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Oh money, where art thou?

Ben101Ben101 subscriber Posts: 6
Hi guys,
First post in the forum and my name is Ben. I live in the great state of North Carolina. I am in high school and currently is a rising senior and 16...
I ran a small scale silk screen business. I do quite bit of custom orders and whatnot. I have been trying to get a website started for sometime now and I have contracted about 16 designers and I got several dozens of pretty good t-shirt designs. I started back in March it took me 3 month to raise all the money that I needed for my business, it was about $7,500. I personally never imagined a good t-shirt press +supplies can cost so much.
I would say the business is doing okay. I got a lot of willing friends who help out once in a while but they are all my age, so not exactly loaded with cash. I have a few long term contracts working though and I hope to do better in the future.
Now I want to go further. I am making money but not at a rate that I am happy with. I want to have an actual storefront and an e-commerce site. I been developing a different concept of selling shirts. I been doing a lot thinking and reading lately and I realizd there are a horde of different t-shirt websites out and to survive, you need to be unique. I met with a few local investors over the past few weeks but their responses are lukewarm. I been carefully researching and fine-tuning my business plan for the last few weeks and I personally think that it will be successful. But then again, I am always optimistic.
I would like to have about $20,000 and I got about $2,500 so far from an investor. I think I can really make something happen here. Now my question is where, where do I find the rest of the money? I cannt really do banks since I am under 18 and only had my checking account for a few months.I already got some money from my parents for my original investment and my family isn`t exactly the pinncale of wealth. SBA is a no-no, I called my local SBA-sponsored bank and the lady thought I was playing a bad prank. I do summer jobs in a futile effort to get that amount but the money I am making right now is nowhere near the capital I need. I also tried sites like prosper.com and the first thing it asks is my monthly income and credit rating...
So yeah any suggestions would be awesome.


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    theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    Ben--Welcome to the StartUp Nation. It`s nice to see a young entrepreneur.Unfortunately, finance isn`t really my bag, but, I do have a couple suggestions are: talk to friends and family. That might be a start.Try bootstrapping. Is the 20 grand absolutely necessary. Can you start with that $2,500 and begin on a limited budget.Check out this link: http://www.startupnation.com/pages/start/10Steps.asp</A> and work the system.The section on funding may be particularly helpful.Hope this helps.
    The Swaynester
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    keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    First, Welcome to SuN. I wish I had resources like this when I was your age. Second, congratulations on being a very young entreprenuer. One can feel your excitement in your post. Third, have you read over all the material here on the SuN website offered by the Sloan brothers and their partners?
    If not, I second the above recommendation that you start by reading their 10 Step Plan:
    Putting all of your ideas on paper will make them clearer.
    Keep posting and communicating with the forum. We are here to help.
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    stevesteve subscriber Posts: 14
    I want to have an actual storefront and an e-commerce site.

    Ben, I recommend you start with the eCommerce site. It will cost less
    and will not limit you geographically like a physical location would.
    You can easily do it with the cash you have raised. Having done that
    you may decide that you can make more money online and not have the
    hassle of leasing and staffing a store.

    Good luck
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    wy8162wy8162 subscriber Posts: 3
    Hi, Ben,I would like to say that I feel jealous of your being able to start a business while you are very young. I did not have that chance and was not able to do my own business when I was of your age.So, congratulations!Like you, I tried many times and many investors. And eventually end up with nothing because I have not had enough income yet to attract the investors. So, I decided to use my own fund to start small business first. Capitalism is always looking for already-profitable opportunites. That`s the nature.As Steve said, start from eCommerce first because it is pretty cheap to set up a website or to sell stuffs in eBay.Another work around could be the B2B. For example, you try to use the limitted fund to make some samples and build a website to introduce your products. Then go to a B2B site to post your trade lead. If you are lucky enough to have an order from a client, then you can use that contract to secure the needed fund.But you should be ready for the long lead time and to invest a lot of efforts to find clients. It`s really time and effort consuming. But it is worth trying.Another thing is that you may need to negotiate with your manufacturer to make sure they can produce the products once you have an order instead of waiting for the money. This is important to satisfy your clients with on time delivery.Hope this help a little bit. Good luck.
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    RSchlieperRSchlieper subscriber Posts: 0
    Good for you,
        At your age and having your own business.  I hope it all works out for you. 
        As to "where`s the money" question?  Perhaps I can help! (see link in signature).  This will help you get your business off the ground GUARANTEED!
        Good luck
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    FinteraCapitalFinteraCapital subscriber Posts: 0
    It`s great that you have so much ambition at a young age.  The good thing about starting young is that you will still be young when you succeed.  My hats off to you!
    One way of financing is to find someone to sign a lease for the equipment that you are trying to purchase.  Maybe your parents or other relative.  It will not require them to give you money just sign the paperwork.  It`s a lot to ask for but someone maybe willing.  The other thing would be to bring on a partner who is over 18 and may have money to invest or a source to get it from.  This may be advantageous when needing to sign contracts.  You could even apply for a credit card that would give you the financing you would need.
    Good luck!  
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