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Funding a Startup Biz

Plan B: Build Yourself Up

Since a micro loan won't meet your immediate needs and other traditional financing options aren't available to you right now, go to Plan B. Plan B usually takes a little longer than your original plan, but it’s still a good way to obtain your goal of getting money for your magazine startup.

For now, work on building credibility and image for your magazine or newsletter. If you belong to a professional organization that has a newsletter, ask if you can contribute as a writer. If you're close to a women’s business center or community organization and they don’t have a newsletter, ask if you can develop one. If they already have a newsletter, offer your expertise. Many times, organizations have a newsletter where the writers have trouble coming up with story ideas or they don’t have a newsletter because they don’t have the staff to develop one. Whatever the reason may be, step up and let them know you're up for the task. This will give you some very beneficial experience while getting you some exposure.

If you have writers and other contributors that really want to inspire other people, get them to work with you to get this up and running. If they truly want to share their ideas and encourage various individuals, ask them to serve as role models for those examples of true inspiration. Working as a team, you may be able to get many more goals accomplished. A true team that shares your same drive will make the extra effort to work together and walk the same path… the path of success!

Your Business Plan

Before jumping into the sea of entrepreneurship -- as I’m certain you realize from your experience with your retail store -- you have plenty of steps to climb. The first step, however, is your business plan. If you haven’t started to develop one for your magazine idea, do that right away. If you have one for your retail store, use it as a "format." If you don’t have one for your retail store, develop one.

Your business plan is your map or game plan. It tells you how to get to point A, point B and later, point C. Without it, you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there. Determine your purpose, your objective, action items on how to reach that point, and what to do once you get there.

Go to your local Small Business Development Center (funded by the SBA), which is usually located at your local university and get free assistance in the development of this plan. Your plan will tell you how much capital you truly need because it’ll force you to break things down. You’ll develop a capital equipment list whereby you can see what items are absolutely necessary for you to have to start your magazine, thereby leaving the "luxury items" for a later date when you’re much more prepared financially.

You’ll also have opportunity to seek an audience and find out whether or not the interest is truly there. Many times, you can work with your local university’s marketing department and ask them to assist you with the development of a survey. Let them know what it’s for, what your goals are, and you might even find a professor who will use that as a class project.

In doing so, the students are challenged to put together a great project and obtain results; results that you can get and use for your plan. This survey will also let you determine if a magazine like you have in mind is already out there. If it is, ask if they’d like to expand it or simply contribute as a freelance writer. Either way, it will allow you to inspire others as you’re seeking to do. It’s your job to use your sales techniques to get the professor to work with you on this. Once he/she buys in, you can count on having some significant results for your plan. continued

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