Finance 0108

Well, I've found ten ways to finance a solo business in order to answer your question.

1. Moonlighting
Ease into a solo venture by conducting business during off-time hours from your job. This lets you "try on" the business and see if it's fun and profitable. Moonlighting also lets you develop skills without as much financial pressure.

2. Part-time
As a bigger step, consider cutting back your full-time job to part-time. This gives you freedom while covering basic living expenses. Make sure you consider alternate coverage for any insurance or other benefits you would lose.

3. Jump-start
Become an independent contractor and convert your current employer into a client. The company saves money on benefits, and you get an automatic base for your new business. Be careful about plans to entice clients or customers away from your employer. This can cause ill-will or even legal problems.

4. Two-fer, or piggyback
Let the salary of an employed spouse or partner cover living expenses. Or move in with family or roommates to cut costs. Keep in mind, however, that this can put stress on a relationship. Setting a cut-off date can help lessen tension and set realistic boundaries.

5. Squirrel approach
Create a stockpile of money while working at another job, the way a squirrel saves acorns. Using this conservative approach gives you freedom and plentiful resources when you're ready to launch.

6. Found money
If you receive an unexpected windfall — lottery, inheritance, stock, etc. — spend it wisely. These are uncommon and unpredictable, but it can be just the ticket to get you started.

7. Money pool
Instead of a bank loan, borrow smaller sums from several family members, friends, or colleagues. The lenders have no legal ownership in the business, but can act as advisors and cheerleaders for your venture. Since all investors will be paid interest, bookkeeping can be complex — but your financial goal has been realized.

8. Credit
While expensive and psychologically troubling, credit cards can be a way to finance a business. Use them carefully. A less expensive option is to get a credit line extension to your bank checking account.

9. Bank loan
This is the financing option many people think of first, but it can be the most difficult to acquire for solo business newcomers with little credit history. If you apply, you'll face large amounts of paperwork and scrutiny. If you own a home, consider a home equity loan, as they are more flexible and easier to obtain than business loans.

10. Venture capitalists
If you have a sizzling business idea that needs heavy capitalization, consider this route. In exchange for their investment, venture capitalists acquire partial ownership in the business, generally through stock. This financing method is complex, and you should seek professional advice before pursuing this path.
Many business owners use combinations of these financing methods. Don't be afraid to add a creative interpretation to your own funding needs. Prospecting for financial support will also clarify your business ideas — to yourself and others — which will make your company stronger in the long run.

It's all.

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