You’ll hear all the time that you need a large business budget to start. Well, that’s simply not the case, especially not with technology and open source content. It really is possible to start your business on a bootstrap budget and I’m going to give you five tips to get you started.
How do I know that you can do this? Well, I did it myself.
When I became a freelance writer, we were living wage to wage. We didn’t have the extra outgoings for a large marketing team or an office to call my own. But we made it work. Over time, the budget got bigger because the business was growing. It’s at the point now that there is money constantly going into the business to help grow it.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
Start by Only Getting the Basics
Don’t just right in and buy everything that you want or think you need. Draw your plans back to a minimalist approach and only get the basics that you definitely need right now.
For the majority of businesses on a bootstrap budget, you’ll look at online work. Many of you will be freelancers in some way. So, start by looking that the necessary items for your needs. You’ll want to get:
- A website domain
- Website hosting
- A coach/quality course
I only recommend the three to start with for freelance writers. Your website domain and hosting are must-haves, especially if you’re starting a business online. They’re your calling card and will be how you build up from here.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on website hosting or domains. I highly recommend SiteGround, as I’ve mentioned in the past here and here. I’ve not had a single problem that couldn’t be fixed in minutes – and my problem was more of a question that I just didn’t understand the answer to at first!
Source Some Free Material
There are plenty of bloggers and websites offering free content to help you get started. I’m currently signed up to a Facebook marketing challenge that was completely free. I’ve done email marketing challenges (although fell short with them because of the lack of email list – yes, I know!) and blogging challenges.
Look out for the free sources just to get you started. You don’t want to live on free all the time but just while you start to build more of a profit.
When you start making money, you can look at areas to invest. But we’re just starting your business on a bootstrap business right now.
Don’t forget your free marketing options! Social media and SEO are powerful tools and they’re free to utilise!
Look for Low Cost Material
Now it’s time to move onto low cost but valuable material to help you boost your business. If you’re considering writing, I highly recommend the Freelance Writer’s Den. Carol Tice has a world of information at your fingertips, including courses to learn how to make $35,000 per month as a freelance writer!
The only things I recommend on my blog are those that I’ve personally tried and recommend. If you want more help with writing, I offer low cost writing coaching to get you off the ground.
Consider Hiring Interns
Interns will expect to work for little pay. In fact, some will work for no pay. What they’re actually after is the knowledge and expertise that you can offer.
So, on a bootstrap business, you could outsource some of your work for nothing at all. You will need to give up some of your time to teach your methods and won’t be able to keep your interns forever.
As your business grows, your profit will grow. Your outsourcing needs will change and you’ll eventually need to move onto more experienced bloggers, VAs, social media managers, and more to expand even further.
Test the Market in a Streamlined and Efficient Way
You need to know quickly if your business is viable or not. The last thing you want to do is spend years of hard work and money that you don’t have into a failing venture.
It’s time to streamline your testing process. Talk to potential customers to find out if they’d be interested in your offerings and find out how much people would be willing to pay. You can use Facebook business groups and even people you know to get the answers.
Have a short date, like 2-4 weeks, for running marketing tests to see if they are working out. If not, you’ll need to quickly assess why and move on. If they are, quickly assess why and continue your strategies to replicate them.
You can start a business on a bootstrap business and it doesn’t need to look tacky. Make sure you get a good website host and invest as and when you can. You’ll soon find your business builds and you have more money to spend.
If you want a low-cost writer as you build your business, look no further. My writing rates are highly competitive to help you get off the ground and run with your business. Get in touch today to discuss your content and blogging needs for your bootstrap budget business.