Number eight on our “Starting a Gym 101” list: Decide on any financing you will need and how you will get it. In other words…show me the money!
For startup businesses, this can be one of the biggest obstacles in getting off the ground. Funding is a challenge for almost every small business, and this especially includes cheer/gymnastics facilities. The space and ceiling height requirements for a gym make the start-up cost even more than a regular new business.
A few ideas for financing your start-up:
1. Work a second job to fund business (check CheerProfessional’s upcoming winter issue for more on this!)
2. Major in business, as some business schools can provide connections to help a business get started
3. Ask a friend or relative
4. Dip into personal savings
5. Apply for and secure a bank loan
6. Approach individual investors
7. Go for a government-guaranteed loan
8. Try websites like www.gofundme.com (or similar sites)
9. Work with venture capital firms (angel investors, etc…)
Using personal funds is the most common, and few banks will loan to people who are not risking some of their own personal funds too. While it may feel as if it’s impossible to start a business without having your own deep pockets or knowing someone who does, loans do exist and—with good preparation—are even relatively easy to get.
When seeking external funding, being prepared is essential. Write a business plan, have your financial statements ready to go, line up your references, develop a clear definition of what your business is and look at your credit rating, financial history and business planning; these are all things lenders consider in awarding loans.
Visit http://www.sba.gov for more information on Small Business Loans.
–Stephanie Beveridge and Carrie Harris