Bootstrapping is the business term for funding your own business out of pocket. Whether it’s savings, the money you were gifted from family, or a portion of your income each month, bootstrappers have to dip into their own wallets to provide their startups with the capital they need.
While the ideal scenario is having a generous investor throw millions into your idea, the reality of tech startups is that heavy competition means a lot less money going around.
Unless you have the right connections, it can take some time to skyrocket your business and before your business is investment-worthy in someone’s eyes.
To help you avoid putting your dream on the back burner for too long, this guide will help you discover ways to bootstrap your tech startup on a budget. You don’t need to be a developer in Silicon Valley or financier in Manhattan to get your company off the ground.
Focus on Cofounders First
Startups are better together. Although you may be the brainchild of the operation, you’ll need a cofounder to help you get more funding upfront. Bootstrapping as a duo or trio makes it far easier to have a decent capital amount than saving up on your own for months at a stretch.
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Another benefit to having a cofounder for your startup is the additional insight. The best option is to choose someone you trust but who has a slightly different skill set than you.
Another person offers a different perspective, and they may provide ideas that become pivotal in your entire business model.
Don’t Focus on a High-Investment Niche Your First Time Around
Some ideas are easier to bootstrap than others, especially if you can handle the bulk of the work on your own. If you’re a programmer, then designing your tech startup app will be a lot easier and cheaper than if you don’t have any experience.
Choose a niche that is easier to bootstrap from the get-go. You may even think about scaling down your initial ideal, making a compact version of it, and growing as your revenue does.
Keep Your Eye on Your Finances at All Times
Set up a budget, get yourself a spreadsheet, and do whatever else works to ensure your finances are tightly managed. This could also mean looking for ways to lower your monthly expenses so you have more money to invest without taking a huge loss.
One of the easiest and fastest ways for startup founders to bootstrap is through student loan debt consolidation. This takes all of your outstanding balances and merges debt into one at a lower rate.
You can check out a guide on what borrowers need to know about student loan debt consolidation for an overview of what the whole process entails.
Start Learning the Skills You Need to Fill
Instead of hiring someone to run your finances, learn how to manage them yourself. Need a digital marketer? Take classes through Google, and teach yourself how to run ads and optimize for SEO.
Startup founders have to be constantly upping their skills, learning what their business needs, and being as adaptable as possible. This is the best way to grow quickly, avoid unnecessary costs, and cut down your overhead.