The half-measure does not escape the entrepreneurial world. While some imagine them to be wealthy, masters of the world, others see the entrepreneur without a penny, struggling to finance his projects. And in the middle, how do we do it?
The reality is fortunately different today, and there are now many financing solutions to launch its activity, even if we will discuss here solutions especially suited to the digital professions and start-ups:
- Support networks for business creation : networks such as Initiative England or Réseau Entreprendre are great springboards, both in terms of advice and support (it is possible to be helped by sponsors, current or former leaders, who provide you with all their experience), but also financing (via honor loans in particular);
- The banks : they have bad press, of course, and depending on the type of service (especially for intangible services), it is not easy to convince them. However, if you obtain an honorary loan from a body mentioned above, the bank loan will be easier to obtain;
- The subsidies : the choice of grouping financing and business assistance solutions under the BPI brand has made it possible to clarify the message, and to propose simplified mechanisms. The French Tech grant is a good example, whose vocation is to support the investment of innovative French companies. But beyond the BPI, regional councils, cities, and different communities are increasingly developing this type of mechanism, either to attract talent in their fold, or to support projects at the heart of the local economy. , able to participate in the influence of the region. Think about it;
- Crowdfunding : crowdfunding popular, with platforms like Kisskissbankbank (for BtoC, probably the most popular branch) or Wiseed (for BtoB, where there are fewer platforms even if things have accelerated in recent months) to name just two. It is particularly suitable for innovative, artistic projects, etc. and can provide funding ranging from a few hundred euros to several million (one of the latest examples to date with Prynt is a great illustration of a project that has greatly exceeded its funding expectations, and a good proof of the enthusiasm and the usefulness of crowdfunding platforms);
- Relatives : you may be alone, it is not excluded to call on your loved ones to help you finance your activity. It’s a great solution for integrating loved ones into your project, making them aware of your approach, and obtaining additional funding which will also reassure outside investors or banks.
Financing isn’t everything, and getting good checks won’t get you more customers if you don’t know what to do with it or if you’re using it the wrong way. Better to be surrounded by nice entrepreneurs who advise you, than nice bankers who finance you … 😉
The locals, the residents
This is particularly true for freelancers who can still be imagined working in their living room, in their pajamas, or in a bar, alone (snif). Here too, customs change and loneliness is no longer a characteristic of the freelance profession. Luck especially in incubators and coworking spaces which have experienced a boom in recent years, and whose offer is constantly increasing everywhere in England (and in the world).
In Paris alone, we went from a few spaces in 2012 (less than 10) to several tens in 2015 in just 3 years! Mutiny or La Cordée are now among the pioneers and are fine examples of bringing together entrepreneurs, whose synergies make it possible to create real communities where skills, expertise, business relationships, or just a few drinks are exchanged. A strong trend that has only just started, and which profoundly changes the vision of the freelance profession (while dropping some fears related to solo work and the loss of social relationships when you cross the barrier) .
The sharing of experience is more recent and echoes the introduction of the collaborative economy in BtoB. The creation of a network, and all the more so knowing how to surround yourself with people who can respond to your entrepreneurial problems, has become a major issue for many of them. A guarantee, or at least a precious help for those who want to make the right decisions, and meet the person (s) who will make them advance in their business.
This concerns both the search for freelancers for full services as Odesk or Hopwork can offer, as well as for specific and targeted questions like Avisi (specializing in advice by one shot telephone). A strong trend there too, which aims to open up networks and allow an entrepreneur (whether he just started or not) to be able to find the right person at the right time. The one who will answer her question with a tailor-made answer, and who will save her months of thinking, if it is not money (or very often both).
This is enough to fuel reflections on the loneliness of the entrepreneur, even if this should not hide the fact that you remain in control and responsible for your decisions.