You have recently published Target Funding: A Proven System to Get the Money and Resources You Need to Start or Grow Your Business. What need were you seeing in the marketplace that prompted you to write this book?
There were three needs I was seeing that prompted the book.
The first need was to target the necessary funds (including grants) and resources to a particular situation, product, service, or business model. For example, targeting funds and resources to a women-owned business in Boise, Idaho that has a social media platform geared at stay-at-home moms is quite different than targeting funds and resources to a women-owned technology start-up in NYC that is focused on a gaming platform geared at improving communication for children with Autism.
The second need was to identify funds and resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses that may not currently meet the standard bank’s requirements. For example, a single mom with a credit score of 515 with no collateral that was interested in getting a small seed fund for her food cart business may not be eligible for a bank loan.
The third need was to support others business models (product development firms) that typically may have a hard time obtaining funds and resources. Everyday inventors and innovators come up with new ideas to better solve a problem and bring their idea from ideation to commercialization. The challenge of new product development companies is often they are met with funding and resource challenges at the ideation or prototype stage prior to product validation.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for women seeking to launch a small business in midlife and beyond?
The first challenge is ensuring that women are mitigating their financial risks as much as possible in order to be successful in their small businesses. When you are 20 years old, you have a lot more time to recover from a failed business venture than when you are 50 years old. Possible opportunities to mitigate the risk of startup failure may be to consider a franchised-based business or purchasing an existing business with an established customer base.
The second challenge is ensuring that women are building a financial portfolio that supports a successful retirement. Unfortunately, most women do not forecast enough retirement savings and so it is necessary to build a business that can also forecast paying into a retirement plan. I often counsel that it doesn’t have to be a job or a small business as one can have both. An opportunity to consider may be building a part-time side hustle while you are employed and then transitioning full-time once the business can sustain itself.
What is your top advice for those seeking to launch a business and secure funding from a third party?
The top advice is to understand that targeting funds is about diversifying your funding needs so that you can mitigate your risk and maximize your funding results. When most entrepreneurs think about securing funding from a third party, they presume it needs to be one third-party as opposed to many third-party funds that can support the business. The key is to understand the uses of the funds so that you can target the third-party funder and resources successfully.
What resources do you recommend for these first-time entrepreneurs?
Here are a few of my favorite resources targeted for first-time entrepreneurs.
One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work by Stephen Key is great for inventors and inventions.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris is great for creating your ideal life.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau for finding low-cost business ideas.
www.sba.gov the Small Business Administration.
www.awbc.org is the association for all women business centers.
www.uiausa.org is the national association representing all inventor clubs.
www.franchise.org is the international association for franchising.
What services do you provide to help those interested in launching a small business?
Our team is currently working on a Target Funding platform that will allow entrepreneurs to key in specific variables and receive a customized target funding roadmap for their business model.
We are launching a podcast in the next few months to provide targeted knowledge and resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
With the launch of the book, I will be working with a team to help companies with targeted business advising.
What is an example of someone you were able to help?
I have many examples but here is one. I was working with a first-time female entrepreneur who was a single mom. She had started a home-based cleaning business and was gaining a few clients. She had purchased a few supplies but after a few months, she really needed to add more supplies, market her services, and purchase a vehicle. Unfortunately, she didn’t have strong credit or collateral.
Through our advising sessions, I was able to identify a match-savings grant program that allowed her to receive a 3:1 match for every dollar she invested into the program. As a result, she was able to save $3,000 and receive a matched-saving grant for $9,000. She graduated from the program with a $12,000 check that she used to purchase her vehicle, focus on marketing, and obtain the additional supplies. More importantly, she did not have to repay the funds. As a result, her business was able to thrive and provide her and her children with a living family income.
Connect with Kedma Ough
Email or contact form: http://kedmaough.com/contact/
Book: Target Funding: A Proven System to Get the Money and Resources You Need to Start or Grow Your Business
Kedma Ough, MBA is the author of Target Funding: A Proven System to Get the Money and Resources You Need to Start or Grow Your Business. One of today’s most respected authorities on small business funding and entrepreneurship, she is a nationally renowned business coach and funding expert and winner of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Champion of the Year Award. As a small business consultant and educator, she has guided more than 10,000 individuals through a wide range of business advising and is a past contributing writer for Entrepreneur Magazine. When she is not running around as a live superhero, she enjoys time with her family and traveling the world. Ough is a proud fifth-generation entrepreneur.