Starting a business

Starting a Business: Bootstrapping your business

You don't need to wait for funding to start working on your idea. You can seed it yourself.


1. Cut down on your expenses


- Do all the work you can do yourself.

- You can also learn up a lot most skills a business skills, using the internet.

- Or, whenever you are stuck just Google the problem

- Cut you personal expenses (without affecting the family much)

- Watch all business expenses. Do you really need that expensive premium domain name? In most cases, businesses wait - they make money before approaching domain name owners - was bought in this fashion.

Use low-cost/free services.

- Make arrangements for payments (suppliers, for example) only after you have received payments yourself (if possible).


2. Choose a business that brings cash quickly

Service businesses , or most businesses dealing with other business (freelancing, for example) are stuck with 'Net 30' (payment after 30 days of sending invoice) and like payment terms. At least get a comfortable upfront .


Another idea: Resell something and get commissions.


3. Avoid expensive shortcuts

For example, do try to do most things yourself, but if something is very critical for client satisfaction, you can only do a superficial job with your starter skills, get professional help.


4. Innovate on payments

Freelancers will do a 'service barter', doing a friend's job in lieu of help with another task.


In India, some newspapers get equity from companies in exchange for putting up their ads. Many tech startups do the 'coding for equity' deals.


5. Develop relationships

Build personal connections with suppliers, customers, employees, and virtually everyone you come across in course of your business dealings.


Do the 'give and take'. Be an easy-to-go-along-with kind of person. Be a good, kind and considerate boss and employees may understand when you fail to pay them on time one month.


6. Get a co-founder

They bring cash as well as sweat equity. The most effective co-founders complement each other in the skills as well as temperament departments.


7. Start with a limited product range/limited product scope

Your first product does not need to have all the bells and whistles at one go. Just launch the basic product as soon as possible. Launch the MVP (Minimum Viable Product - product with basic features customers are willing to pay for) and keep improving the offering. Please, don't delay the product introduction.


A Sample Financial plan spreadsheet


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