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New business, no outside funding, how to succeed. Can we create a "quick list" of suggestions here?

Even if you have a viable and great idea, getting outside funding is about as likely as being struck by lightning. So how do businesses succeed in the absence of funding? I did it by never giving up. I earned money throughoutside consulting, partnering with key business leaders, joined an accelerator and finally after three years, finished development and sold my first major account. I wanted to start this discussion to create a "bullet list" of what other startups have done to build their business without outside funding. This list can be re-visited by others in startup mode to formulate a thought process that isn't dependent on outside funding for success. Looking forward to your suggestions.

14 Replies

Gulf Cloud
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Gulf Cloud Entrepreneur
First Cloud Service Provider Company in the Arabian Gulf
Government backed Soft loan + whatever side income I generate goes into the project.

in Saudi Arabia, you can get help fromSCSB http://www.scsb.gov.sa/portal/ and in the US Lookup SBA https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/what-we-do/contact-sba
Martin Omansky
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Jim: We provide outside funding for ventures, but we always advise people to put their own resources to work, and/or obtain non-dilutive funding for their enterprises first. One can always try to raise outside funds later, if needed. The fact is, however, that there are many ventures that need gobs of money right from the beginning - life science projects are a good example - in amounts that cannot be supplied by the founders. Other R&D projects are similarly needful. It is a big world, and there are many ways to skin the entrepreneurial cat. If you can finance a venture on your own, by all means do so.
Martin Omansky
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Supplement: I re-read your message and here is my quick list: strategic partnerships; joint ventures; vendor financing; limited factoring; purchase order financing; bartering; minimum inventory strategy.
Zubair Ansari
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Zubair Ansari Entrepreneur
Founder and CTO, CionSystems Inc.
Congratulations Jim, we have taken similar approach. The issue we ran into is "scaling" from organic growth. You run into issue to spend on marketing or engineering, we found that typical such startup may not have enough for both. Partnership, you have to get lucky to find the right partner who is willing to invest. Next challenge will be keep the solution relevant and also grow the market presence. This is very important for survival and attracting people to work for your company.
Ashley Titus
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Ashley Titus Entrepreneur
Founder at RAGS Solutions
In Qatar we havehttp://www.qbic.qa and after a 10 weeks program and demo day, will have access to funding and support over 2 years.
And SAP HANA is coming to Qatar on Nov 3
startupfocus.saphana.com/sap-events
Ashley Titus
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Ashley Titus Entrepreneur
Founder at RAGS Solutions
http://www.qbic.qa/

Andre Fox Wilson Sr.
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Andre Fox Wilson Sr. Entrepreneur
Managing Partner | Business Funding
As a Capital expert that secures funding for businesses, both start ups and established, let me preface by saying "there is no shortage of money available". The biggest problem we find is the framing of the opportunity. I.e. There is no clearly defined target market, financials are inaccurate, no or limited marketing startegy and best of all no predetermined payback to the investor. Visit our website: www.altimabusinesssolutions.com and read our blog: 5 Keys to Getting Your Business Funded. This is basic, but if you follow that principle you will go a long way.
Ken Ravon
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Ken Ravon Advisor
CEO & President @ Solutions Recovery International
@Gulf Cloud,
Where is Arabian Gulf?

Betsy Ehrenberg
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Betsy Ehrenberg Advisor
Business Growth Specialist
I found several companies who needed the product and entered into a consulting contract for the biggest of the companies (Fortune 50) to pay for research, development, implementation and first set of revisions. The company needed the product so much that they paid the entire fee; however, we did not have the written specification as complete as needed. After four months, the company installed the software in another site. On the six month anniversary, we proposed the following: 1. We returned 60% of the development fees. 2. We gave them a license to use the software for all locations worldwide. 3. We leased the software to other companies using the first company as a reference account. 4. We gave the the first company 3% of annual sales for three years. Any questions? Betsy Ehrenberg Santa Fe, NM [removed to protect privacy]
Jerome Peloquin
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Jerome Peloquin Entrepreneur • Advisor
President, Family Fish Farms Network, Inc.
Jim ... you hit the nail on the head! Your path seems like mine. Unless you have a mobile app and/or are on the inside with investor groups there is no outside funding that I have een able to reach. We have an innovative and exciting technology but VC's and funders in general want something easy with no obstructions ... even though we had an excellent, exemplary even business plan, pitch deck, letters of commendation etc, etc. I have small bruises all over my body from being touched with ten foot poles but VC's and institutional investors. five years it has taken us, with every possible unlikely and unlucky even one can imaging ... from having a key political supporter and investor jailed for malfeasance in office the day before closing, to having a partner try to steal our main funder and the project thus trashing the whole plan a few years ago. Nothing scceeds like persistance and guts. I finally turned to consulting and networking to find a partner in an allied field ... together we closed a large contract to build several prototype systems actually in another country ... it ain't easy as the man said. It ain't easy at all. Jerome Peloquin President The Family Fish Farms Network, Inc. 717 Lawrence Street, NE Washington, DC, 20017 cell: (410) 227-0498 (Skype) fishfarms1 LinkedIn Profile email: [removed to protect privacy] website: www.thefamilyfishfarmsnetwork.com We grow healthy local food ... save fresh clean water ... create decent paying jobs.
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