For many college graduates, the first step on the employment ladder is either unappealing or non-forthcoming. Those with a burning business idea are tempted to go it alone and put their entrepreneurial spirit to the test.
However, a common stumbling block in getting a new business off the ground is the lack of funds available to a recently graduated student. You haven’t had decades of lucrative work topping up your bank balance. Instead, you’re pretty much broke after years of expensive accommodation and tuition fees with only low paid, part time jobs to see you through.
But don’t despair. Your brilliant business idea needn’t founder. Here are seven ways you can find the funds to make your dreams a reality and get that start-up off the ground.
Work on Your Business Part Time
Many recently graduated entrepreneurs don’t put all of their eggs in one basket. They work at temporary or freelance jobs on a part time basis and spend the rest of their time working on their business. With a little money coming in, you can afford to live modestly and, hopefully, invest in your enterprise without your finances running into the red.
Rent Out Your Space
Make use of any spare space you have at home before and after you finish college. This could mean offering a room to host tourists visiting your city or renting out disused space for storage using a site like Spacer. Maximising your resources in this way is a great opportunity to stump up a little extra cash.
Buy and Sell Second Hand
Textbooks can be expensive. Buy them second hand from past students or through online stores like Amazon. And don’t forget to sell them once your own course has ended. Buying second hand items and selling items you no longer use can save you lots of money – and it doesn’t have to end at your textbooks. Clothes, furniture, kitchen appliances and business equipment can all be found much cheaper second hand.
Make Use of the Sharing Economy
In these days of interconnectivity, it’s easy to find people with whom to share or exchange resources. A new business owner no longer needs to rent out an expensive office from the get go. Co-working spaces are a sociable and low-cost place to start. Some companies are also keen to maximise the return from their own resources and will be prepared to rent out equipment on an hourly basis, which saves you from spending lots of money in initial outlay.
Get A Bank Loan
With the right idea, a strong business plan and a receptive bank, you could loan the money you need to start your business. You’ll need to conduct thorough research into the market potential of your product or service idea and put together a comprehensive financial plan for projected loan repayments.
Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way to source funding for a new business and bypass the banks completely. You pitch your idea to hundreds of potential investors. They can then invest a lot or a little, giving you the financial support you need to get your idea up and running.
Get A Federal Grant
Small businesses within specified industries can sometimes be eligible for a federal grant. Government funds are allocated each year to support important causes, like medicine, education and social care, as well as new technologies. Grants.gov provides a directory of federal grant programs and details on how to apply for them.
Finding the funds for a new business can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle. There’s certainly a lot of hard work to do to find initial financial input for your company. The good news is there are plenty of avenues to explore. With the right idea, you’re sure to find the funds and make a success of your new business enterprise.
This article was contributed by guest author Emma Lewis.