How to start a bootstrapped business? – Rajiv Talreja

Rajiv Talreja

Bootstrapping is a term used to describe starting and growing a business without external funding or investment.

In the case of MSMEs, or micro, small and medium enterprises, bootstrapping can be an effective way to launch and grow a business while keeping costs low and maintaining control over the direction and vision of the company.

If you ask my honest opinion, I feel there’s nothing sexier than bootstrapping your business. Not even rounds of funding can give you the satisfaction of creating something and building it from scratch. Nothing makes an entrepreneur prouder than a self-made business.

When you bootstrap your business, you own everything in your business and your business is in your control.

But how to bootstrap? What is the right way? In a world where funding has become such a trend, let’s talk about how to build a business from your own hands and funds!

5 Tips to Start a Bootstrapped Business:

1. Source of capital:

By bootstrapping, MSMEs can tap into a variety of sources of capital that don’t require external investment or funding.

This can include personal savings, loans from friends and family, credit cards, or even crowdfunding platforms.

By avoiding the need for external investment, MSMEs can retain greater control over their business and avoid diluting equity or giving up ownership.

2. Target customers who are willing to spend money:

Bootstrapped MSMEs can focus on targeting customers who are willing to spend money on their products or services.

By identifying a specific niche or target market, MSMEs can tailor their offerings to meet the needs of their ideal customer and generate revenue more quickly.

This can be a key advantage for bootstrapped businesses, as they don’t have the luxury of waiting for investment to come in before generating revenue.

3. It should be something that is up your alley:

By focusing on a business idea that is “up your alley” or aligned with your skills and passions, bootstrapped MSMEs can maximize their chances of success.

Since they don’t have the same resources as larger businesses, it’s important for bootstrapped MSMEs to focus on areas where they have a competitive advantage.

By leveraging their skills and expertise, bootstrapped MSMEs can differentiate themselves from larger competitors and create a unique value proposition for customers.

4. Sell first, build later-

Pitch products and services, acquire customers and then figure a way out to deliver their product or service. MSMEs should not look at over-committing by building products or services and then later realizing that nobody is willing to buy it.

If you’re doing it the other way around you’re going to be committing too much time too much money too much effort into something that you’re not sure about whether the market will accept it or not. So pre-selling is a classic strategy.

5. Focus on profitability & cash flows:

Don’t get enamoured by customer acquisition. This is a very essential tip if you’re serious about building a bootstrapped business.

If you’re not making profits by the sale of your product or sale of a service then walk away from that customer walk away from that deal guilt-free because you are not here to serve people without making money.

It has to be a win-win equation. You’ve got to win by making profits, your customer has to win by getting value for money.

So have that Profit Consciousness and do not undersell yourself, do not undervalue yourself. You may not get the volumes which is perfectly okay to build yourself as a niche business, a profitable business and a healthy cash flow business.

There is no point playing the race of just acquiring customers without making any money. The key is to make sure that you are selling your products or services to those who value the value of your products or services and are willing to acknowledge that value by giving you enough value in terms of profitability and cash flow.

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