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One of the most difficult tasks in starting a new business is obtaining necessary start-up capital. There are so many costs associated with starting a business and many people feel overwhelmed at just the thought of striking out on their entrepreneurial pursuits.

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I know numerous talented, creative and hard-working individuals who have come up with an innovative product or idea and/or who can offer services that nobody has ever implemented, but lack the funding and confidence to pursue them alone. Though lack of funding and investors may serve as the biggest hindrance in the edification of such ideas, products and businesses, there are ways to grow a business without actually needing the assistance of outside investors.

As highlighted in a recent openforum.com article, several entrepreneurs give examples of how they built successful businesses by relying only on themselves.

1) Invent What Already Exists, Just Better

Develop a product or service that is so high in quality, you are able to ask for “bolder price points to match the quality” of what you are offering. It is about believing in your product and service and making others believe in it as well.

2) Forgo Loans and Investors

Years ago I talked a client out of giving up a piece of her business in order to fund several projects she had in the pipeline. I simply believed she could get through the tough time by herself and also that the potential investor lacked the passion to really push the company to the next level. Though bringing investors on board appears to work for those on “Shark Tank,” if you aren’t certain your investment partner will have the same goals and philosophies as you, then it is not worth the headache.

3) Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Start off with small orders, projects and sales. Small deals can be more profitable than larger ones and they are great stepping stones to eliminate some unnecessary risks while getting your name, products and services to the masses. The more confidence you build in yourself and your products and services, the more you are likely to make better decisions for the future of your company.

4) Accept The Fact That It Is All On You

You will undoubtedly have to take on all of the risks. If you need money to produce your widgets, you will have to invest your own, even if it is at a slow pace. By investing in yourself, you prove to others that you actually believe in and support your own product. Never expect others to do for you and your new business what you are not willing to do for yourself.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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