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    8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 2, 2009 12:58 PM by snipes119

    Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital

    graphixguy Newbie
      Hey, my name is Brian and I'm an extremely motivated 21 year old thats attending full-time college and I started a Graphic Design and Video Production company not too long ago. What would anyone recommend for funding because I am exhausting every available resource to cover start up costs and set up to the point where I am personally strapped with credit debt because lets face it, most 21 year olds have limited opportunities and connections in starting something like this without borrowing from parents, friends etc. My operating costs are covered with what I have struggled to make now (computers,video cameras and equipment, travel, time) but I have next to no capital to work with for getting new products and Ideas out so I'm struggling to stay afloat much less grow. I have a list of ideas and a very organized business plan of what my intentions are and where I plan to be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years. I have currently been somewhat successful in making the business grow but i've hit a wall when it comes to funding as I am paying for all my own college and all the expenses that come with it. Being a graphic designer helps me tremendously because I handle all of my own marketing and advertising, the only problem is that I can't get the ideas out because the media (posters, web ads, etc) to reach any decent number of clients is more than I can handle right now. Any advice would be excellent at this point because I can see the steps I need to take but I just cant foot the bill to take them.

      Thank you.
      Brian Evans
      CEO Spiked Industries Inc.
      www.spikedindustries.com
        • Re: Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital
          MyCapital.com Wayfarer
          you might be able to get more customers by registering as a elance.com service provider. we hire some graphic people from that website. the thing is that you need to compete with indian graphic designers who bid on projects with very low costs. but one thin is good is that you can hire some junior designers from that website and train them while you spend more time getting more customers.

          another way to get more business might be through a press releases.

          you might want to consider improve your work quality and retain only a few BIG clients and get more repeat businesses.
          • Re: Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Start-up advice, Welcome Brian

            Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE is FREE and can help.

            I also like the idea of a press release as "MyCapital" mentioned. If you do something for charity, your local newspaper might run the press release which is FREE publicity.

            I personally sponsored a local little league baseball team. Not only were the kids wearing my logo on their shirts all summer long, but the newspaper ran a story about my company.

            Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital
              MoveForward Scout
              Brian....you have a great web site, it is clear as to what you
              do and the excellent work you produce.

              I have two suggestions...

              First, keep your eye open for
              Small Business Contests. For example Office Depot Small
              Business Contest, Yahoo Small Business Contest (starts
              again Oct.4th), and so on. Only enter in the ones you
              know are rep. companies. Prizes run from prize money,
              marketing, etc. best of all it also gives you exposure with
              a great write up and perhaps a investor will take notice.

              Second, start looking to others to invest their time in your
              vision. Another word, you can not any longer do it alone.
              Take if from me I did the same and almost lost having a
              successful business not to mention my health.
              If you are near a college talk to the graphic arts
              department about sending you students (Interns) and have
              them fill in your gaps so you can work out your ideas. You
              will have to fill out paperwork (work performance forms) on
              them but they have the drive to learn and they understand
              your field. Perhaps some may even open your second
              location in their home town state! Ask your family and
              friends to assist you until Dec. 1st. this will give you time
              to come up for air, regroup and this time frame will not
              be overwhelming to the family and friends and understandable.
              Talk to them as you did us and see if any
              part of what you need help with they can do (bet your
              Mom or other could help doing the invoices and billing).

              Third: Use your age to your advantage!!!! Contact magazine
              publishers (ask Dad or other to assist you with this),all the
              morning talk shows, etc. let them know "in today's economy,
              I am not letting this stop me I am a 21 year old juggling
              school while spending every waking minute on a
              business". When they contact you mention in the
              interview you are ready to grow and you will soon
              be looking for CAPITOL (do not mention you already have).
              The right person will notice and contact you. Another
              option, start thinking out-of-the box...do you know someone
              you can approach and ask them to invest in your company.
              They get to write-off there investment, you give them
              a percentage of profit and pay back the balance or offer
              them a percentage of the company for their investment.
              Making them the silent money investor while your the
              brains. Perhaps you can talk to a successful local
              auto dealer, or someone within your industry, even family
              or friend.

              Always remember...go through the walls, around the curves,
              over the hurtles and know when to take the forks in the road.
              This will lead you to success.

              My Best to you. Hope this helped.
              • Re: Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital
                vistasad Adventurer
                You have probably not been looking at your cash flow properly. Scale down ideas and work with those which yield steady returns. After that you can scale up your ideas.
                • Re: Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital
                  ontiversmo Wayfarer
                  Hi Brian,

                  It's refreshing to hear your story and how far you've come, only to realize the brick wall in front of you. May I suggest you join your local Chamber of Commerce? Attend 6 months worth of the mixers, and be sure to bring along a short version of your portfolio. I can nearly guarantee you'll find some business there. From as small as designing a business card to perhaps as large as coordinating the branding image of a company.

                  Are you leveraging social networking? What a great way to show off your portfolio to many people. Make a direct appeal to each and every person in your online social network to share your portfolio with their own network, asking if anyone is in need of your (cheap at first) services. Create a facebook group that is by you, but about your company. Ask your friends to become fans of your "group". Your group page can be littered with your portfolio.

                  Stop by all the coffee shops in your area, there's usually a bunch of business cards laying around. Jot down all the cards details you can. Email each one to introduce yourself, make sure you let 'em know you saw their card at "XX" coffee shop. Offer to direct them to your web page / social networking site. Make a direct call to action - let them know you're immediately available for their projects.

                  Feel free to contact me for more advice on how to cheaply get your ideas out to market.

                  Kind Regards,
                  Steve Ontiveros
                  Resource Business Partners, Inc.
                  wefactor.com
                  • Re: Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital
                    phanio Pioneer
                    Brian,

                    There is a gentleman in this forum (name is Doug Dolan) under the name thesologuide that can help you better design your business. Thus, instead of just trying to rasie more funds - you might be able to reduce expenses by better managing your operations - thus, you will need to raise less funds over the long run. You might want to visit his site - http://thesologuide.com/

                    Business Money Today
                    www.businessmoneytoday.com/Categories/Info_LLOC.html
                    • Re: Young entrepreneur needs start-up advice and capital
                      snipes119 Wayfarer
                      As far as funding your website promotion you should use free methods. Create articles put them on your website and submit them to free article directories. Go to message forums where your services are relevant and reply to posts. Where appropriate place your link to allow people find out more information about your company.

                      Find out more tips about web traffic generation and how to "pre-sell" your products at my website http://www.theeasyincomepro.com_+*