So this is something that I get asked a LOT. I talk to, coach, and mentor entrepreneur after entrepreneur on how to brand themselves and market their businesses. However, I also work with aspiring entrepreneurs who have huge dreams and goals but just can’t find the capital to launch their business or serial entrepreneurs who want to start a new venture or expand. 

Part of what I do as a mentor and coach is to help others to “simplify the hustle” if you will. I truly wish that I had a mentor or someone in my corner when I first made the decision to become an entrepreneur, so I try to help others as much as I can.

Let’s get into this topic. You have this vision. You have this idea. You are ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship or expansion, but you don’t have the adequate funds to do so. What do you do? Well believe it or not, you may not even need as much money as you think to start a business. Did you know that I started my first business with $150 and a $.99 domain name from GoDaddy? Yes, I sure did! First, you have to be very, very clear on what you are offering with your business, and figure out what you absolutely NEED to get started and what you can hold off on investing in. That $150 grew and grew into a business that allowed me to travel and work with Vogue, FORD Models and many others during my career as a makeup artist. However, in order to get the funds to grow that business I learned a few tricks along the way.

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Now keep in mind, that business loans and things of that nature are certainly an option, however this is for those who don’t want to go that route. Here are a few options that you can try to raise money to start that dream business of yours.

  • DECLUTTER YOUR WORLD! Anything in your home that’s just sitting around, or that you haven’t used in years, SELL IT. Think about it, you probably have thousands of dollars just staring at you right now. Get to work! Shoes, clothes that you never wear, unneeded furniture and electronics, handmade items, etc. I remember selling an SLR camera that I had purchased but never used and I got about $300 within 2 days of listing it on eBay! You’d be surprised how much money you can get on eBay or sites like CraigsList, or even by having a good old fashioned yard sale.

  • Invest in a Direct Sales Business. I know what you are thinking. ‘Those networking marketing ‘things’ never work’; blah, blah, blah. But I’ll tell you this. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is being open minded enough to at least consider all options before simply brushing off opportunities. So open your mind a little before continuing on. Ready? Alrighty then.

    What I love about networking marketing, is that the investment is extremely low for a legitimate business, however the return is substantial if you indeed treat it like a business and build it correctly. Oh yes, and most companies offer residual income as compensation, like my company, which is great for those who are planning on using those funds to start and operate a business. Why? Residual income is money that comes in over and over again, after doing the work one time, whether you get out of bed to work the business or not. Your dream business will have business expenses and monthly overhead, so why not use your monthly income from your direct sales business to pay for what you need to pay for, so that you aren’t coming out of pocket. Great move in my opinion.

  • Start a GoFundMe Campaign. This is pretty self-explanatory. Get those that care about you to support you. Every penny counts! GoFundMe gives supporters an easy way to show that they believe in your vision and want to help. They’ve made it extremely easy for someone to donate, which is great for you!

  • Have a Fundraising Event. Host a dinner, a small party, fashion show, anything that you want, using your vision as the theme so that your potential supporters know what to expect. You can charge a small admissions fee or take donations. Give a gift to the individual who donates the most.

There are lots of other ways that you can raise money to start your dream business, but I really wanted to focus on the methods that I personally used and were effective. Get to work! Start building or expanding your dream right now.

Here’s a great way to raise money for your dream business. Click here.

About the Author: Marnita “Nita J” Wiggins is a marketing and brand strategist, speaker and business coach who helps aspiring, new and established entrepreneurs to build powerful, purposeful and profitable businesses and brands, especially in the digital space. Learn more here.