Bootstrapping is the process of creating a business with little to no startup capital. When an entrepreneur bootstraps his/her business it means they don’t get help up front from an investor to get the business up and running. Bootstrapping also applies to businesses that are able to purchase products without payment upfront (net 30 for example) and sell those products before payment comes due.
Bootstrapping a business can be a great way to start your business, but it can also be a scary task. Knowing that the success of your business is in your hands and only you can provide it with the money it needs to live can be daunting. The purpose of this post is to help you decide if bootstrapping your business is the right idea and if so how you can go about doing so.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BOOTSRAPPING
First off, let’s cover the benefits of bootstrapping your own start-up business.
- No equity is given to outside investors.
- You don’t have to worry about payments to an investor or investors.
- You have full say in the direction of your company.
- If the business succeeds or fails it mainly affects your pocketbook.
- You get to flex your creativity muscle due to a lack of money.
- You learn to prioritize your tasks and then execute them.
- Often bootstrapped businesses develop strong budgeting habits that benefit them for the life of the business.
- You will learn, learn, and learn some more. There are a lot of lessons to be learned when you go about it the “hard” way by bootstrapping your business.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES TO BOOTSTRAPPING?
- Not seeking investor money leaves you very limited as to what your company can do in the beginning (i.e. advertising, inventory, R&D, etc.)
- Scaling your business will require more time.
- If the business fails, your pocketbook becomes directly affected.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO BOOTSTRAP YOUR BUSINESS?
Use your social network – If you don’t have all of the cash you need to get started, ask those you know to donate some money. If your product can be traded, trade your product for something you need from someone else. Determine if there are any family members or friends who will allow you to use warehouse or office facilities for cheap or even free. You might feel like a beggar at first but you’ll have plenty of time to repay these people when your business takes off.
Keep your expenses as low as possible – If you don’t really need an office just yet, hold off until you can afford it. If you don’t need a fancy new laptop and your old one can get the job done, wait to make the purchase until you have the necessary funds. Be smart with your money, spend it on things that will generate more revenue for the business.
Look for a partner – Partnering up with someone who can help with the financial responsibilities and has skills that you need can be a wise decision. Be careful when deciding to go into a partnership. Don’t just jump into a partnership because they can help with the finances. Treat it like you would a marriage.
Have a plan – “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Wiser words have never been spoken. The list of things that can go wrong if you do not have a plan on how you will spend money to grow the business, advertise, collect payments, hire employees or outsource work, scale the business, set up a website, ship your products is endless. Having a plan can be the difference between creating a successful startup or having it fail completely.
SHOULD YOU BOOTSTRAP YOUR BUSINESS OR GET MONEY FROM INVESTORS?
The choice is ultimately yours. You have the advantages and disadvantages laid out before you. Choose whatever choice you think will help your business be successful.
HOW CAN LAUNCH FULFILLMENT HELP YOU BOOTSTRAP SUCCESSFULLY?
As a local Utah fulfillment company, Launch Fulfillment has your best interest in mind when it comes to the success of your business. We realize that getting started can be costly and that is why we have negotiated shipping rates. We also have very competitive pricing so our services are affordable.
When you are bootstrapping your business you will find that it is USUALLY more cost-effective for you to handle a lot of the hands-on work. To a certain point, this is true. We have found however that when you hire a shipping warehouse to handle all of your shipping logistics such as packaging, expedited shipping, freight shipping, etc. It will save you time and often money.
The software we use to fulfill your orders is easy to use and makes your job as a business owner easy and less stressful. You don’t want your spare bedroom or garage to look like a fulfillment warehouse full of boxes, product, and shipping labels.
When it comes down to making smart decisions with the limited cash you have, using a local 3rd party business such as Launch Fulfillment to fulfill your customer’s orders can set you apart from the rest. Give us a call and we will tell you if it would be a benefit for you to use our services or not.