Money is an incredibly important piece of starting up a new business, something I’m sure most entrepreneurs appreciate. But it’s not the only thing.
There’s an argument circulating—more insistently since the recession, I would hazard—that entrepreneurs should worry less about money and more about pushing their ideas forward. This is appealing to entrepreneurs the country over, who aren’t likely to be sitting on a lot of cash and could use the encouragement. And to an extent, it’s true.
After all, the business journals are filled to the brim with stories of businesses who have made it big through a brilliant idea and sheer force of will. It takes deeply committed people to craft a winning business strategy, and without that strategy and a lot of hard work, you don’t really have a lot of use for the money in the first place.
But you do need cash, and that’s where the argument falls a little short. Whether it’s a bank loan or working capital*, at some point in a business’s lifespan you’re going to need financing to get it off the ground. That’s especially true for those entrepreneurs who are working other jobs just to make ends meet. It’s a big risk, and everyone should have realistic expectations going into it.
So it’s a little too pie-in-the-sky for my tastes to say money should be last on your priority list, but the underlying message is as sound and as can-do American as anything you’ll hear these days. Never forget that you need money to launch a business, but don’t let it to consume you.
Have you started a business in your lifetime? Tell us about the experience.
*Working capital not available in the following states: AK, DE, ND, VT