Photo Source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/498953
Many of the world’s biggest companies wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for business loans. While they may be great now, these businesses started out just like thousands of others, struggling to raise the capital to get their ideas off the ground.
These days, you can find a Starbucks just about anywhere in the nation and even abroad. The company started, however, with investments of $1,350 from each of the three founders. Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker took that small amount of money and set up shop as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice, selling coffee beans and teaching their clients how to grind it for fresh-brewed coffee at home. They later took out a meager $5,000 bank loan to keep things going. In the 1980s, the company began to make and sell drinks, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are practically household names, as is the company that the two founded back in the 1970s. However, the extremely popular iPad and iPhone would never have made it without a little help in the beginning. A man named Markkula invested $92,000 and helped the Steves get a bank loan of $250,000. With that money, the company went on to make technological history.
According to Entrepreneur.com, Sam Walton’s journey to success was a long one, funded by others from the beginning. He started out with just $5,000 of his own savings and a $20,000 loan, which he used to buy a Ben Franklin variety store. When he later refused to sell the business to his landlord, his lease was not renewed, and Walton was forced to relocate. He set up his new business in another town and spent the 1950s buying stores with his profits, along with some more borrowed money. In 1962, Walton mortgaged his house and borrowed even more money to open up the very first Wal-Mart. When he died in 1992, Walton was worth $25 billion, and his stores had already surpassed Kmart and Sears, establishing Wal-Mart as the nation’s biggest retailer.
4. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is well known as an email marketing company, but they also offer social media marketing, event marketing, and surveys, among other tools. The company works with small businesses to help them build relationships with customers and increase sales, and none of it would have happened without a little extra help. While the company launched in 1998, it didn’t go big until it received a $1 million investment from SBIC Hudson Venture Partners II in 2002. From 27 employees, Constant Contact expanded to more than 300 and drastically increased its value to more than $400 million.
Photo Source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1164856
5. Whole Foods Market
While Whole Foods Market is now a renowned natural foods store that can be found across the country, it started out small. Back in 1978, Rene Lawson Hardy and John Mackey had to borrow money from friends and family to make their dream a reality. That borrowed money, combined with their savings, helped them get their business off the ground, though it endured a rocky start. By 2008, the company was worth $6.5 billion in revenues.
Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka founded their business, Tokyo Telecommunication Engineering Corporation, shortly after World War II. The company was started by using $500 in borrowed funds. This allowed the men to establish a small office with 20 employees in a burned-out building. Despite humble beginnings, the company managed to grow bit by bit, and eventually, in 1953, Morita bought the rights to a transistor, which would set the pace for his business in years to come as they turned out a range of transistor radios. The company’s name was changed to Sony Corporation in 1958 and continued to grow over the years, producing an ever-growing range of electronics.
Charles Pfizer and his cousin Charles Erhart began the now-famous pharmaceutical company with a $2,500 loan from Pfizer’s father. That loan started the men on their journey. Their first product, a tastier form of a common anti-parasitic, was a hit, and they were off on the road to success. Innovative products like camphor, cream of tartar, and iodine were the basis of their ongoing success, which has brought the company to present day, where it rests firmly within the top 200 of the Fortune 500.
Not all of these business loans came from banks. Some companies were started with money borrowed from friends and family, while others began with small amounts from local banks. However, they managed to get the money together for their startups, and all of these companies can trace their success back to the financial aid they received early on.