Building a business from the ground up is a challenge faced by every budding entrepreneur. More so is the dilemma of choosing self-funding as an option or seeking investors for your business. Now, most startups do not have the luxury of getting investors right off the bat and sometimes you must take the obvious 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 new business on a limited budget without the use of external funding. The goal of bootstrapping is to maintain a strict discipline on the cash flow of your startup to get it up and running.
By ensuring a low cash burning rate, you increase the chances of succeeding in your business. Also without any debt repayment obligations, you can afford to be more flexible with your idea.
Any self-sustaining entrepreneur understands the advantage of bootstrapping. There is a strong sense of fulfillment that comes with starting your own idea right from the scratch. However, what most entrepreneurs don’t expect before taking the crucial steps to entrepreneurship are the unanticipated challenges that come at every turn.
Problems like growing the audience for your product with a limited budget, problems with shipping and packing, handling customer grievances etc. This post looks to inform entrepreneurs on 7 tried, tested and effective methods to bootstrap your business from scratch.
1. Customer-focused marketing:
Marketing your products can be a huge expense for any business and therefore keeping a sharp focus on your targets is essential to ensure return on your investments. Starting on a small budget, you need not waste money on extolling the general virtues of your products and services.
Using innovative methods to show the potential customer as to how your products can make a difference in their life. This will mean targeting the right customers for your products and making them know the effectiveness of your product.
Customer focused marketing means connecting with your customers and for all your printing needs, Printed.com has a wide variety of options for all your business needs.
2. Keeping things in-house:
A large part of being a business owner is taking on a multitude of roles. When you are a small business, it becomes imperative 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 own strongest voice out there because no one would know your products and services than you would. Also, no third party would prioritize your business as well as you can.
3. Leveraging Equity:
Cash investments are a good way to create long-term partnerships to build your business. Leveraging equity has become a popular way for business owners to trade equity for the expertise of their investors.
As an entrepreneur, you have a lot to gain from their knowledge 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 goals:
Every business venture dreams of making it big in their respective field. Well, Who wouldn’t? But on second thoughts, starting small and working with manageable business goals is an effective way to turn your ideas into a successful business.
Taking one step at a time is the way 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 important tasks like connecting with customers and refining your product and services.
5. Creative Branding:
As a business with access to limited 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 technique 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 cheaply to connect with maximum customers. You don’t always need to go with traditional advertising methods to generate customers.
6. Virtual office spaces:
Virtual office spaces are the new mantra of the day. As a small business owner, having a virtual office space is a cost-saving measure without the need to invest in an actual space like buying or renting commercial spaces that require upfront investments.
Technology today is a boon in today’s age connecting us all via high-speed internet and smartphones. One is just 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 37 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 help of overdrafts.
Rather than wasting time on chasing payments, have a well sought out invoicing process for your business. Don’t hesitate to ask for advances on royalties, negotiate discounts with suppliers and barter off expenses to save up on costs. Such small step will ensure the survival of your business in the long run.
8. Secure all your devices (with Coupons)
Yes, you can get access to all-around device protection with coupons. So, make use of it. Let’s face it; we are more dependent on technology than ever. While it does give us the power to save a lot of time and multitask like a startup entrepreneur needs to, it also makes us vulnerable to malware and cyber crimes.
A total antivirus is an answer. Believe me; it’s not a choice; it’s a necessity. The power of malware is evident from what Wanna cry did to the world a few months ago. Trusting in total protection like Bitdefender is an absolute necessity today. And doing it with coupons is the best way to save money for other important things.
Limited budgets need to be a hindrance in growing your business and bootstrapping can be more of a blessing than a curse to help you tap your inner potential and resourcefulness that would ultimately help grow your business.