Plenty of people dream of being entrepreneurs—one recent study found that 66% of millennials want to own their own business. But it’s not enough to create an app or invent a gadget. The first real step to business ownership is raising money, something few new entrepreneurs know how to do.

We can tell whether prospective franchise partners for Shack Shine—our growing house-detailing business—are creative, resourceful, and serious if they’ve raised capital and found investors. Bringing startup funds to the table shows they’ve got the savvy to navigate the challenges of owning a business.

Here’s why it’s essential for new entrepreneurs to master the art of asking for money early.

It’s Proof Of Determination

Banks are usually unwilling to give out big loans to unproven startups, so new entrepreneurs and potential franchise partners have to get creative to find cash.

To reach your fundraising goal, you may have you may have to pitch investors, ask friends and family, crowdsource online, or apply for government grants. We’ve seen franchise partners ask for early inheritances or sell their most valuable possessions to make the dream of business ownership a reality.

Stay optimistic while you’re pounding the pavement: The people who grind it out and make the hard asks are the ones who find business success—determination is part of their DNA.

It’s Proof Of Credibility

When a potential partner has their finances in order, it indicates that they have a clear vision for their business and that they’ve gotten others to believe in their potential for success.

We once interviewed a franchisee candidate who was perfect on paper: a smart, engaging, fellow with a solid resume. But when he revealed he hadn’t raised capital or spoken to any potential investors, he lost credibility. Suddenly, it was clear that he hadn’t thought business ownership through at all.

If someone can’t take the first steps to secure funding, the next steps of startup life—building a customer base, leading a team, putting in 70 hour weeks—might prove too challenging to overcome.

It’s Proof You Want To Play Ball

In Field of Dreams, a mysterious voice tells Kevin Costner, “If you build it, he will come,” so he constructs a baseball diamond in his cornfield. Something similar is true of entrepreneurship: When you create a solid business plan and get the backing of investors, others will want to be a part of your dream.

Recently, one of Shack Shine’s general managers told me that he wanted to take the next step in our system and become a franchise partner. I had great faith in Robin’s abilities, but told him that he would have to come up with the capital. He went away and raised the money, sourced from half a dozen different investors. His tenacity impressed us so much that we recently awarded him our in-demand Victoria location.

It’s individuals like this that make the biggest and long-lasting impacts on our companies. The most successful franchise partners in 1-800-GOT-JUNK?—all of whom have $10 million businesses today— are the ones who scraped together all their dimes to buy into the brand in the first place. They had grit and cunning, and they weren’t afraid to start their journey into entrepreneurship by saying, “Show me the money!”

Brian Scudamore is the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, the banner company for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, You Move Me, and Shack Shine. I’m a strong believer in ongoing personal and professional development and I like to show others how to use goal-setting to take the lead in their own business. I’m passionate about people, and I’ve created a corporate culture where we are all building something bigger, together. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


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