4 Ways to Fund Your Bootstrap Budget

So you’re starting a new business; you have a solid product or service, and your business model is in place. Surely the next big consideration on your mind is funding. For many entrepreneurs the question of where to obtain proper funds, and how to allocate them, is among the most difficult parts of starting a business. While some may see business loans and the like as the answer to their problem, others may want an alternative, self-sustaining method of gaining and managing startup capital. This is called “bootstrapping;” using what you’ve got, as well as what people are willing and able to donate, in order to start your business venture. Below are four great ways to fund your bootstrap budget.

1. Go Minimalist

There are a small handful of expenses that you can’t get away with skimping out on. For example safety precautions, permit fees, and filing fees. Many other expenses, however, are not necessary while you are in the beginning stages of starting a small business. Think about how you can cut down, or find alternative ways to obtain the same things for less. For example, you don’t need the most high-tech state of the art equipment from the get-go. Perhaps you would consider used or rented equipment. Likewise, you could begin by using social media to advertise for free, rather than paying for a big ad campaign. A good way to determine what you need and what you could cut back on is to create a list of all your projected expenses, then come with more cost effective ways to obtain each.

2. Partner Up

Starting a business can be extremely difficult. If you haven’t already, it might be a good idea to consider a business partner. Teaming up will both double your manpower and help provide new complimentary products and services. Who knows? Those new products and services could very well expand your business to a whole new niche market!

It goes without saying that, before entering into a partnership, you must know your business partner extremely well. You need to evaluate their ability to compliment you as a business partner, as well as their ability to dedicate the proper amount of time and energy into the business. It is essential that you do this properly, and hire an attorney to help construct a contract that details the terms and conditions of the partnership. You may be thinking: “hey, lawyers are expensive. Do I really need to do that? I trust the guy.” Think about it this way; the cost of doing it right the first time is far less expensive than hiring an attorney to represent you in court when your partner tries to phase you out of your own company. Not to mention the fact that, without legal documentation detailing your arrangement, you don’t hold a chance of winning the court case.

3. Apply for a Small Business Grant

There are a variety of ways to obtain small business grants through private and/or state government groups. Sure all require a lot of time and research, but it will all be worth it if you win the grant, and you never know until you try.

4. Get Crowd Funded

Crowd funding is a fantastic option, and technology has made obtaining crowd funding easier than ever before. Unlike peer-to-peer lending, where you are expected to pay back what you borrow, crowd funding leaves you with no such obligation. Many companies provide some incentive for donating funds, such as promising a product discount or free product. There are several effective methods for asking for and obtaining crowd funding, several of which are easily accessible through the internet. Kickstarter is one of them. Click the link to check out how using this and similar resources can help fund your bootstrap budget.

Having the ability to start a small business of your own is a great opportunity. If you follow some of the suggestions above, and properly plan your finances, you are sure to make it a sustainable, lucrative opportunity of a lifetime!

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