What many may not know is that Vision & Heels was totally self-funded. No loans, business partners, investors etc. During the planning and development phase I was able to keep my full-time job. It took about 3 years of saving, business planning and of course learning the role of a Entrepreneur to make V&H happen. Even while I opened, I stayed employed by hiring a staff that was able to handle the day to day while I worked my full-time “demanding” job. Was this fun NO, was it overwhelming? YES! But the freedom of knowing my business was debt free was totally worth it!
Self-funding requires careful financial management and resource allocation. Here are some steps to consider when self-funding your business:
·Start small: Begin with a lean approach by focusing on the essentials. Identify the core products or services you want to offer and avoid unnecessary expenses.
·Create a detailed business plan: Outline your business goals, target market, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, and financial projections. A well-structured business plan will help you make informed decisions and stay on track.
·Save personal funds: Prioritize saving money from your personal income to invest in your business. Consider reducing personal expenses and setting aside a portion of your earnings specifically for your business. Save every bonus, monetary gift, Income tax return, and/or ANY extra funds not needed for your daily living expenses.
·Minimize overhead costs: Look for ways to minimize overhead expenses. For example, you can operate from a coworking office space instead of renting an entire space, use affordable technology solutions, and negotiate better deals with suppliers.
·Generate revenue early on: Focus on generating revenue as quickly as possible. Offer your products or services to potential customers and strive to achieve early sales. Reinvest the profits back into the business to fund growth.
·Prioritize cash flow management: Monitor your cash flow closely. Stay on top of your accounts receivable and payable, manage inventory efficiently, and negotiate favorable payment terms with vendors. Cash flow management is crucial for sustaining operations and fueling growth. PLEASE KEEP FINANCES OF YOUR BUSINESS SEPARATE FROM YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES!
·Seek strategic partnerships/alliances: Consider collaborating with complementary businesses or forming strategic alliances. This can help you pool resources, share costs, and reach a broader customer base without significant financial investments. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, business groups and attend networking events.
·Focus on profitability: Build a sustainable business model that prioritizes profitability. This might involve adjusting pricing, refining your target market, diversifying revenue streams, or introducing cost-saving measures. Once you have a proven model guess what – this may be a good time to say good-bye to that dreadful FT job =)
Remember, self-funding a business can be challenging, and there may be limitations to how much you can invest. It’s important to carefully manage your finances, explore cost-effective strategies, and be adaptable to changes in the market. As your business grows, you may consider exploring external funding options to accelerate expansion, but self-funding can provide you with more control and ownership in the early stages. At about a year after opening V&H I decided to take the leap and run my business Full-time. Self-funding your business is not easy but it can be done!