How to Bootstrap a Business in 8 Easy Steps?
Building a business from the ground up is a task faced by every budding entrepreneur. More so is the dilemma of selecting self-funding as an option or seeking investors for your business. Now, most startups do not have the amenity of getting investors right off the bat and sometimes you must take the path of bootstrapping to get your business up and running.
For those who are unaware of the term, bootstrapping is the concept of starting a fresh business on a limited budget without the use of external funding. The objective of bootstrapping is to maintain a discipline on the cash flow of your startup to get it up and running.
By certifying a low cash burning rate, you increase the probabilities of succeeding in your business. Also without any debt repayment obligations, you can afford to be flexible with your idea.
Any self-sustaining entrepreneur understands the benefit of bootstrapping. There is a sense of fulfillment that comes with starting your idea right from the scratch. However, what most entrepreneurs don’t expect before taking the essential steps to entrepreneurship are the unexpected challenges that come at every turn.
Problems like growing the audience for your product with a narrow budget, problems with shipping and packing, handling customer grievances etc. This post looks to inform entrepreneurs on 8 tried, tested and effective techniques to bootstrap your business from scratch.
1. Customer-focused marketing:
Marketing your products can be a massive expense for any business and therefore keeping a focus on your targets is necessary to ensure return on your investments. Starting on a small budget, you need not waste money on extolling the virtues of your products and services.
Using innovative techniques to show the customer as to how your products can make a difference in their life. This will mean targeting the customers for your products and making them know the efficiency of your product.
2. Keeping things in-house:
A large part of being a business owner is taking on a mass of roles. When you are a small business, it becomes vital that you handle things like PR and marketing on your own to save costs rather than contract these to third-party firms.
The fact of the matter is that you are your strongest voice out there because no one would know your products and services than you would. Also, no third party would highlight your business as well as you can.
3. Leveraging Equity:
Cash investments are a good technique to create long-term partnerships to build your business. Leveraging equity has become a popular method for business owners to trade equity for the expertise of their investors.
As an entrepreneur, you have a lot to gain from their understanding and experience without having to incur extensive costs and in return, these investors can earn a stake in your venture.
4. Starting small with your target objectives:
Every business venture dreams of making it big in their particular field. Well, Who wouldn’t? But on second thoughts, starting small and working with handy business goals is an effective method to turn your ideas into a successful business.
Taking one step at a time is the method to go about reaching your target goals. Using your time to court investors and accrue more funds for your business will hardly leave you any time to focus on the significant tasks like connecting with customers and purifying your product and services.
5. Creative Branding:
As a business with access to restricted resources, it becomes a challenging task to creatively use the things at your disposal to make a significant impact in the market. This could be done via social media or a guerrilla street marketing, a subversive method that requires flexibility and willingness to take risks.
As a business owner, you need to take a good look at creating a buzz that can be generated modestly to connect with maximum customers. You don’t always need to go with traditional advertising techniques to generate customers.
6. Virtual office spaces:
Virtual office spaces are the mantra of the day. As a business owner, having a virtual office space is a cost-saving measure without the need to invest in a space like buying or renting spaces that necessitate upfront investments.
Technology today is a boon in today’s age connecting us all via the internet and smartphones. One is a fingertip away in the virtual world.
7. Well laid payment terms:
Cash flow is crucial for the functioning of a business. In a report by Federation of Small businesses, it was found that 38 percent of the small and medium business ran into cash flow difficulties in 2016. This forced one out of three such businesses to seek the assistance of overdrafts.
Rather than wasting time on chasing payments, have a well sought out invoicing development for your business. Don’t falter to ask for advances on royalties, negotiate discounts with suppliers and haggle off expenses to save up on costs. Such a step will guarantee the survival of your business in the long run.
8. Secure all your devices
Yes, you can get access to all-around protection with coupons. So, make use of it. Let’s face it; we are dependent on technology than ever. While it does give us the power to save a lot of time and multitask as a startup entrepreneur wants to, it also makes us vulnerable to malware and cybercrimes.
Limited budgets need to be a hindrance in growing your business and bootstrapping can be more of a blessing than a curse to assist you to tap your inner potential and resourcefulness that would help grow your business.