Guest Writer, Josephine O. Edwards.
Launching a startup can be pretty hard at first. This is especially true when it comes to funding. Not all startups have the luxury when they launch, this is why many founders resort to bootstrapping.
Bootstrapping a startup requires that you grow your business with almost no venture capital. In some situations, you literally have zero funding.
All hope isn’t lost though. While bootstrapping might not be easy it isn’t exactly impossible. Here are five tips on how to bootstrap your startup.
- Choose the right cofounder
Two heads are better than one isn’t always necessarily true. If your cofounder is more of a liability than an asset then your startup might never take off. A bad cofounder will hold you and your startup back.
The right cofounder should have a skill set that compliments yours. It would be much better if you are both good at different things. This makes managing multiple aspects of the business much easier.
For instance, if you are good at marketing and sales and your cofounder is great at product development and managing people, then you might find that things will run smoothly.
- Raise money quickly.
Without funds, your business will never go anywhere. You will need to come up with a plan to raise funds for your startup quickly. Even if you have personal savings to tap from, you will find that launching your startup will burn through it faster than you can imagine.
So come up with a business model that will keep the cash coming in. The more cash the better. An excellent way to go about this is to sell services.
Selling a service requires much less capital than selling a product. In most cases, you won’t even need any capital. So if you sell your services for money, you can convert that cash into funds into capital for your startup.
- Invest in your skills.
A startup requires a lot of skill. When you are just starting out, hiring skilled labor could be next to impossible. This is where skilling up comes in.
Take a free online course or at least the cheaper ones. Programming, advertising, or graphic designing, if your startup needs it, then you should learn. You will find out that beginner level skills will take you much farther than no skills at all.
- Have a budget
This should go without saying. But every great business runs on a budget. If you fail to plan your expenses, then you will lose quite a bit in revenue.
Your small startup doesn’t need a grand building when it first launches. As the business grows, then you can expand too. Before that, tailor your spending to match your size.
Cut all unnecessary expenses. You should also do your best to separate personal and business funds.
- Invest in branding
I know this sounds strange after telling you to budget. The truth is, it is almost impossible to grow a business without branding.
Branding is what gives your business presence not just with customers but with investors too. If done right, you will get funds sooner than you expect.
You might have to do things on your own at first. Don’t be deterred, branding pays off in the long run.
Bootstrapping will be difficult at first. But once you strike a proper balance, your business will grow quite well.