My Library and Courses
Last Update: Thursday September 21, 2017

Bootstrap, Debt or Equity Capital? What will it be?

Sole Proprietors can make money!


  Four Steps to start and run All of us
Step 1. Initial Idea $
Step 2. Start-up $$
Step 3. Incubate $$$
Step 4. Sole proprietor $$$
  Four to run and grow a business orngeldy.gif
Step 5. Employer $$
Step 6. Growth $$$
Step 7. Sustainability $$$$
Step 8. Exit at the top $$$$

Ask Yourself a few Key Questions

1. Focus on order and continuity. 

Focus on the fundamentals of your business.  Have you shared your business plan with your banker? Are you doing any month-end closing?  Are you working with your CPA?

2. Focus on relations and their symmetries.

Are you fair with your family?  ...your employees?  ...your suppliers?  ...your customers?  Are they fair with you?

3. Focus on the dynamics of your business and ways to create more harmony.  

How are you servicing your sub-contractors, your vendors and suppliers, and your customers?  Can you automate some of that functionality? 

4. The Big One:  What's next?  Are you ready to take on an employee?

What is the highest and best use of your time? 


The Online Workshops - Case Studies

Learning through other peoples stories - Metaphors and analogies

To learn something new, we must compare it to things that we know.  But, to really know something, we ask questions.  We look at examples and we explore all the dimensions and relations around that new concept, insight, or information.  As much as possible, we explore how this new information fits in with our history of relations.


The homepage for the section about Money.


Money at Step 4                                  Overview - orientation

Savings, Family-Friends-and-Fools, Retained Earnings, Banks, Angels

You should already have a line of credit from your local bank (See Money 3).  It was probably secured by your home or other tangible asset.  Now you can begin working with banks as a business. 

Every episode of the show touches on some aspect of money. There are over 175 video clips just about money (do a "Text" search under "Find a clip"). 

Have you shared your business plan with key people whom you trust? Once you understand your key critical ratios and you know how yours stand up within your industry, you will know when you can go to a bank for a loan.

Learn who the Risk Management Association (RMA) is. They provide the inside information about ratios to every major bank and financial institution in the USA. If your ratios are too far off the norm, you will continue to have to secure any loan with personal assets.  More... (Opens a new browser)

Do not go further until you have a working business plan.

Credit Cards. Be careful. Here is a discussion about credit cards. Though some of our business owners have financed their start-up on multiple cards, be very cautious. See what one banker, Tricia Maxon, did for her client, Jagged Edge Mountain Gear.

Personal Loan and your local bank. If you have not yet gotten to know a local banker; meet them at a Chamber event or call your local SBDC and get a list of small business-friendly bankers. Find out who the person is within each bank who is most sensitive to the needs of small businesses. Call, make an appointment, and when you meet these people, ask a lot of questions.

You are in the driver's seat. There is plenty of competition for your business. Oh, when you set up an account, always ask about the lowest possible fees.

The SBA-guaranteed Loan. Many of the businesses profiled here started with an SBA-guaranteed loan.  

There are many episodes where their building loan was guaranteed by the SBA.

Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) in your state are especially chartered to help minorities and women.  The largest SBIC in the country is Medallion Funding.

Capital Access Programs is a national effort to make access to capital easier for small business owners.  There are Capital Access Programs in many states. Michigan was the first!  Here is our working list by state.

Angels, investors, and equity capital.

There are many investment groups who would love to have a piece of the action for a young company that is starting out with an extraordinary product.  But with no track record, this money is usually quite expensive.  You might have to give up over 50% of your business for substantial dollars.  Be careful here.  It can be time consuming; and if you become too desperate, you may end up giving your baby away.

Have a great story to tell? Does it teach us something more about one of these ways of raising money? Let us know and we will publish it here.

As we continue to add capabilities to this site, your page could become a hot page. If it does, you will be invited to enliven it with video. 

Eventually we will schedule events so you can meet investors and drop off into individual chat sessions. We are just beginning this project. Want to help out?  Drop us a note.

Go to the discussions in Step 4 and review those case studies.