Pitch decks, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors are almost synonymous with Startups today. Now these are great ways to get funds but when you are starting your business, you probably do not need half a million pounds right away to grow. You may find that through self funding you can raise a good portion of the money you need to setup and get your first clients through the door.
Bootstrapping a startup business is the concept of using existing resources, what is already have in hand, to achieve a goal.
Is it easy? no it is not, particularly if you don’t have a regular source of income.
A lot of new business owners are already rockstars at doing the most with minimal resources (hands up mums in the house) The same applies when starting up your business. Don’t go pitching to investors just yet or procrastinate on starting your business because you have written up a startup valuation that seems out of reach.
Try these bootstrapping tips first.
Cut back on splurging
I guess this goes without saying. If you need the money then cut back on spend. That Fendi Baguette, or pair of Balmain boots will have to wait.
Build a business portfolio you can take to the bank first then you can splurge on luxuries later.
As you start to build the business keep an eye on expenses.
Surround yourself with inspiring and driven people
Ever felt like you needed some shopping therapy and then your girlfriend comes round to remind you – You Only Live Once? So you hit the stores and head into Soho for dinner, willing your savings goal to come back. Sadly a vision of Shrimp and Lobster with spicy lemon dressing for dinner at Nobu’s wins.
Ditch your goal-less friends while you bootstrap to grow your business. Find yourself some new friends that will keep you motivated.
Always go for the Best and Final Offer
Corporate giants do this stuff all the time.
When making a purchase to start your business, ask the seller for their best and final offer before placing an order. Do the same with other sellers then go for the most competitive price.
In other words, haggle like your life depends on it (professionally of course) If procurement teams at large corporates do this to save business costs, how much more your humble self? There is no shame in negotiating. Make your money work for you as you build your business.
One thing to be mindful of though is not to compromise quality for cost. Verify the quality of what the seller is offering before committing to the sale.
Use your vision board
Have a vision of what you want to achieve. If you don’t have a board that’s pinned up on your wall, keep a mental visual of what success feels like. Use this as your motivation when you feel like giving up.
Keep your big vision in mind. Fix your eyes on the prize – Always.
Get some assistance
Perhaps bank of mum and dad might be generous, or you have friends who believe in your idea and can support. Crowdfunding might be another way to go. Think of some alternative sources of raising money and use as many channels as you have available to you within your inner circle to secure your business funds.
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Dee is a mum, business transformation coach and brand strategist. She has worked with Fortune 500 businesses on executing multi million dollar projects. She teaches Startups how to effectively launch and grow their business.