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The Basics Of Bootstrapping For Start Up Business Owners
Starting a business is not easy, that’s why most startup business owners would want to have angel investors or venture capital, but it doesn’t mean one can’t succeed with personally funding the business himself/herself. Apple, Dell, GoPro are only a few of the multi-billion dollar companies who started with bootstrap.
So if they made millions out of a few hundred dollars, why can’t you? Here are a few strategies you can use to kick start your business out of bootstrap.
A bootstrapper usually starts with their personal savings. If you think you have enough savings to kickstart your business then why not? If you don’t have pre-planned events that may need much of your savings in the near future why don’t you start your first step?
If you are going to start with your savings, unless you have a fortune giving job, don’t risk it all away. Start with something small, little by little, step by step. No one started out to be so grand- that is the challenge that all startups face, not only those who bootstraps but also those who had venture capitals or angel investors.
There are pros and cons with using personal savings. The good things are; first, you have freedom as to how you’re going to spend the money. Second, using your savings will not incur you any debt, and removes the fear that if in case you fail, you will not have trouble paying debts later.
On the other hand, using your savings on starting your business, will make you lose other opportunities in the future, like a better house, car or retirement plans. Using your savings will also somehow make you want to stick to a job as plan B in case your startup fails, and this will somehow divide your time and commitment if you don’t plan things well.
Hence, when you decide to use your savings, you must be a fast learner, incurring more learning than costs as time goes by. All successful bootstrappers are fast learners. Laziness in learning shows a lack of interest. Only those who are interested enough make it big.
Ever wonder how Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak started Apple? They began in a garage with a little challenge- to deliver a pre-ordered product.
If you have an idea that can make you a fortune, go for it. Look for people who might be interested in getting it or purchasing it. You can start by selling it yourself. Start by knowing your target market very well. Bootstrappers usually start with exclusively selling their products.
Starting with Pre-orders is both wise and risky at the same time. If you don’t have enough finances to fund your invention, having pre-orders can add up to the initial funding you have accumulated, lessening the financial burden on your end. The catch is to make sure that you deliver what your customers already paid for.
But if what you have is an invention or a process you originally made, you can apply for a patent before selling. The danger is, someone might copy what you did without ever giving credit to you. You can seek legal advice from an Intellectual Property Rights Lawyer or a Patent Attorney.
Start With What You Have
If you have a garage, you can use, use it. If you have an opportunity otherwise to use a commercial space for free, then lucky you! But most of the startup bootstrappers started their businesses on old, unused garage spaces. As the saying goes, “more haste, less speed,” just take things little by little.
If you think your savings will not suffice your need for financial resources, you can sell stuff you don’t use anymore. You can have a garage sale of your pre- loved items- this will be fun and heartbreaking for you especially because you’re probably going to let go of some unused items that means so much. But like they usually say, “no pain, no gain.”
You can also start by harnessing your other skills, like baking if you know how to bake. You can sell baked goodies around the neighborhood or sell them online. Have them pre-order online and deliver them the next day.
The key to becoming successful in bootstrapping is not who’s had much, but who learned much and fast. Be creative and don’t give time for laziness. Keep trying and failing, for in failing, you’ll learn. Don’t give up, as long as you still have a clear picture of where you’re going, walk on.
Who knows? You might be the next bootstrapper who will line up with the millionaire business owners.
Vincent Spivey is a writer-researcher for business blogs and an entrepreneur himself. He is a self-starter who spends most of his time testing out new ideas. On a Sunday morning, you would find him on the coasts of Miami, paragliding and riding the clouds. He is currently working with lawyers from Livingston Loeffler Law Firm.
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