Every bank and credit union has turned you down, you’ve gone through Canada Business Networks grant lists and there’s nothing you can use. You’ve worked your way through all the financing sources that we've sent and have still come up empty. Perhaps the only money that anyone is giving you is the change your grandma lets you keep when you buy her milk. It’s time to face facts, you’ve just discovered that no one is going to give you any money to start your business. Is that it? Well maybe it’s time to think about things a different way.
Know what it takes to be successful
Do you have any money of your own? If you haven’t been successful handling your own money, it’s not likely that you will be successful with your business' money. Maybe it’s time to take a good hard look at your habits: examine your expenses, work out a savings plan, talk with a financial advisor and take back control of your wallet. You have a goal now, that big shiny business, and you can do it! It’s just going to take a little hard work. You can get some great tips from the folks at My Money Coach on fixing your credit and getting your spending under control. It’s going to take some self-discipline but guess what, so will starting and running a successful business. This process is going to help you build that really important muscle, the sexiest of all the muscles, it’s called will power.
Start with baby steps
So you have zero dollars and you want to buy a hotel? A restaurant? An expensive franchise? Maybe it’s time to shrink those expectations. In order to get money, you need to prove that you can be successful at business. It’s called paying your dues. You can’t build a house without learning to hammer a few nails, you can’t learn to drive without getting behind the wheel and you can’t start a hugely successful business without having been successful with a small business.
Instead of your first business being a hotel, maybe a hotel can be a house or a small condo that you rent out. Maybe you can start by renting out your spare room or the space in your garage? Instead of opening a restaurant, how about a food truck or a food cart? Open a booth in a Farmers Market so you can build up an audience and prove that your restaurant concept can develop a following. Interested in starting a Tim Horton’s or a Subway? Maybe it’s time to set your goals a lot lower. Buy into a small franchise. You can get them at all levels of experience and investment and maybe it will be a lot more realistic than hiring and managing a team of 30.
Be aware of hidden struggles
I get that it can be confusing. You look around and see people who aren’t as talented as you, aren’t as smart as you, and they are running successful businesses. From where you are sitting, it looks like it should be so easy, if only someone would take a chance on you. What you didn’t see are those years of them saving up their money responsibly, or finding a partner with skills that they don’t have (and maybe that skill is having money). Maybe they started small or had people who believed in them, not because they asked nicely, but because they deserve it. The newspaper articles and the business books rarely talk about the first jobs, or the first businesses that struggled or failed but they are there and you need to work through those struggles first to learn the skills that will later on drive you to success. You can do it and you have the support of the team here at Business Link. We believe in you. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-272-9675 to get one-on-one guidance.