Bootstrapping your startup means growing your business with little or no venture capital or outside investment. It means relying on your own savings and revenue to operate and expand. For many small businesses, getting funded is the biggest barrier. Here are tips to help you bootstrap successfully:
Bring new skills onboard through co-founders
Find a co-founder or partner that has complementary skill sets. Look to have someone in each of the three key roles of creative visionary, administrator and technician and try to find the partner so these don’t overlap. Having more than one perspective is essential and a great way to get everything done while keeping costs low.
Find mentors that know your startup path
Finding mentors and advisors that can help lead you on the journey is helpful. So, you shouldn’t limit where you look. They can be friends and family or even co-workers, but you’ll need to look for somebody that has more expertise in starting a business than you do.
Find a way to make money
The business that uses the bootstrapping model the best generates money quickly. Party and event planning and the website design are just two good examples. Taking advantage of technology and sending electronic invoices speeds the process up too.
Create a business plan
Far too many times people just jump into a business without thinking through things. A good business plan will also have a model and a competitive analysis. Creating a business plan also helps you to form your own idea.”
Keep an eye on personal expenses
Staying frugal when you first start out is a great way to learn the financial ropes for the times when you start to make money. Don’t think about the salary you can draw when you’re a startup-think about reinvesting the cash to grow the business.
Focus on operations
Bootstrapping is about focusing on the nuts and bolts, about putting all the pieces in place so you can get to where you need to be, eventually. Focusing on the fundamentals like marketing, accounting, human resources and the rest to build your business scaffolding.
Do what you can yourself
There will be a time to hire people on and even outsource, but that’s not in the early days of your company when you’re bootstrapping. Beyond saving cash, doing for yourself is a great way to learn how you want to organize the job when you hire someone later on.
By Damilola Faustino
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