Since we’re in the process of finishing off the first quarter of 2016, many businesses are currently looking over financials.
My team and I are also in this process and I can’t help but get a bit nostalgic. I started with absolutely no money and found a way to use my business’ own revenue to reinvest and grow it into what is today. I’ve also managed to do this without getting myself into debt. It hasn’t always been easy and I’ve definitely made mistakes, but it’s all been worth it.
Bootstrap Your Business Without Going Broke
I’m not the only one who has taken the bootstrapping route. Many small business owners – particularly if they are running online businesses with low overhead – are also taking this route. Since it’s not easy (or even sometimes necessary) to acquire investors and debt is a four letter word, bootstrapping is the way to go for many people.
While it takes a bit longer and there’s definitely risk involved, you can bootstrap your business without going broke.
Get strategic about where you invest money.
One thing I’ve learned is to be extremely strategic about where I decide to invest money back into my business. For example, instead of trying to outsource everything all at once, I’ve learned to do it in layers.
Here’s a real-time example of what I mean. I know from looking at my analytics that Facebook and Pinterest are real traffic generators for my site. That means this is where I’m choosing to reinvest money to get some help. Not Twitter, not Periscope, not Instagram and not Snapchat.
There’s some real pressure online that you have to be doing everything at once. I find this makes it very tempting to spend a lot of money on stuff you don’t need (or, at least on stuff that you don’t need yet.) By staying in your own lane it becomes easier to decide where some money will make the most impact.
Bootstrapping a business is a slow process. Seriously, overnight success takes like ten years or something.
That’s why it’s important to have as much patience as possible when bootstrapping a business from the ground up. You may not be able to do everything right away, and you’re going to need to be okay with that.
Check your financials regularly.
I know exactly where the money in my business is going each month. I track it myself on Mint and my accountant does it in Quickbooks.
Occasionally I’ll take a look and see whether or not I’m getting what I’m paying for. For example, last year I paid for this webinar service I’m not even using. Normally I would try to use what I’m spending money on, but in this case webinars aren’t fitting into my business so I will not be renewing the service.
Another thing to look for is to see whether or not you’re actually using what you pay for. My team and I use Infusionsoft for our email marketing and CRM because it makes our lives easier and helps us automate almost everything. If you’ve ever looked at the price tag of Infusionsoft you know it’s not cheap, so my team and I make sure we’re actually using it to the best of our capabilities.
Not everyone has investors throwing money at them and some people just aren’t comfortable wth debt. If you happen to be one of those people, it has now become easier than ever to bootstrap your business. Of course, this does depend on the type of business you choose, but do know that you have more options than ever before.
Will you bootstrap your business?
This post was written by Amanda Abella, a business coach for millennials, speaker, and best selling author.