Five Funding Sources for Startup: Customers

Early Adopters, Licensing, Future, Strategic Partners, Crowd
Go To Comments
OK, let's talk about money.

No matter the reasons you embarked on your startup journey, you're going to need fuel for the engine. Ideas, talent, and technology are crucial, but if they don't lead to cash, you'll be wasting them.

It's money. Money is the fuel.

When I talk about funding, I'm going to ignore your intentions as a founder -- in that, I mean I don't care how noble and altruistic your reasons are for doing what you do. Startup street is littered with the burned out carcasses of enterprises whose founders had the best of intentions, but couldn't or wouldn't focus on making their mission sustainable.

Don't let that be you. You need to be funded.

Funding is the most complex part of startup. How, when, and why you get funded is an individual series of choices, and every startup will take a different path. No one strategy is better than another, but you should definitely have a strategy in place before you raise a dime.

Customers are your primary source of funds. I can't state this emphatically enough so I'll just repeat it a number of different ways.

I'm not leading off this series on funding with venture capital or angel investing or friends and family money or even self-funding. While all of those are certainly valid and important, and I'll get to all of them, the value brought by money from all of those sources is completely eclipsed by the value brought by money from customers.

In fact, you can start your company without ever raising money from any of those four other sources. You can't survive without revenue, and you should be in this mindset from the very beginning.

There. I think I beat that to death, and we can move on.


To Read The Rest, Join the Free Teaching Startup Beta


More content. More interaction. More education. Sign up here to get a free beta account for Teaching Startup and get instant access to this and every article on the site.

Email Address
Caveat: By joining, you'll opt-in to our weekly email update. It's valuable, and it's MailChimp, so you can cancel at any time with one click.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
Five Funding Sources for Startup: Venture Capital
Venture Capital investors are firms that manage funds that invest in startups.

When You're an Entrepreneur, Confidence is Everything
Here's another way startup and sports run parallel. When you're an entrepreneur, confidence is everything. When you're an athlete, confidence is everything.

Five Funding Sources for Startup: Angel
Angel investors are individuals who invest in private companies as a part of, or in lieu of, a portfolio of retail investments, like stocks or real estate.

THE SHOW: Hire What You Suck At
As an NFL quarterback, Thad Lewis has a couple of things working in his favor that translate well to becoming an entrepreneur.

Five Funding Sources for Startup: Friends and Family
When we talk about Friends and Family investment, there are a lot of landmines to tiptoe around, and most of them have to do with personal circumstances.




Pick a Topic
Get Educated


Teaching Startup has lessons -- written, video, and audio -- covering 25 important foundational areas of startup: Stages, Roles, Kinds, Funding, and Reasons.

Each lesson on the site covers at least one and up to five of these areas. Pick and choose what you need to know and how you want to learn it.

Click here. Choose a topic. Read, watch, listen, and learn