5 ways to bootstrap your small businesss

During my 2 day visit to Sage Summit (in April) I went to some amazing seminars so expect a lot of mentions in my upcoming content (gah I take so long to write things these days or maybe the children have had far to many holidays since then! ). Even though Sage is a global brand I was surprised by the amount of times “bootstrap your small business” was mentioned.

But what exactly is bootstrapping?  It’s one of those buzzwords that sounds like something else but in a nutshell, bootstrap your small business is when you start a small business with little or no investment. Do you know what? Bootstrapping it’s much easier than you think.

5 Ways To Bootstrap Your Small Business:

bootstrapping small business

Social Media:

Our growing use of social media is a perfect example of how easily you can start a small business without any cash outlay.

  • Set up a Facebook Business Page: Engage with customers, develop a following, share images or progress of your small business, behind the scenes, and create a buzz.
  • Instagram : Share product images or behind the scene stuff, and start using relevant hashtags for your business.

Don’t be one sided. The key to social media is being social, spending time engaging, chatting and developing customer relationships. Remember people buy from people be someone people like and want to buy from.  I know a few small businesses that operate entirely through social media. This isn’t without it’s pitfalls but it is without doubt a great free resource for business start ups.

Networking:

Networking is a greatly underestimated and under-utilised tool to grow your small business.  Meeting other small business owners can provide the perfect opportunity to develop feedback on products/services and in turn gauge interest, test the market.  Most small businesses owners who network locally are either in the same situation or have just been where you are. There is a wealth of knowledge, skills and support out there.  I also believe that small businesses, especially those working from home, really underestimate the need to communicate with real life people. There’s a certain buzz, energy rush you get from networking which you then take home and effects your productivity and enthusiasm for the next few days.

Networking is not about sales but meeting and connecting with other small businesses which can help you grow, develop and stay sane.  Wondering what networking can provide your small business? Read my interview on Gazprom Energy Business Basics: The importance of support networks for small businesses

Start Small:

Invest in small amounts of stock. I started Charlie Moo’s back in 2008, heavily pregnant with Megan, lugging Charlie, Daddy Moo and a box of party fillers to events. I literally started with £56.65 worth of stock and went from there. I reinvested all money back into stock and in the beginning whilst I trialed a few products and prices.  I did this all offline as well. Once Megan was born I directed my attention to online marketing and building a website.

charlie moos stock

You can read more about that over on Baby Budgeting : How I started my business with £56.65

Be Thrifty: 

DIY all the way! Don’t outsource unless completely necessary in the beginning. Anything you can do yourself do it. For example, hiring an accountant in the start-up stages is a waste of money when you could use free software such as Waveapps or set up a micro office with minimal yet functional arrangements to meet your basic needs. Use Laura Ashley promo codes to make the process simple for its affordable furniture range. As your business grows and develops and the cash is flowing then is the time in which to delegate.

Write a blog. Blogging is a great way to develop yourself as a thought leader in your genre and show your expertise. It can also be a pretty low cost way to start up a business as well. The great thing about blogging is you can start off using free platforms, so once you start making cash you can reinvest and develop your blog further.

You could also consider skill swaps with other small businesses or freelance your skills to earn cash in which to reinvest back into your business.

Choose the best business structure for your needs: 

When you have a limited budget to launch and grow a successful business, any expenditure may seem daunting – especially if you are a first-time entrepreneur with little entrepreneurial experience! You may start to double-guess your decisions and struggle to obtain the right results in your predetermined timeframes. 

That’s where opting for a low cost franchise can help. These opportunities can teach you a lot about growing a business, while also supplying you with the marketing expertise, brand awareness, and support you may need. Ultimately, this works as the perfect launching pad to level up your career as an entrepreneur!

Networking A Successful Small Business

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2 Comments

  1. June 28, 2017 / 12:18 am

    Firstly, I wanted to comment on what a lovely blog you have – the pictures are great! I wanted to pick up on the networking element of starting a new business. This is key for a small local type business,and it’s amazing how quickly you can get yourself known. Engage with people and always ask questions – be interested in what the other net-workers are about in the room. My difficulty with this is always remembering names, I’m still not good at this one!

  2. July 3, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Oh wow this is me to a tea. Love it! Anyway to save the pennies. I started with no money and even know I only pay for the minimum I have to 🙂