Bootstrapping Tips for Startups
Starting a business on a shoestring budget can be a challenge. But there are plenty of ways that you can stretch your dollars and make the most of them. Here are a few tips to successfully bootstrap your startup!
Share Office Space
If you can’t work from home and need a physical office space, consider sharing with another person or company. You could get an office but split the rent by dividing the week with another independent contractor (you are there Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and they are there Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays). Another option is to join an Accelerator or other co-working space for a monthly fee that allows you to use their facilities and equipment when you need to. This is a good option if you want a lower monthly cost than renting a full office space that you may only need a few times a month!
Do Your Own Books
If you are just starting out, your accounts will not be very numerous or complex, so you should be able to handle your bookkeeping yourself, saving you a couple hundred dollars a month! By using some inexpensive accounting software like Wave, Quickbooks, or Freshbooks, you can track everything you need to and stay organized without spending a fortune. If you’ve never handled your own banking and bookkeeping before, get some assistance from a course, like the Bright Ideas Small Business Academy’s Banking & Bookkeeping Course.
Ask for Payment Plans
If you need large equipment or have to purchase an expensive item to function, ask the company if they offer any special financing or payment plans. This will save you from having to shell out all of the cash you have on hand at once and give you a chance to get the item now and use it to make the money to pay for it later. If you want to scale up but just don’t have all of the money available right now yet have good credit, this is a perfect option instead of having to wait until you accumulate the funds.
Inquire About Discounts
If you have friends who work for companies that produce some of the stuff your business needs, see if they can get you a discount, or if they’d be willing to buy things for you using their employee discount and pay them back. You might need to be a little secretive about it so that they don’t get in trouble, but this could save you a lot of cash on items you need like computers, electronics, and office supplies.
Get Gear From Other Startups
Another great way to get gear without spending money is to get it from other startups! If you need something another new company is producing, try to make a deal for it. You can offer a review, advertising, or a referral partnership in exchange for giving each other necessities. It will save you both money, help you gain exposure, and give you a chance to get reviews of your products and services!
Just because you don’t have a lot of money to start out doesn’t mean you have to wait on your dream! Use these tips and other creative solutions to make your dollar go further and get your startup off the ground.
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Abby Yetter is the CEO and Chief Consultant of Bright Ideas Small Business Solutions, LLC. She is a driven, enthusiastic businesswoman, with a talent for organizing the chaotic, and branding the unfamed. Abby strives to use her creativity, and experience, to solve the many problems of small businesses. With a background based in customer service management, social media, technological organization, sales, marketing, and customer experience specialties, she enjoys taking everyday complications, and finding the newest, most productive ways to execute the tasks.All stories by: Abby Yetter