You may not have a lot of cash on hand, but that doesn’t mean that it is not possible to start your own business. While it requires much creativity and resourcefulness, creating a successful venture through bootstrapping is highly feasible. This article lets you in on some useful tips and ideas on making it work.
In a way, bootstrapping is starting your own business without proper financing. And to do so without risking failure, it requires highly creative means of acquisition and use of resources. It also relies a great deal on establishing networks, trust and cooperation with external parties. With clever use of innovative ideas and resources, it is highly possible to create a successful venture which you can call your own. Here are some ideas on what you can do to make it work:
1. Buy on consignment
If you are running a retail business, be it an online or brick and mortar store, inventory usually takes up a large portion of your budget. The good news is, you don’t have to pay for the stock up front. Buying on consignment means getting the goods from your suppliers first and paying only what you eventually sell. You can return the rest of the unsold goods to them, provided, of course, that they are in the original and undamaged condition. Your cash flow will look a great deal better if you made your purchases on a consignment basis.
2. Get the cheapest self storage available
It’s important that you have somewhere to store your inventory. Even if you are selling the stuff online and you don’t really have a retail space, storing them in your home is not a good idea. Your dog, cat, or even kids may try to help themselves with whatever you are selling, thereby damaging or even consuming your inventory without you knowing. One of the best and cheapest ways to store your inventory is to rent a self storage unit. Besides getting a good price (which is, again, important to your cash flow), it provides flexibility in terms of storage size and rental period. Some of the most successful online stores started with the help of self storage facilities.
3. Use pre-owned office equipment
You want to save every cent you can, so forget about getting the latest laptop, printers or photocopiers. Go for pre-owned office equipment instead of new ones. It frees up your cash for other more important stuff.
4. Work from home
This is probably the oldest trick in the book, but it is still the best, particularly if your business is online or doesn’t require an office to receive customers. Rental can often make or break a small business, especially when it is just starting up.
5. Obtain loans from relatives and friends
If cash is absolutely running out, the banks are not loaning and you don’t want to give up a piece of your company to any angel investors or venture capitalists, perhaps friends and relatives could be of some help. Many successful ventures start with small, friendly loans. Of course, it is important that you pay back the money as soon as you can, or else you run the risk of losing your friends and family!
It is possible to start a business with very little cash, and with some creative ideas, who knows where it can bring you!