You’re at college and have an amazing idea for a business! After talking it through with a variety of people and taking the time to research the competition, you’re confident that your idea will work. Believing in your idea is the first step.
But, you don’t have capital. So, how can you raise money to fund your new idea? This guide explains a number of ways you can do this.
Pitching Your Idea
Having a solid knowledge of what you are offering, whether it is a product or service, is the first step to instilling confidence in potential investors. Start with ‘selling’ your ideas to family, friends, and college contacts.
Receiving as much feedback as possible will enable you to identify issues you may have overlooked and address them before you officially start to raise funds.
Family may be able to offer some modest financial support if they genuinely believe you have something worthwhile. Be sure to include all your research and long-term forecasts to help them see you are serious about implementing your idea.
Consider getting your contacts at college involved and setting up a fundraising committee. Ask members of the committee to volunteer their time, effort, and resources to raise money.
In order to do this, take the time to discuss each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and then assign jobs accordingly. A good idea is offering some sort of ‘incentive’ that would encourage others to get involved. The more people talk about your idea, the more feedback you will get on it.
When starting a business, it is important to investigate the legal requirements and allocate those costs into your fundraising.
For example, if you wanted to start a Washington LLC , it “isn’t complicated, but it does demand careful attention to detail. Before you can file your Certificate of Formation (the official paperwork that establishes your LLC), you have to complete a series of steps. These include choosing a unique name that meets Washington states criteria, appointing a registered agent, accepting legal correspondence for your business, and formulating a comprehensive Operating Agreement.”
Each state and country will have different conditions, so always make sure these are clear before creating a financial plan for your business.
Gathering funds from the local college population is another efficient way to fundraise.
Many students would be willing to donate a small amount to support your venture – but you first need to ask them!
When doing this, try creating incentives to capture your audience’s attention. This would mean offering perks or special access when your business takes off.
Alternatively, you can sponsor or host an event, where you collect donations from a contest or challenge.
Many schools offer loans to help students with a business idea that has been thoroughly researched. It is worth making an appointment and discussing your idea with the school to see the resources that are available. Perhaps you can attend networking events with investor alumni or apply for a grant. You should exhaust all your options.
Whatever you do, be sure to stay positive and work hard. You will encounter many challenges along the way. Learn from your mistakes, stay tenacious, and don’t waver from your goal.