If you don’t think you have even money to start out on your own business venture, it’s probably true. So, in that case, my advice is don’t start your own company just yet. Too many businesses start out undercapitalized, and it’s downhill all the way from there. Making matters worse is securing a loan from a bank, which is very difficult. Banks do not like lending money to small businesses.

So what are your options if you still want to start out on your own or take your business to the next level?

You could go out and look for private funding, but there’s a skill needed to go after investors.

You’ll need:

  • A quality presentation and solid plan
  • Prospects you can present your concept to.
  • To be smart about what you ask for and what you intend to do with the money.

Financing is not easy to come by, and it requires a lot of hard work, and knocking on doors to make it happen.

Before you begin, do some simple arithmetic:

  • Estimate your operating costs for the first year, add whatever you need to pay yourself (potentially $0), and then figure out how much of your product or service you’ll sell to cover that amount. This will give you a baseline of your financial requirements.
  • Look at the quantity of products or services you need to sell and assess whether it’s reasonable. If it isn’t, reduce it to what you believe will be achievable. You may now be showing a loss. These basic numbers do not take into account when you will need access to cash to pay for capital expenditures and other overhead expenses.

You should definitely take your cash requirements into consideration before coming up with the amount you need to either launch your new venture or grow your existing business.

Here are a couple of routes you can consider pursuing but I invite you to see the entire list of options outlined in my book, Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs, and evaluate them individually.


If you can finance your business without borrowing money or bringing in investors kudos to you, and I highly suggest taking this path. If you truly believe in your business concept, you may want to consider the liquidation of your personal assets. Just an idea.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

If you’re not willing to invest money in your own business, then you might want to reconsider your options. I do apologize for being brutally honest, but this reality check is imperative. Believe it or not, I went four years without getting a paycheck from Paychex. It’s just the reality of starting a business!


Originally published on Quora.

A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs.

Paychex Founder, Tom Golisano shares the hard-won lessons from his entrepreneurship journey in Built Not Born, a guide to growing a company to any size by going against the grain like he did.

Learn More