This article appeared first in the Huffington Post Small Business Blog on June 23, 2013.
“Money makes the world go around, of that we can be sure,” sang Alan Cummings in the popular stage play “Cabaret.” Certainly, the half-million Americans starting new businesses in 2012 have reason to suspect the truth of those lyrics since raising capital, whether to fund a new technological marvel or open a franchised restaurant, is one of the most challenging aspects of starting a new business.
Unfortunately, the need for capital never ends. This means that understanding how to find and shake the “money tree” is critical. And before you begin your search, there are a number of crucial questions you must ask yourself – and answer.
Salaries and wages are one of the largest costs of every company, and are often the most difficult to control. But changing compensation is touchy for those who are affected, so it is important to handle the changes with compassion, truth, and firmness.
One way to do this is to identify your key employees and get their commitment to your plans before you implement them. Companies that reduce compensation or fire employees without considering other methods to increase productivity or reduce costs invariably suffer from poor morale, indifferent customer relations, and further declines in sales, potentially falling into a downward spiral from which there is no recovery.
The following tips will lead you through a difficult, though necessary process to ensure your company is positioned to survive and thrive in any economic environment.
The old adage, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” is no longer valid, and may never have been true in the first place. There are literally thousands of inventions and new products sitting in garages, workshops, and laboratories across the country, and they will never see the light of day simply because the inventor, lacking the capital to manufacture and market his idea with his own resources, is unable to attract investors.
Though there must be a way to find the money to back such a project, where can you turn to look for guidance?