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You look to the sky and imagine a world full of possibility. A world in which success, wealth and the feeling of personal fulfillment that has eluded you throughout your career are within your grasp. You have the perfect business plan in mind. You’ve done the market research and after hours of sifting through reams of quantitative and qualitative data you’ve ascertained a quantifiable interest in your product or service. You’ve probably even set up the necessary social media accounts, hired a freelancer to design a logo, established a rudimentary online presence and laid the foundations upon which you can build your brand. Your business is like a fledgling bird just waiting to take off and soar. Unfortunately, there’s a house brick called finance tied to its slender little ankle. Image by Flickr
It can be hugely frustrating when your comprehensive business plan is rejected time and again by banks and other business lenders. When door after door slams shut in your face it can be oh-so-tempting to simply abandon your dream. But maybe the answer doesn’t lie in trying to match the height and velocity of those 747s, maybe you need to simply scale back your business in order to start to fly. Given time and appearance, your little sparrow of a business may evolve into a soaring eagle…
You likely imagine your business as a fully formed and thriving operation with offices in New York, London, and Tokyo. While it may well be that, that level of growth only comes from years of upscaling. Pare away all the window dressing and think about what you want your business to be at its core. Can it be done entirely in the digital realm? If you have an idea for a store, does it need to have a robust physical presence or could it be run as a concession within a larger store or even entirely through e-commerce.
Do you need a prestigious city center address with an in-house receptionist and a bean to cup coffee machine? These tend to be very expensive and require prohibitively long lease periods of at least two years. Instead, look for offices for rent with shorter lease terms that are scalable to the number of people in your operation. Perhaps you could even forego a physical workspace in favor of a virtual office.
While your original business plan may have necessitated a physical presence, is there any way that you could scale it down to exist (at least temporarily) in the digital realm. E-commerce platforms are cheap and easy to use, and there are a wealth of solutions to boost your online business that cost less than a daily latte to go. If you can prove to a financier that you’ve been able to trade, grow your brand and establish a loyal clientele within the digital realm, they’ll likely be much more amenable to the idea of lending you the capital you need to branch out into the physical realm.