The current economic landscape can make growing any business difficult, but for those entrepreneurs who choose to bootstrap a brand new idea into a thriving business, the journey becomes especially perilous and tiring. In order to hold down costs, the initial address of the business is often the same as the home address and the owner usually holds all the positions, from CEO to janitor. If you are planning to bootstrap a new business and are willing to endure the pain to make it grow strong and profitable, the following four ideas can help you accomplish your goal.
A Business Plan
Can you imagine getting in your car and driving to an unfamiliar location in another state with no map, GPS system or phone to call for directions? Of course not, yet a business owner who has no plan to guide his growth may as well be traveling in the same haphazard fashion with no vision of where to go or how to get there. A concise business plan is needed to provide the necessary direction and guide you to success.
Despite what you may have heard, writing a business plan is not difficult. In fact, it can be as simple as a one-page document that clearly outlines the goals you have for your business. In addition, it will create a realistic, achievable plan for reaching those goals. Go here to see a sample business plan that could be easily adapted for almost any bootstrap business venture.
A Realistic Budget
Keeping your new business on a cash basis is a great way to help it grow and flourish without the stress of repaying debt before the company can afford to do so. For the bootstrap business owner, this often means working another job to help fund the startup of your own business. Since funds will be limited, creating a realistic budget for your company, and adhering to it, is the best way to ensure that you can fund steady growth.
In order to stretch the funding you do have, look for creative ways to barter for the supplies or marketing you need from other new bootstrap businesses that are complementary to yours. For instance, if your new business is baking wedding cakes, consider joining forces with a new wedding planner or wedding photographer to share in the cost of marketing.
A Wise Mentor
The ability to consult and learn from a wise mentor is an important, but often overlooked, asset for any fledgling business owner. Look for someone who has built a successful business and understands the struggles you face in doing the same. To find the best one for you, consider the people in your circle of influence, including friends, relatives and former bosses. Another place to look for a great mentor is among the retired business people in your community. They often have the time to devote to helping a new business owner avoid common pitfalls and succeed.
A Dedicated Accounting Service
Even though you may be trying to fill all the positions in your new business venture to save money, one position that you should never attempt to handle on your own is the accounting position. New businesses often experience financial pain regarding tax issues and end up paying penalties and late fees. In many cases, these issues could have been avoided by hiring a dedicated, reputable firm that specializes in accounting services for small businesses.
In the beginning, an accounting service may only be needed for a few hours each month to help set up and manage company accounts. As the business grows and employees are added, a good accounting service can handle payroll and quarterly tax payments, and help the business owner establish a firm financial footing to fuel continued growth and success.