When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were starting out while working out of a California garage, they weren't thinking about marketing, distribution networks, product lines, insurance and the millions of other things that large corporations handle.
Instead, they focused on building the best computers they could and finding a few people who might want to buy them. All that other stuff came later.
In other words, they weren't worried about ultimately building Apple out--they just wanted to reach the next stage.
That's a lesson that applies to the financing world.
Companies looking for financing often make the mistake of trying to line up enough money that will pay for several stages of development instead of just lining up money for their next phases of growth.
For one thing, lenders simply aren't going to lend that much money -- no matter how convincing the business plan is or how sexy the product or service itself appears, to most companies -- especially start-ups and other small businesses.
Second, and more importantly, no management team can say with any degree of certainty just exactly how their business will grow and develop. A lot of things happen accidentally--the discovery of penicillin is a famous example--or not at all.
And in an increasingly fast-paced world, things changes rapidly. The fax machine was an office godsend at first, but when's the last time you used one? What seems like a sure thing today may be folly by 2020.
Consider financing as a journey instead of the end game, and your results are sure to be better.
By pursuing financing in bite-sized pieces, you also will do better with lenders. That's because you'll have a handle on your immediate needs and can more effectively present your case.
Meantime, there's less risk for a lender, who will adopt a "show me" stance, especially for newer clients. At the same time, you'll be building a relationship with a lender who may well be eager to assist your future needs if your initial lending foray is successful.
Being an entrepreneur requires some degree of risk-taking, but there are times its prudent to go the safer route. Take your time when it comes to financing.