These Boot-Strapping Tips will help you start a business on minimal money – to create a “lean” money machine !!!
Topics: Research Market & Competition, PR, Branding & Marketing campaigns, fast $$$ Flow, create Buzz, Track, Reduce & Eliminate Expenses, Don’t give up.
Boot-Strapping is reality. The majority of startups are founded without Funding by Venture Capitalists (VC’s) or Angel Investors [AI’s – not to be confused with Artificial Intelligence]. The real numbers are eye-opening:
1) VC’s fund only 0.05 % of startups,
2) AI’s are only responsible for funding just 0.91 %.
Take a moment to really think about those percentages in relation to the approximate 543,000 new businesses started each month in the United States.
Turning your Reality into Success. With the chances of receiving funding so slim, if you’re serious about turning your idea into a reality, you’re most likely going to have to dip into your own pockets & use Boot-Strapping as your way to the top. It isn’t easy, but it can be more rewarding, both personally & financially, as you retain 100 % of your equity. Here are 10 tips to help your Boot-Strapping way to success:
1. Fully Research your Market & Competition. Before you do anything else, you need to make sure you have a “viable” business opportunity. Is your proposed product or service already available on the market? If there’s competition, how will consumers differentiate between you & them? What makes you better, faster, cheaper? What is your unique selling point?
Example: Some highly successful Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies have sold their product before they even developed it, to be completely certain there was a market for it. While this isn’t the conventional way to do it, it’s an example of entrepreneurs going to extremes to be 100 % positive they had a winner before going all in.
2. Handle your own Public Relations [PR] in the beginning. Startups can benefit greatly from major media exposure in the beginning, but journalists & editors receive press kits from PR firms around the clock. They don’t want to talk to a PR Rep — they want to talk to you! They’re much more interested in speaking with a Founder than a PR firm, because they want to hear your personal story just as much as they want to hear about your actual startup. There are a number of ways for startups to score media coverage, so roll up your sleeves and get cracking.
3. Launch “creative” Branding & Marketing campaigns. You don’t always have to have the deepest pockets to get brand exposure — you just need a “creative” approach. A great example is Newcastle Brown Ale’s 2014 video about almost making a Super Bowl commercial. The company didn’t purchase expensive airtime for the Super Bowl, but it did release a video about how it almost did. The video went “viral” on Social Media and got more publicity than an actual commercial would have.
4. Create a Business Model that produces quick $$$. If you’re Boot-Strapping, you need to make sure your business model generates revenue quickly. If not, you’ll be dead in the water – once you blow through your reserves. Constant Cash Flow is mandatory. If you look at successful Boot-Strapped startups, you’ll see they all generated revenue very quickly.
5. Provide ways for your Initial Customers & Early Adapters Fans to create Buzz !!! People love the under-dogs (new startups) & Early Adapters – the new technologies. They love to show the world that they’re cool, hip & trendy through Social Media. Provide ways for your early customers to help put your startup in front of their “social” audiences.
How? Allow them to use a Discount Coupon when sharing your Website on Social Media, or create a branded Hash-tag, then randomly select winners for prizes. You can even share images of your customers using your product with a designated Hash-tag on the company Social Media pages. By appealing to people’s egos, you can create instant brand engagement, buzz & you may go viral.
6. Be a Hound Dog. Track every s(cent) you spend. Keeping track of every penny that leaves your business is crucial. Money vanishes quickly when you start a business. Sloppy accounting can lead to a rude awakening. Use Accounting SW, such as Quick Books (or free tools, such as Mint), that will help keep track of your spending & gauge your burn rate. Monitor your cash at least weekly. Lazy accounting could make you come up lame.
7. Grow your Website grow with you. If you’re Boot-Strapping on a shoestring budget, you can use a simple pre-made Website to get you off the ground and use the majority of your funds to promote & grow your business. Once you have good positive cash flow and a proven business model, re-vamp your Website.
8. Do as many Tasks as you can by yourself in the beginning. There’s a big difference between jobs you can’t do and jobs you simply don’t want to do. If a task requires specific technical knowledge you don’t possess, then of course, delegate it. But if it’s something you’re fully capable of – but just don’t feel like doing – you’re creating an unnecessary expense. Do whatever you have to do to make your business succeed, whether that’s making Sales Calls or emptying the trash.
9. Reduce or Eliminate as many Personal Expenses as possible. When Boot-Strapping your startup, there isn’t a nice, comfortable salary that comes with it – like when you worked for a big corp. You have to be prepared to drastically trim unnecessary personal expenses or eliminate them altogether – (ie, take on a Roommate or two to reduce living expenses, greatly reduce or eliminate eating out (except Fast Food)] Look at your Bank statements every month to uncover areas where you might reduce or eliminate expenses.
10. Be Persistent & don’t give up. When you’re just starting out, there will be many obstacles to overcome. Suppliers and vendors aren’t always overly excited to work with brand-new companies. Building consumer trust can be a challenge. But you have to be persistent. Kick down doors and make those calls to make connections & build relationships. Don’t take rejection personally. It’s some of the obstacles on the road to success.
Conclusion: Boot-Strapping a business isn’t an easy task. It’s very challenging and extremely satisfying when you finally win.
Comments: Do you have any other Tips for Boot-Strapping?
from Entrepreneur 05 Oct 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz