Bootstrapping. It’s a common word in an entrepreneur’s dictionary. Not everyone is able to raise the money. Not everyone is able to get investors excited about their idea. It’s in these times, the ones who want to do something about their idea pool in their own little capital and start the company.
Even after a few months of operations, if they are unable to find an investor, they keep re-financing the company from the meagre revenues earned from the operations. This is called Bootstrapping. In layman terms it’s a hand-to-mouth situation. In spite of running your own business, you have little excess money which you have to re-boot in the business to make it bigger.
Keeping cash tight and still operating is the real test of your potential as an entrepreneur. You have to be frugal about how you do business. As per Elon Musk’s biography, he denied any fancy equipment to his rocket design team. They had to do with as less as possible. Being frugal is where creativity creeps in and you learn multiple uses of even a plastic fork.
For example, if you are just starting up an online t-shirt business, do not go on a spending spree with putting up advertisement banners on various sites or using up all the money on Facebook advertisement. Instead, write blog posts which cover information on t-shirt themes. Reach out to other bloggers who operate in the same arena. Say, if you are publishing history quotes on t-shirt then publish a post, “Ten best history blogs”. After this reach out to blog owners and tell them about your post. This not only creates a goodwill for you, but also will drive more traffic to your website as those bloggers publish a link to your website on theirs.
Think about using each and everything which you are using in your business. As a restaurant owner, do not throw away the cartons and boxes. Sell them to a recycling factory and get those few dollars. These few dollars when sum up will create a huge pile of money, as you are going to be discarding those cardboard boxes for a long time to come.
However, this doesn’t mean that you cut down on resources required to build the business. For example, as a retailer you need a store. You could set up a small shop, if that is what you can afford and creatively design it. There are lots of videos on YouTube which can teach you so. Make use of internet as a huge resource.
To summarize, make use of any and everything. From using scrap to participating in free networking events, make use of everything. Keeping cash tight in the beginning is crucial as that will not only teach you the value of money, but also creatively empower you to build a big business. The pressure of achieving your monthly target will keep you going, which will ultimately fetch investors. May the force be with you!
Photo credit: @seanfx