5 Funding Options to Bootstrap a Startup
A common issue for many startups is finding viable funding options. Learn about 5 different funding options to bootstrap a startup in this article.
“Bootstrap” sounds like a term from the Wild West, but it actually refers to getting something done without outside help.
In the case of startups, “bootstrapping” is creating a successful business without going to the bank or investors for money.
Managing your own business is one of the most stable ways to keep the cash flowing. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of millionaires are self-made.
However, the main issue with running a successful business is one thing:
Ironically, your lack of millions is what blocks your road to millions. Gathering the seed money to start your business is one of the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur.
Let’s take a look at exactly what you can do to bootstrap a startup.
1. Find a Likeminded Partner
Great minds really do think alike.
One of the best actions you can take as a business owner is to find a partner with the same goals. This person should be just as hardworking and invested in the business as you are.
I cannot stress how important this is. Bad partners are one of the top reasons why small businesses fail.
“Likeminded” does not mean “identical,” though. This person should also have skills that you don’t so that you complement each other.
For example, if you are more of a visionary who comes up with ideas, you may want your partner to be someone who is serious and grounded. This will balance you out and help keep both of you in check.
Having a virtual clone of yourself would be helpful first, but would only serve to be harmful as time goes on.
The more work that the two of you accomplish equates to more money saved. If you can do it all internally, you’ll end up with more cash and have a better chance at stabilizing your business.
2. Outsource Infrequently
So, you and your cofounder can do it all: logistics, creative planning, and even customer relationship management.
Eventually, you will find something that you won’t want to do, such as general maintenance or transportation.
When you bootstrap a startup, you get as little outside help as possible. This includes services from a third-party.
At this point you should ask yourself: do I absolutely need someone to do it, or can I do it myself?
Consider doing tasks such as these yourself. As long as the overall productivity of the business is not hindered, it will save you money.
Over time, the money you accumulate from cutting costs could mean the difference between success and failure.
To bootstrap a startup, you need to save all the money you possibly can. If you do things carefully, you’ll make it all back (and more), anyway.
3. Be Willing to Learn Everything
Statistically, there will come a day when you come face to face with a task that you have to outsource. This does not mean you have to outsource it forever, though.
To help you visualize this, I will offer you a real-world example:
Your website has crashed. Your customers are complaining that they can’t find any information online about your company.
Then, your numbers drop.
In today’s era of laptops and smartphones, poor online presence is almost certainly a death sentence.
In this moment of panic, you are going to need the assistance of a web designer to help get you back on track.
Afterward, you should take the time on your own to learn all you need to know about how to fix this problem yourself.
This will also prevent it from happening again in the future. The time you spend learning will help generate more money down the road.
Speaking of time…
4. Watch the Clock
It is absolutely true that time is money. When looking to bootstrap a startup, time is often not something you have much of.
Your business plan could be bulletproof and guaranteed to bring in significant revenue.
But, if you run out of resources before it takes off, it is pointless.
Startup owners that want to thrive and survive should be looking to make money quickly so that they can reinvest their funds into the business. Long-term plans often provide results too slowly for a startup.
Therefore, all of your available time that you spend working should focus on succeeding as quickly as possible. This may be learning more about the industry, cultivating new skills, or making new business connections.
You should also be looking for ways to increase your efficiency. If you can save extra time, you can use that to make extra money.
Above all else, you need to have a plan.
5. Bootstrap a Startup with a Solid Model
The number one aspect of most successful businesses? They had a powerful business plan. There was a goal, and there was a thoroughly researched way to obtain it.
In this aspect, your company should be no different.
To bootstrap a startup is to map out exactly what you want and find a way to get it on your own. A vital component of this process is creating a strong, detailed business model that will help you reach your goals.
This will also simultaneously save you time and money. Since we’ve previously established that time is money, you’re really just saving tons of cash by preparing yourself.
Honestly, who doesn’t want more numbers in their bank account?
The road to starting and running your own business can be intimidating. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all that you have to do to prepare.
The most important takeaway from all of this is simple: optimize your time, optimize your money, and you will optimize your chance for success.
Believe me, I know all about startups and the accompanying pain and frustration.
But, don’t just take this at face value. You can learn more about running your own business and everything that comes with it by reading more of my writing. If you’re thinking of launching a startup then download the Ultimate Startup Checklist!