Go online and you’ll find hundreds of workshops touting miracle methods to turn your dream into a startup and your startup into a cash cow. It’s never going to be that simple, of course, but there are plenty of experienced entrepreneurs out there who have ridden the roller coaster up and down when it comes to startups, and they all pretty much have the same basic tips to give to newcomers in the startup game:
Like the song says, money makes the world go round. And it certainly is what turns any dream into a viable startup. “Most newcomers to the startup world make one basic mistake at the get-go; they limit their financial base by either refusing to examine all options or choose to ignore some of them because of pride, fear, or perhaps ignorance,” say the experts at LoanStar.
A new entrepreneur who has a fantastic startup idea needs the help of as many different financial ‘angels’ as he or she can line up. This includes banks, credit unions, family, friends, second mortgages on the house, pawnbrokers, seed funding agencies, and crowdfunding, to name just a few. You can’t be afraid of being turned down by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Why? Because even if you approach someone who turns you down you have made an impression on that person, or institution, and you can never know how far that first impression is going to go, is going to be broadcast. Ask any experienced entrepreneur and they’ll likely say something like “Well, I ask the bank for a loan for my computer startup and they said no, but one of the vice presidents was so impressed with my idea and presentation that she mentioned it to a hedge fund manager who mentioned it to a private investor, who got in touch with me and provided my first seed money.”
Who doesn’t hate paying taxes
Maybe you’re cynical, after reading the headlines about the ‘Big Boys’ who seem to always find away to get out of paying their corporate and sales taxes. Well, it’s time you realized you’re not a ‘Big Boy’ or ‘Big Girl’ and that Uncle Sam is always going to get his cut. So get it out of the way and set up a program either in-house or with an outside accounting firm to handle your quarterly taxes first thing. Don’t put it off like a visit to the dentist. It can be both distressing and boring, sure; but it has to be done and if you do it at the very beginning of your startup experience you won’t ever have to worry about it coming back to bite you in the behind. And despite changes in the Administration, government shutdowns, fire, earthquakes, blizzards, or an invasion of Norway rats, your taxes always come due.
Perhaps these don’t sound like the exciting and glamorous parts of your startup dream? That’s because they’re not. The startup experts are unanimous in stating that if you take care of the mundane nuts and bolts first, you’ll have more time and energy to purse the real dream behind all those quarterly reports and financial statements. Before you can fly, you have to walk, and before you can walk you have to crawl. If you don’t think the pros know what they’re talking about, just jump off the nearest cliff, unprepared, with your startup and see how far you get.