You have a great idea for your first business. The next step is financing it—but where and how do you get the money?

Many of the members of Forbes Coaches Council have extensive experience working with entrepreneurs who are just getting their businesses off the ground. Below, 16 of them share their best advice for first-time business owners looking to secure funding. Follow these tips to help you start your new venture off on the right financial foot.

Forbes Coaches Council members offer their best advice for financing your first business.

 PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

1. Find A Start-Up Incubator

Entrepreneurial/start-up incubators are a jackpot of expertise, mentorship, creative collaboration and friendship. Get linked to your city or town’s local offices. Many are funded by the local authority with grants, sponsorship and pitch opportunities. Mentors can help you create and perfect your pitch, and guide you to the best potential funding and angel investors. – Frances McIntoshIntentional Coaching LLC

2. Write Out A Detailed Business Plan

Do what historically works for entrepreneurs who want to attain funding: Write out a full business plan with market data and financial forecasting. Nobody wants to fund one who hasn’t put in the work to know the analytics of the amount of funding required, why and for how long. Research sources of funding in the market, costs and the requirements of them to determine what avenue to pursue first. – Linda ZanderSuper Sized Success

3. Test The Market And Grow Your Revenue

Many wannabe entrepreneurs talk about the need to get funded, but that’s a red flag. Make some money first. Whatever it takes, you need revenue first. Sell your service to test the market first. Never go for funding before you have growing revenue. – Brian M Harman, PhD, MBABusiness Management Hallmark

4. Utilize Crowdfunding Platforms

First-time business owners often lack cash flow. Utilizing crowdfunding websites to raise capital is a smart, inexpensive option. Crowdfunding campaigns are equivalent to yesteryear, door-to-door, grassroots marketing tactics that don’t work well in today’s digital world. Crowdfunding campaigns provide word-of-mouth buzz and increase the likelihood that people will share your business or donate. – Lori A. MannsQuality Media Consultant Group LLC

5. Launch A Pre-Sale Campaign

There’s much visibility for using other people’s money to start a business. But I prefer actual sales to create operational funding and prove market interest. Both are more important ultimate success metrics than others’ willingness to lend or invest. So, pre-sell your services or products to generate income, and don’t yet quit your day job until sales also cover your salary for a safe launch pad. – Dodie JacobiThe Consultant’s Consultant

6. Talk To The Private Equity Community

Private equity money is all around us and we don’t even know it. The only way you may find out about money flow in or near where you work and what you work on is to have a conversation with people who see what you cannot see. One group of people you could focus on is private equity companies or investors. This group is comprised of funds and investors you could get to know and get keen insights. – John M. O’ConnorCareer Pro Inc.

7. Start Building Your Savings

Entrepreneurs can get caught up in “live your passion” and “focus on one thing” messages, causing them to quit their job prematurely. It is important to be “all in” but critical to vet out and establish some proof of concept before you leave your job or ask others to invest. A great approach is to aggressively save to support getting the concept together and then work to find partners and investors. – Christy Geiger MCC, CPCCSynergy Strategies Coaching & Training

8. Keep Your Side Hustle As Long As Possible

Whether it’s a full-time or part-time or contract, don’t stop working on things that are driving revenue until you are 100% sure you are able to financially support yourself in your other venture. While your new business develops, you will need to learn how to split your time and attention to grow your business and establish yourself so that you have enough income for at least two years. – Jessica Miller-MerrellWorkology

9. Seek To Self-Fund First

Though there are many tools and platforms that make fundraising more accessible, there is still a lot to be said about self-funding. A self-funded company tends to signal several positive attributes that are highly desirable, including self-discipline. Though this may not apply to all business environments, it should be the first option to be considered. – Kamyar ShahWorld Consulting Group

10. Leverage Credit

As a new entrepreneur, it can be challenging to find capital to start your innovative idea. Leveraging credit can be one option to jump-start your new idea. Look for zero-interest credit cards and low-interest loans. This could be a good source of funding to help you in the beginning. – Brian TaitBrian Tait International

11. Ask For In-Kind Support

Everyone knows how hard it is to raise capital, even with a sound business plan and a cracker-jack presentation. Support may be easier to source when your idea is in its infancy. For example, a new private catering business might seek to find a seasoned chef to be a mentor as well as allow the use of their commercial kitchen for a few months. This tactic allows you to either win or fail fast! – Karan RhodesShockingly Different Leadership

12. Explore A Joint Venture

Ideas are worthless without execution. The fastest way to gain traction, credibility and influence are with sales. I’d do a launch with a partner who already owns relationships in the market you want to sell in. With a sales letter or sales video, it’s possible to generate hundreds of thousands or millions in sales with low risk. Then go raise money with proof! – Mike KoenigsMikeKoenigs.com

13. Prepare Your Pitch

I can’t count the number of entrepreneurs I come in contact with who don’t have a proper pitch deck and website, which is the front-end setup for their business. Even if it’s an idea, pitch it properly with a sense beyond an idea written on a napkin. If you have to explain it verbally and have nothing visual and easy for an investor to comprehend, you’re not ready to receive funding. – Michelle TegolaiTribe Social

14. Build A Pipeline

Investors will want to see your pipeline, and a database that is clear can help—even if you don’t have closed deals yet.  The money you invest helps investors know you are willing to put money in even if it’s not a lot—it’s about shared responsibility. Check out local pitchfests where prizes are often cash for funding with no strings attached. – Maresa FriedmanExecutive Cat Herder

15. Investigate Local Resources And Training Programs

There are several local resources designed to help you get your business idea off the ground. Your local chamber of commerce most likely has Kiva loans. Many cities have entrepreneurial training programs that have a pitch competition at the end where you can win funds to jump-start your business. Small business owners, especially ones of color or women, can truly benefit from the extra resources. – Dorothy EnriquezThe Communication Strategist

16. Create Personal Value Through Personal Financing

Personal financing of your first business offers new entrepreneurs full ownership and control of their business. This approach also supports an owner who is disciplined and prioritizes their strategies based on budgets and financials. The accountability factor plays into the motivation to create true value and key activities that will sustain the company’s growth over time. – Lori HarrisHarris Whitesell Consulting

Source: https://bit.ly/2RKSc7z