For entrepreneurs and small business owners confident they can start their business endeavor without outside help from investors or other outside sources, having the freedom to keep your earnings in full is a huge advantage if you know how to properly bootstrap.
What many don’t realize when they launch their business is just how difficult bootstrapping can be, especially for those who need to put each dollar they make directly back into the business.
For those who don’t want the financial stress and extra responsibility that comes with making personal financial sacrifices or giving part of your earnings back to investors, here are some steps you can take to make your business idea a reality all on your own.
If you need an office, look for shared space
Depending on the type of your business, you may not need an office space at all. Work that lends itself to more of a freelance style, even with a team of employees, can be accomplished through a virtual office and run from home. While this can mean a huge cut in expenses when everything involved with office upkeep is taken into account, it can quickly become isolating and detrimental to team collaboration if communication starts to wane.
Shared office space is the happy medium between going all-out with an office of your own and giving one up altogether. Try finding another company with office space to spare and make a deal to move in.
If you’re interested in getting even more out of a shared space, consider the many co-working spaces popping up specifically to give startups a place of professional community where entrepreneurs can get their business off the ground together. You’ll end up saving money and most likely meet valuable partners than can help your idea come to fruition.
Don’t overspend on a website right away
A professional-looking website with clear and easy functionality is essential for every business big and small today, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to create a great online presence right away. While agencies and design shops can customize a site to fit exactly what you’re looking for, the costs might not be worth it right away.
Instead, there are a whole variety of web services that provide small businesses and startups with inexpensive or even free website creation services that offer powerful tools and capabilities while maintaining a branded look. WordPress has emerged as a particularly popular tool for a number of DIY or template-based web design applications.
Use friends, partners and other connections to get discounts and second-hand supplies
Do you have friends in high places? Don’t be afraid to reach out through your network to see if you can get in on a great deal. Apple, for instance gives considerable discounts to their employees. Unless cutting edge technology is vital to your business, don’t be afraid to settle for hand-me-downs from other businesses who don’t mind lending you older equipment.
Avoid PR right away and get social instead
One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs with a brand new business to do it get their name out to the right people. Public relations and marketing are extremely useful for this, but there are alternatives if you simply can’t afford it on your bootstrapped budget.
Instead, put time aside to engage as much as possible through social media. There are a number of web tools around to help you manage and automate your social efforts which are cheap and sometimes free. When used effectively, social media can expose your idea, products, and services to huge groups of followers. The trick is to be seen and engaged by those that hold the key to the big audiences you need to see your idea.
If you’re a business owner and need to establish a bookkeeping system, give us a call. Our outsourced accounting and CFO services experts can help you navigate these waters.