1. Save up as much money as possible before starting.
All too often, people go into business without any savings, exclusively using loan money from friends, banks, or the SBA. They except to be able to start paying the loans back right away with their profits. What these business owners don’t realize is that it can take months or years to make a profit. And once a lender discovers a business isn’t as profitable as expected, the lender is likely to call in the loan or refuse to renew it for another year. Often new business owners then have to take out home equity loans or use credit cards to pay off their loans (which puts their home and credit rating at risk). For more information, see Nolo’s Business Financing FAQ.
A better plan is to save up as much of the needed investment money as possible, including your living expenses for the first year, or even two. Odds are that your business won’t be profitable for one to two years. Even if you get plenty of business coming your way — and your customers pay you on time, which isn’t always a sure thing — you’ll want to be able to invest most of that money back in the business for space, equipment, advertising, and insurance needs.
Written By Beth Laurence
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