5 powerful ways to bootstrap your business to success

First of all, what does it actually mean to ‘bootstrap your business’? To bootstrap your business essentially means to put up your own money to start your company without having to fall back on external funding. 

This can be a tough challenge though. Often, hardworking bootstrappers end up labouring 60+ hours a week as they effectively try to work a full time job at the same time as starting their own business.  FIrst off, there’s usually the need to invest in technology or other materials to set your company up, but throw family and household bills into the mix and you’re already looking at an extremely stressful period with potentially serious cash flow issues.

According to the Durham City Incubator, 60% of new businesses fail in the first three years. So how do business owners get around this? Read on for tips on how to ensure your business idea continues to be a success in both the short and long term.

What are some common bootstrapping strategies used by entrepreneurs? 

To truly help propel a modern company to success, businesses today usually take out an often complex digital marketing strategy. These can be costly, however, and although there are some viable options for companies operating on limited resources, (such as making use of Facebook Ads to help you with your market research) without the necessary digital marketing know-how, you might find yourself limited as to how much online marketing you can do on a budget.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways that a bootstrapped startup can raise money to help it grow and prosper. Mixing in the right circles, managing yourself and your team for optimum performance and knowing how best to market your products or services can all help your company to do well even in its early stages.

1. Make connections

Whatever your industry, getting to know other experts in your field is one of the best ways of making sure that your business is successful. Attend conferences, follow like-minded individuals on social media (in particular on Twitter) and even join a slack group made up of professionals in your field. Better still, set up your own slack group to collaborate on tasks

Keeping in touch with other entrepreneurs like this could help put you in contact with a new potential customer, and can even be a way to form and improve on one another’s great ideas.

2. Learn how to manage your time and your workload

Time management can be tough, especially if you’re still working another job to support your business financially. It can be beneficial to use organisation software such as Calendly and Trello to help you collaborate with others, keep on top of meetings and customer enquiries, and manage the workload of both yourself and your employees. 

Once you have a good hold of your own calendar, you can work out just how much your time is worth. It can be worthwhile balancing your time by subcontracting out lower-skilled administrative tasks. Virtual assistants are an affordable option, too. Making use of such services can free your time up, allowing you to focus on more profitable tasks that require your expert knowledge.

3. Work hard

Starting a business takes a lot of time and effort, but just how much will be up to you. According to Christine Baker, “you work until you achieve”. Rather than measuring your success and productivity by the hours you work, set yourself monthly and annual goals and reassess what has gone well or could go better every time you meet a milestone. This will allow you to action plan for further success in the future.

4. Be passionate

The most successful entrepreneurs truly love what they do. Turning one of your hobbies into your business venture is a good way of ensuring that you will easily maintain a contagious passion for what you do. Good salespeople are great at infecting those around them with excitement for their product, and this can also go  miles in motivating your employees.

5. Get experience

Sometimes it helps to take a strategic step back in your career to build up the necessary experience that can then help propel you several steps forward in future. 

Even if it means taking a pay hit, consider taking on a lower paid job in the industry you’re most interested in. Use the things you learn from this experience to your advantage as you build up your own business on the side. Within a few years you’ll be ideally placed to leave your job and work for yourself full time.

Why do some entrepreneurs use bootstrapping?

Bootstrapping is an effective business strategy for any new company when they’re just starting out. It can be challenging to raise the required amount of capital to purchase stock to sell, and to raise the amount needed to rent or even purchase necessary office space. By bootstrapping your small business, you’ll be sooner on your way to making your first million dollars.

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Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.