Bootstrapping ideas for your startup business

By Julian Harlow

If you are thinking about creating a startup and bootstrapping, here are some tips you may want to consider.

For entrepreneurs looking to create a business from the ground up, external funding can be the lifeline that allows their business to survive as it establishes itself. However, not all startup founders take this route, and for those who choose to avoid external funding an entire culture of bootstrapping has emerged, with entrepreneurs exchanging ideas and tips on starting a business with the barest of resources.

There are a variety of reasons entrepreneurs may choose to take the bootstrapping route with their startup. Securing funding is a major undertaking in itself that requires time and effort, giving potential competitors the time to establish themselves before your business takes off. Funding can also restrict the decisions you as the business owner can take, or even leave you at risk of being ejected from your own business. Of course, some entrepreneurs may have no choice but self-sufficiency after failing to find the right investor.

If you are thinking about creating a startup and bootstrapping, here are some tips you may want to consider.

Keep your day job

You would like to put all of your effort solely into your startup idea, but in a lot of cases that is simply not practical if you want to avoid bringing in investors. You don't know when your startup may become profitable at all, let alone profitable enough to pay you without harming the growth of your business.

Use free stuff

Bootstrapping has increased in popularity just as the internet has allowed entrepreneurs access to free business services and software ranging from operating systems to website hosting. If you are not making the most of these free services then you are depriving money from the areas of your business that need it more.

Market yourself

You already know you need to market your business, but if you are relying only on the resources of yourself and perhaps a few business partners, you also need to market yourself as an entrepreneur. Let everyone from family to friends to acquaintances of friends know about your business via social media and any other method you can think of. Any of your contacts could become a vital customer, source of advice or even future source of funding.

Question yourself

You thought you had avoided having to deal with interfering investors by bootstrapping your business, but if you want the business to succeed you will need to force yourself to answer those awkward questions an investor would ask.

Learn a new skill

Whatever skills you already have, they certainly won't be the only skills needed to make your business grow. Before spending money on bringing in a skill to the business, look at the possibility of doing the job yourself, even if temporarily.

Bootstrapping is difficult, but in the long run it may not be any more difficult than other ways of starting a business. Bootstrapping simply frontloads a lot of the effort and difficulties that any entrepreneur will face along the way, so if you become disheartened remember that you are probably saving yourself from problems in the future.


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