Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans launch their own businesses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administation (SBA), in 2010, there were 27.9 million small businesses in the U.S. The majority of these – more than 75% – were identified by the government as “non-employer” businesses, meaning that the owner is the only person working at the business.
The odds of success are long. Only about half of new businesses survive for five years, and only a third remain in operation after 10 years. Despite this, a small percentage mature into stable small- to mid-sized businesses, while a microscopic fraction becomes the stuff of legends – like Apple or Hewlett-Packard, companies born in garages that ultimately ascended to the highest ranks of American business.
Before your business can have any hope of becoming a legend (or even just profitable), you need to find a way to finance its birth. The SBA states that in 2009, the Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation estimated the average cost of starting a new small business in the U.S. to be about $30,000. To estimate what it will cost to launch your business, check out an online startup cost calculator, such as the one provided by Entrepreneur.com. While the number may seem shockingly high, today’s entrepreneurs have a wide range of options when it comes to financing startups.
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