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    Young entrepenuer needs help with a start up..


    I'm new here and have been looking around to find a answers but have come up short. I like to consider myself a 22 year old entrepenuer and nursing student who has a great idea for a business but not the funding and experience to get the ball rolling. I have the domain, facebook and twitter along with a 10 slide powerpoint to give a brief overview of how the business will work with how the homepage, sign-up/log in and a few other basic things will look. but anyway. I found this site while looking for help to get my business idea rolling and figured it won't hurt to ask.

    1. There is a "business bout" in my area that entrepreneurs and small business owners under 1 year old can submit there idea and have a chance to win 5k to kick start your business. Should i submit my idea?

    2. I feel like i should try and file a patent but i hear they cost alot of money(that I don't have)

    3. Should i try and submit my idea to a venture capital firm and get funding? My family doesn't have the funds to help me and I'm sure my bank won't give me the money and i would feel bad asking a friends weathy parents to try and help.

    4. I have no business background and not really sure where to start. I have the idea down and there is less then a handful of competitors that I have found searching all over the internet. I would just like to have someone who has started there own business give me a few pointers on where to start..

    Thanks, R
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    1. There is a "business bout" in my area that entrepreneurs and small business owners under 1 year old can submit there idea and have a chance to win 5k to kick start your business. Should i submit my idea?
    Why wouldn't you?

    2. I feel like i should try and file a patent but i hear they cost alot of money(that I don't have)
    What would you be patenting (generally speaking, you don't need to post specifics)? You can't patent just an idea. Also the fact that you've found competitors already strongly suggests that there would be prior art even if you had something that was patentable.

    3. Should i try and submit my idea to a venture capital firm and get funding? My family doesn't have the funds to help me and I'm sure my bank won't give me the money and i would feel bad asking a friends weathy parents to try and help.
    How much money are you looking for?
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    Originally Posted by Spad
    Ah USB, the only rectangular connector where you have to make 3 attempts before you get it the right way around
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    I just don't want someone to beat me to the chase for my business idea if I would win and I'm really not sure how much cash I would need. For the patent I've done alot of research and think it's do-able. I plan to start it in Pittsburgh and if successful branch out or maybe franchise to other cities, but thats down the road. thanks
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    Well the first step is figuring out how much capital you need. No investor or lender is going to write you a blank check nor are they going to know how much you need better than you do. With the information you've given there's really no way for us to know how much you need either.

    Do you need to rent physical space for the business? How much space? What does that space cost in locations where you would want to do business? Do you need to purchase equipment or office supplies? How much equipment and how expensive is it? Do you need to hire employees? How many and how skilled do they need to be (ie: how much do you need to pay them)? What forms of advertising would reach your target customer base best? How much does that advertising cost? Do you have any material costs? Do you need to purchase insurance? If so, how much would that cost?

    Generally speaking you're looking at three sorts of costs here: the initial startup costs like equipment, the fixed monthly costs like wages and rent, and the variable costs of materials which scale depending on how much business you do. The startup costs are obviously a starting point for how much money you need, but you shouldn't expect the business to be profitable right away. You need a buffer for your fixed monthly costs and variable costs. How long do you think it will take to turn a profit? How many months and how many units (if you're producing units).

    You're completely justified in not going into specifics, I certainly wouldn't either, but it does mean that these are questions you're going to have to research and answer yourself. They vary drastically depending on the business and no two businesses are the same.

    After you know how much you think you need you're in a much better position to actually make decisions. Can you start it with only 5k? If so they try your damnedest to win that contest. Do you need 10k? Maybe look for a loan. Do you need 100k? Look for venture capital. Do you need 1000k? Maybe give up (or if your idea is spectacular look for venture capital). Do you need 1000000k? Put the idea on the back burner for another 20 years and start an extremely successful business doing something else.

    (Be aware though that you might have to sacrifice a lot of control over your idea if you go the venture capital route. On the flip side, a majority of small businesses fail and you could put yourself into debt with a loan.)

    (Also I'd just like to point out that 1000000k isn't a pie-in-the-sky figure; if you were doing something like starting a semiconductor fabrication plant your capital costs alone would easily be in the billions.)

    Comments on this post

    • terriwells agrees : Awesome answer!
    PHP FAQ

    Originally Posted by Spad
    Ah USB, the only rectangular connector where you have to make 3 attempts before you get it the right way around

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