Starting a Business When All You Have Left is a Credit Card

Ralph was tired of his work as an engineer. The work was steady, but the income, though adequate, was limited. Like most, he was living month to month. So he quit his job and invested $20,000 on a credit card to open his consulting firm. He earned over $500,000 in his fourth year.
Jim had a dream, a couple of friends and a credit card with $300 left on it. Rather than despair, he decided to go into business for himself. He took his mother’s old green coat, a ping pong ball, a couple of sticks and made a hybrid cross between a hand puppet and a marionette. He called it a Muppet and named the lizard Kermit. (He later changed it into a frog.) The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Several people are facing the same issue Jim Henson did years ago. Faced with job loss and doubts, what will you do with your life? You can search for that elusive perfect job, and once again, but your future in someone else’s hands, or you can take control of your life and create your own future.
I don’t believe any small business consultant would ever recommend a client start a new business with only a credit card and no reserve of operating capital. I surely would not. However, history has shown that there is more to start up capital than money. Individuals with creative ideas, strong drive and a refusal to fail have proven that some can succeed on pure chutzpah.
For those leaving the corporate world, there is often some 401k money that can be rolled over into a new business. If set up correctly, you can fund your new business with retirement funds without paying taxes or penalties. Others may find funding difficult. I always recommend an individual’s first business be a franchise. The proven system, training and support often make the difference between success and failure for the new entrepreneur. But franchise fees alone can keep those with limited startup capital from opening a business. I often help those with limited funds find franchises that offer in house financing so new businesses can be launched on the proverbial shoe string. There are also national trademarked brands that can be joined without franchise fees or royalties and still receive the training and support usually reserved for franchises.
Whether you are considering a low cost franchise or a trademarked brand, entrepreneurism is not for the faint of heart. But with a solid system and strong support, even the shoe string business can thrive. Just add indomitable spirit.
“Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling. May each of yours be that – having each of you as a child of mine has certainly been one of the good things in my life. Know that I’ve always loved each of you with an eternal, bottomless love. A love that has nothing to do with each other, for I feel my love for each of you is total and all-encompassing. Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It’s a good life, enjoy it.” Jim Henson