Create a Strong Plan Before Financing

As much as you’d like to think, money cannot solve all of your problems Just because you have a business idea or even a new company doesn’t mean that you should start looking for funding right away to make it happen. Finding investment takes a lot of time and energy--- and it will take some solid preparation before you’re even ready to start. First things first, prepare yourself and learn how to bootstrap A.K.A. doing things on the cheap to save precious cash.

In the meantime, get a working version of your product or service and write up a business plan so you actually know what you’re doing for the next 3-5 years. The plan should emphasize your actions for the next 12 months. Think of this as your action plan, your map of goals, direction, milestones etc. to help you get from point A to point B and make sure that all of your stakeholders are in alignment. (Here’s a template of a great biz plan that I use.) Funding might be point Z so don’t even worry about it for now. Prep yourself in every way possible way. Throw yourself into your industry as an intern, apprentice, or whatever you can get your hands on to build up experience in your field. Spend your time meeting the right kind of people, whether it’s finding mentors who can give you advice or trusted experts who will be your future board of advisers, build up a network to support yourself. Take care of everything else first and the money will come later when you’re actually ready to spend it smartly.