To have enough money to start; I have a small amount
The absolute best source of money is customers.
The more time you spend with your customers the more you will understand their needs and what they will pay for. If you provide a product or service people want to buy, you have instant cash flow and a proven business model.
A proven business model that has cash flow, and maybe even profits, is a lot easier to fund than an unproven idea.
If you don’t have enough existing capital to provide the initial product or service, then invest in market research—talking to and surveying customers—to document and prove market demand.
Proven market demand with survey results, web site tracking data, signed letters of intent or provisional purchase orders is a lot easier to fund than an unproven idea.
Some basics on funding:
If you don’t take in any external money and retain 100% of the company it’s called “bootstrapping.” Bootstrapping is a very viable option for many business models.
The biggest downside to bootstrapping is that it is extremely challenging to win a big market opportunity unless you take in external money.
The reality of bootstrapping is that it is very hard to build a business through profits alone, even in the best of times.
Most businesses need to take in external funding at some point in their life.
There are two basic types of external funding: