How to start a business with very little money

Small-business people can find the cash they need to grow without going hat in hand to reluctant bankers, pleading with relatives or pandering to venture investors. They can, in fact, launch a business with almost nothing but salesmanship and the willingness to take a risk.

How? By financing the company with their customers’ cash.

It isn’t a new idea—in fact, variations on the strategy have been used by many savvy businesses, from Microsoft to Banana Republic to eBay, as they grew from upstarts to household names. But many entrepreneurs who have gotten an earful of the conventional wisdom on financing may not realize that there are alternatives out there, and just how simple those alternatives can be to implement, especially when they can use the Internet to improve their reach and keep down overhead.

John Mullins, an associate professor at London Business School, is the author of “The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your Company with Your Customers’ Cash.”

 To read the full article written for The Wall Street Journal, click here

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