Ways: use Less $$$, Fast ROI, Research, Partner, Barter, Home vs Office, Out-Source, Fam & Fr, Cash Flow, Lease, Biz Plan, Digital Marketing, Image.
To be successful in any business, an Entrepreneur needs to use available resources at his disposal while limiting the borrowing of funds. Having 100% Ownership of the business and not giving up an equity stake to an investor is usually the goal of every Entrepreneur. This may be accomplished with what is called BootStrapping. Once one becomes a Boot-strapper, no one will ever be on your back all the time, asking what has been done or directing on how you should run your business.
Benefits. BootStrapping comes with a wide range of benefits to Entrepreneurs. 1) to begin with, the business won’t be indebted to any investor. 2) you won’t be under any pressure to repay any form of business loans to a financial institution. Many people who have fantastic business ideas have a borrowing mentality such that they believe one needs to have $1000s of dollars as start-up capital which is an absolute misconception.
What is BootStrapping? It means using the little that you have as Start-up capital for the business. When little profits are realized, you need to put them back into the business. By doing so, the business would experience growth. The $M dollar question with many Entrepreneurs is “How can I learn the art of BootStrapping my business?” We got you covered. Here is a vivid description of 25 business BootStrapping ideas you need to know.
1. Look for a Business That Needs less Start-up Capital
Avoid a Business that needs a huge amount of $$$ to start. Try to figure out – how you can start small & simple and have your full-blown business as a long-term objective. If you have little capital, it is advisable to start up with a simple version of your grand idea and develop it and add features as you grow and can afford it.
2. Businesses that have a Fast Cash ROI
Since you don’t have a large amount of $$$ to start up a complete business, we would recommend that you use the little $$$ that you have and invest in a business that is market ready !!! Look for a business that generates immediate returns – so you can turn the profits back into the business. Doing so will allow you to accumulate the business funding you need to kick-start the larger complete business.
3. Conduct thorough Market Research
As an Entrepreneur, conducting Market Research and getting to know all the dynamics that your business venture will be involved in – limits the chance of failure. On the same note, you will never need an infusion of $$$ from someone else by being well prepared. There are great tools – such as Survey Monkey – that can help you in doing online Customer surveys.
4. Does your Bait catch Fish?
One of the largest mistakes you can ever make as an Entrepreneur is to quit your job – believing that your business will be an immediate success overnight. To avoid disappointment, do the Market Research to determine if your idea is something people want or need and are willing to pay for it. Then start your business idea as a part-time business and monitor the progress to fine-tune it to the market.
It is usually best to start your business as a part-time thing. With this, you may look for a partner with different skills that you don’t have and partner up with them. Also, the partner should be available whenever you are held in your job. This is the best way to run a small business without high expenses & added stress.
6. Try Bartering
When starting up a business, it is wise to conserve your start-up capital as much as possible. This means that you can swap the products that you need with the products someone else needs. With this kind of exchange, though, make sure that the products you exchange are of relatively equal value.
7. Cut Down on your Expenses
If you are planning to successfully BootStrap your business, one of the best methods is to cut down your operation expenses. 1) can you start PT & keep your Day Job? 2) start from home to avoid monthly rental payments. 3) hire Interns to help you. 4) have remote workers. 5) look for free or trial Resources. 6) buy re-furb equip, 7) hire talent that can help your develop your idea & keep your expenses low.
8. Work from Home
Monthly Office Rent payments are one of the most dreary expenses you can subject yourself to when starting your business. If you can comfortably work from home and provide all the products or services that your clients need, then you will be able to save a lot of $$$. Don’t just save though, save and invest back into your business for expansion.
9. Don’t rush to have Office Space
As an Entrepreneur who is starting up a business, it is not advisable to look for an office space unless you have seen that the market demand for your products is high and you absolutely need the space. This is because an office needs new equipment, office furniture and perhaps one extra member on staff – which are all added expenses. If you can operate without an office then do so.
10. Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
The main purpose to BootStrap your business is to ensure that only your personal $$$ runs the business without the need for a $$$ infusion from any other source. Therefore, any Entrepreneur who is serious about their business should keep off engaging in unnecessary expenses. Go for free version software available online for all your needs or very low cost.
11. Don’t Hire, Out-Source
We understand that at one time or the other, you will definitely need someone to provide services for your business. However, you do not need to employ someone permanently to do this soon after you start. The best way is to out-source their services and pay them either on an project or hourly basis – instead of employing them permanently and giving them monthly salaries (ie, with benefits).
12. Use of Family & Friends
Be as lean as possible in the tasks you need to do – to increase your savings. Try reaching out to some of your family & friends for help and see if they will do you a favor – instead of hiring someone – whom at the end of the day would expect payment. There are ways to compensate them. Get creative !!! (ie, use your product or services)
13. Use your $avings as your Capital
To avoid borrowing of funds and resorting to personal and/or business credit cards, the best way to BootStrap your business is to collect all the savings & investments you can spare and use them as your $tartup capital. This makes it easy for you to depend on yourself in running all the costs involved in your business.
14. Insist on Immediate Payments
Another great idea to BootStrap your business is to ensure that all your Clients pay for their product purchases instantly instead of financing their purchase. This will make it easier for you to make other purchases sooner than later – to keep investing money back into the business. Remember, Time is money and hence the earlier the payments, the better.
15. Keep an eye on Cash Flow
A business that is financially stable can always grow & expand. This should be the foundation for you. Keep a very close eye on any $$$ that either flows in or out of the business. Do it on a daily basis (if possible) or at least weekly or monthly. Look for an Accounting program that can sync your Bank account online for you to always have the real-time financial status of your business.
16. Follow up on all Invoices
One of the major causes of business failure is bad debts. There is a tendency for Entrepreneurs to always forget to follow up on all the invoices and other receivables of the business. You should, therefore, download one of the free Invoicing apps for your business – which will make it easy for you to send reminder messages and follow up on debts that are past due.
17. Conserve Your Cash
Do not be tempted to spend the profits gained by your investment asap. Many Entrepreneurs tend to take the profits from the business in buying expensive office furniture or cars to impress customers, family or friends. Resist all these and invest your finances in new tech that will boost your business.
18. Avoid Impulse Buying
In order to properly BootStrap your business, you need to keep from impulse buying. Always have a Budget for your needs and make sure that you stick to it by avoiding to buy stuff that is not on your budget.
19. Use Vendor-Deferred Payments
If you want to fully ensure that your business is fully BootStrapped, one rule has to be adhered to. The rule is to ensure that Cash inflow is higher than cash outflow. One of the best ways to reduce Cash Flow is paying your suppliers at a later date after you have already sold the products. When using this tip, however, always ensure that you pay off the debts after the products are sold to avoid debt accumulation.
20. Lease Equipment
There comes a time when your business could be in need of certain equipment. Since this equipment is often used only once in a while in your business, it is better to lease them from another company since it is cheaper than buying.
21. Incorp your Business Online
Many Entrepreneurs find it hard to sustain their businesses at the start especially when the returns are lower than expected. Due to this, it’s good to protect whatever you have by limiting your personal liability. Consider incorporating your business online so if you are sued by a client, your personal assets are protected.
22. Have a good Business Plan
A Business plan acts as a guideline for all that your business needs to achieve. Thus, a well-done business plan will always ensure that you do not waste your capital via impulse buying or unnecessary expenses that might lead to a cash decline in your enterprise.
23. Integrate Digital Marketing
Traditional advertisement methods such as radio and TV stations are essentially outdated. Social Media is the latest & greatest – with unmatched ability to gather fans & followers. Make sure that your business has an online presence, then promote all your products from there at no or little cost.
24. Enhance your Image
To any business, image is almost everything. Thus, you must ensure that your Website, as well as Social Media accounts, have top quality photos & graphics that are appealing to the eye of a potential customer. Download top quality images for your business from Pixabay or Stocksnap with ease, then upload them to your Website.
25. Plan your Future
Starting small does not mean that you should just lay the foundation lightly. Have a Strategic plan for the business. Go ahead and open a separate business account for the business and work hard to establish a high credit score. Also, set a room for expansion among many other issues that might benefit the business in the future
Comments: Do you know any other ways to BootStrap a Startup?
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