It is impossible to put a price tag on one’s dream but there are some dreams which could be realized with modest financial means. Still, the concept of modest means depends on the situation. The biggest difference lies in what you’re able to raise, to begin with. Here are a couple of things to consider.
Now, the majority of such projects are funded from personal means but what happens when you find yourself in a scenario where you just don’t have enough. What are the best ways to raise funds for your dream job? Let’s find out!
If your inclinations are artistic in nature, chances are that you don’t need a lot of initial capital. Various platforms allow aspiring artists from all walks of life to self-publish their works free of charge. For instance:
- Kindle Direct Publish is a place where writers can sell their works directly to the audience, with a royalty (of 35%-70% depending on the cost of the novel/story).
- Soundcloud is an online audio streaming platform that allows musicians to capitalize on their works.
- When it comes to photography, there is a number of platforms where these can be sold directly.
- Patreon is a crowdfunding platform that can be organized on a subscription system and provide an audience with a regular income (instead of commissions).
Sure, the cost of production still exists but this is really something that you can do even on the tightest of budgets. Also, your marketing options are scalable and relatively inexpensive early on. This allows you to start modestly and expand your operations once the income from your art starts arriving.
- Keep your day job
If you reckon that during the initial stages of your next project you won’t have too much work, it might be a good idea to keep your day job. This will give you a source of income that you can use to bridge until your new enterprise becomes self-sustainable. Moreover, it might be used to fund your future business plans. For instance, you can use your income to acquire some of the necessary equipment pieces, so that, when you finally decide to pivot into this new occupation, your initial investments are not that steep. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that this won’t always be possible.
- Look for specialized loans
Looking for business loans is one of the default options for you to choose but there are so many loan types, some of which may be more fitting to your particular situation. For instance, you may not need much initial capital but only some funds to make it between your last paycheck and your first profits from a new business idea. In that case, what you’re looking for are commercial bridging loans. This is one of the ideas that give you the best APR and terms and helps you avoid having to get an installment loan for something that will be resolved in a matter of months.
If you have a great plan and want to ask others to help contribute to it, what you need to do is start a crowdfunding project. This is a great way to get some money but it depends on a number of factors. First of all, just because your business is lucrative, this doesn’t mean that others will recognize this right away. In fact, the efficiency of your efforts will depend on your presentational skills, not the validity of your business idea. Just remember that story from Kickstarter where one guy managed to raise $55,492 for a potato salad, while numerous valid business projects failed.
- Equity crowdfunding
Now, under regular crowdfunding rules, people would commit to you financially in order to help you out. This doesn’t necessarily happen out of the kindness of their hearts but because the existence of your business (and the product/service you provide) would greatly benefit them. However, you could also offer equity in return for funding. This way, you would have a larger number of investors, and all of them would commit more heavily to your business.
One more thing worth noting on this subject matter is the concept of buying a franchise. The cost of starting a franchise is somewhat lower but it doesn’t provide you with the ownership of a brand as a whole. In exchange, you get the right to use the brand name and markings.
- Organize a fundraising event
In a situation where you want to start a local business and engage the local community, you might want to start with a fundraising event. This will allow you to gather the funds but also start establishing connections with your future customer base. You can organize a lottery, a trivia night, have an initial sale that will allow them to sample your products, and much more. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with multitasking and you can easily raise funds while gaining some ground in your respective field at the same time. The number of options is limitless.
- Friends and family
According to some surveys, roughly 38% of all enterprises are funded from money borrowed from friends and family members. This type of lending has some advantages and disadvantages that are quite unique. First of all, all the terms are negotiable. It is not uncommon for such a loan to be completely interest-free or for it to lack a strict loan duration timeline. The thing is, however, that this may hurt the lender in more ways than one. Also, your initial capital needs might surpass the amount that your close ones have to spare.
In the end, the first thing you need is to be realistic about the conditions you need to make it. How much money will it take and is it possible to start a bit more modestly? Chances are that your only financial obstacle will be how to survive an initial couple of months. In this case, your fundraising options are quite numerous. It’s not just about getting enough money. It’s also about starting with the lowest debt possible in order to have a closer break-even point. This would give you a significant competitive edge and boost your resilience.