We have heard our share of business pitches. Think “Shark Tank” on a very small scale. We have also consulted with a number of startups. One thing we know to be true, regardless of the entrepreneur’s efforts, is that starting a business always takes more time and more money than he or she thinks. It is just that simple. Even the most brilliant business plan will have to change. Not because of the things put in the plan, but because of those pesky things not in the plan. It is the unanticipated items that cause most startups to take longer and cost more to reach breakeven. The bottom line is that revenue never ramps as quickly as you think it will.
We will share a few of our personal experiences with you to illustrate different funding methods and some lessons learned along the way that can help you think about funding your business.
When we started our company, Whitestone Partners, we worked out of the room over our garage. We didn’t have an assistant. We already owned our computers and phones. Except for buying business cards, purchasing bookkeeping software and paying a friend $300 to help us put up a basic website, we kept our costs to a minimum.