In my line of business – business marketing – I meet a lot of people that have great ideas for a small business start up but for one reason or another they don’t have all the components they need to get it off the ground. The most common challenge is finding the necessary start up capital.
You may not have the kind of credit rating that makes it easy to walk into a bank and get a commercial loan. If you really want to do this, you might need to stretch your imagination and come up with some unconventional methods, but that’s what entrepreneurs are good at doing.
Have you thought about partnering up with another small business owner to create a win-win exchange for everyone? Most small business owners would be open to a collaborative effort if it meant more income or increased exposure that leads to more sales.
A few months ago I had a booth at a health fair in the small city where my head office is located. I met a young man that was very interested in opening a health food store in the community because it was one of his passions and a retail gap analysis clearly showed the need for this type of business. He had tried in vain for months to find the funding.
I suggested he talk to a local business that builds e-commerce websites at a reasonable price to see if they could do anything to help. When he talked to them, he realized he did not have enough money to build the quality of website he needed, so they worked out an arrangement.
The Internet company had a great base of national and international clients but wanted to add local businesses to their portfolio. They agreed to build the young man’s e-commerce site for a nominal fee, plus a small percentage of the sales.
The website owner is making sales through the website and has very low overhead costs. In the meantime he is looking for a storefront location that suits his needs at the right price. His current sales are providing invaluable data about his target market – what really sells. He does not feel pressured, since he already has cash flow from his online sales. The Internet company is happy to market the website, since they are receiving part of the profit and they have a successful local business to showcase in their online gallery.
This is just one example of how small business owners can work together toward a successful outcome. If you have an idea you think might work, go for it!
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