questions that I hear people ask is how they can possibly start their own business when startup costs are just out of this world? After all, most American startup businesses will start at costing about twenty to fifty thousand dollars and going up from there. Now, if a business has a large online presence and very little physical location then that won’t so much be the case, but still it is very rare for someone to make it in the business startup sector without at least procuring twenty grand at least.

So people ask me, “Per, I want to start my own business now, but it would take me literally years to save up enough money to just get started. What do I do? What did you do?”

Well, the successful action for me was to borrow money. I know that no one likes to hear those words, and there certainly is a negative stigma that involves the whole concept of borrowing money, but the thing about borrowing money is that it is a totally safe and a totally okay thing to do if one follows the rules of money lending and does not borrow in excess.

There are some very simple and very basic rules to borrowing money. If you follow those rules you will work the system like a pro and you will actually benefit greatly from having borrowed money. If you don’t, you will likely fail miserably.

When I started my first business, a rug selling company, I did so with a personal loan from my parents. When I started my first drug and alcohol addiction rehab center decades later, I got a loan from a bank. I shopped around a lot until I found a good loan deal; I negotiated a contract that I was comfortable with, got a good interest rate, and kept up with my payments. This is what I recommend for you as well.

The Fundamentals:

A lot of this goes without saying, but I do have a few words to say on what I consider to be the absolute most important aspects to getting ready to start your own business. Here they are:

  1. Save as much as possible from your current job while figuring out what kind of figure you are willing to spend on your startup.
  2. Figure out how you can live as cheaply as possible. Really go out on a limb here, (e.g. cut out unnecessary expenses, move back into your parents’ home temporarily, cancel subscription to your cable provider, rent a room out, etc.).
  3. Calculate your absolute minimum monthly income, the real bare minimum to maintain a decent standard of living and cover your bills and still be able to survive.
  4. Survive on savings alone or get a flexible job that allows you to dedicate the majority of your time on your winning idea. Be able to work on your business with the majority of your time, but also have something else that you are doing that is financially successful and beneficial to you.

These are four things that you can do before you even begin to go get a loan. If your business is plan is pretty far out then start saving immediately, and it is possible that by the time that you get to the point where you are ready to start that business you might not have to get a loan at all or at least you might only have to get a very small one.

Don’t ever let the thought or the “problem” of money actually be a real problem at all. It is not a problem, and it never will be a problem if you confront it in the right way and if you go about approaching it in the right way. Do this, and you will be successful. Keep at it, and you will finally accomplish your dreams and be doing exactly what it is that you want to be doing.

Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. Connect with Per via his blogTwitter or LinkedIn.

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