Secret File #011: Bootstrapping Your Business

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At an early stage of your business, a lot of experts recommend bootstrapping your business. But, I want to focus your attention on this possibility: you can also bootstrap your business WHILE raising capital to START your business. Imagine that! This gives you ample opportunity to start your business earlier. While this isn't exactly an episode on raising capital, bootstrapping helps you manage your business finances effectively while you're starting. Listen in because this is a great business strategy to have in your business!

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At an early stage of your business, a lot of experts recommend bootstrapping your business. But, I want to focus your attention on this possibility: you can also bootstrap your business WHILE raising capital to START your business.

Imagine that!

This gives you ample opportunity to start your business earlier. While this isn't exactly an episode on raising capital, bootstrapping helps you manage your business finances effectively while you're starting. Listen in because this is a great business strategy to have in your business!

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Listen to the Episode below:

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Listen to all the episodes from Raising Capital Series:

  1. Part 1 - How Much Capital Should I Raise

  2. Part 2 - Change Your Lifestyle

  3. Part 3 - Live For Less

  4. Part 4 - Bootstrapping Your Business

  5. Part 5 - Beta Test Your Ideas

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In this episode, you'll hear about:

  1. Bootstrapping by getting free or low-priced services

  2. Hiring students & virtual assistants

  3. Outsourcing work to 3rd party platforms

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What do you think?

I'd love to know what you think of this episode. Do you plan on leaving your full-time job soon to start your business? If so, where are you now in that plan? Share with me in the comments below!

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Welcome to Fempreneur Secrets, where business secrets are revealed.

This is a five-part series on how to raise capital for your business. We started off this series simply on the notion that you can raise your capital without having to take loans. We've covered a lot of topics, all of them are centred around how to raise capital for your business.

And in the previous episode, we talked about how you can live for less and then set aside money as capital for your business.

But in today's episode, it is an actual business strategy on how to raise capital for your business while running your business.

Part number four of the five-part series is on bootstrapping your business.

When you are preparing to launch and grow your business, consider bootstrapping.

1. Try to get services for free or at a lower rate.

Someone, somewhere, is looking to build their portfolio, and they will be more than willing to offer you at a lower rate: find them and work with them.

Go on into Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or even within your own communities locally; you will be surprised at the number of people who are willing to actually help you out because they need to build their portfolio.

Someone somewhere out there, are starting out just like you, and they need to build their portfolio.

2. Outrightly look for affordable rates.

So, you can go on to third-party platforms like Upwork, or you can go on to Fiverr to look for services that are at a much lower rate.

So, get things out, get it done — get it done for the sake of getting it done.

It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be beautiful. It doesn't have to be at the most optimal level: all you have to do is to just get it up.

So, if that is something that you're willing to do, and something that you are okay with at this stage of your business, go ahead and do exactly that.

So, go on to a Upwork or Fiverr to look for talents.

3. Think of Students

So, a lot of students are studying, but at the same time, they want to earn a little bit of money while studying.

Some of them are also building their portfolio, but they are at a student level — which means their knowledge or their skills is not at the expert level or at a professional level yet.

But you are willing to accept the flaws within their work because you want a fresh perspective or you want to have something that is more unique at a younger age: maybe to attract a different demographic, like the millennials demographic.

Consider speaking with students, or you can even contact universities, polytechnics or schools within your local area, and see if they can lend a hand by matching themyou with students who are interested to do internships with you.

Internships are the perfect way for you to bootstrap your business because you get an employee, even though they're not that skilled.

4. Consider stay-at-home mothers

They are the ones who actually need some amount of money — now that their children are perhaps going to nursery, or going to school for two to three hours — they will be able to help you in certain aspects of your business at a rate that is comfortable enough for them. You do not have to worry about the additional expense ofoverheads of perhaps renting an office because they will be functioning from whenever they are, wherever they are.

DISCLAIMER: Nobody is perfect

Again, the disclaimer here is that no matter what you do, you have to bear in mind that nobody is perfect. And everything that you are doing here would mean that the quality of the work might not be optimal, but it helps you get things started.

It helps you get things out and running. You can improve on it, and maybe the next year when your profits have improved, you're revenue has grown.

So, focus on bootstrapping first, and then get the money in for your business, and then improve on your business later on when you have the money. You need to keep your business running, and at the same time, still continue and maintain bootstrapping your business until you reach a certain level where you are comfortable with increasing your price — That is when you start to pay for services.

I have a policy that even when I'm bootstrapping, I should still compensate even if it's non-monetary.

When I first began my hand made stationery business, I was looking for support to design my templates, a friend who was building portfolio stepped in and offered to help. I didn't pay her but returned her in kind when it was time to set up her own graphic design business.

When I was starting Blissful Studios, my photography business, even I was looking to offer my services at a much lower rate to build my portfolio. There was a time where we went on sponsoring up to five events in a year.

This story proves to you that it is possible for you to find someone who is a professional, or trying to be a professional at a much lower rate for you to continuously bootstrap your business over the next three to six months.

Bootstrapping really helps you get started, but don't stay this way forever. So, be ethical about it, be realistic about it also: you can't be bootstrapping your whole business life — that does not make sense.

When you bootstrap, you are not spending the money that you should on the things that matter for your business. But instead, you are offering something in return for that service.

For the first two years of business, it is very normal for you to not make profits yet. So, for the first two years, if you are bootstrapping, I forgive you. I accept, but if beyond the second year and you're not paying for services, and you want things done for free or a lower rate, something is wrong somewhere and you need to relook at your business strategies.

If you are in that situation of your business, there's something coming up for you, so stay tuned and continue to follow us on our Instagram, and also on our Facebook. You might need our support, and we will be so happy to have you on board our programs coming up.

Keep learning and keep believing in yourself because the world needs an inspiration just like you.

I'll see you in the next episode, the final part of the five-part series on how to raise capital for your business.

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Till the next episode, This is Huda — Empowering Women Through Business.

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Hello, My name is Huda. It means guidancein Arabic. I help women entrepreneurs uncover secrets in business, branding & marketing knowledge. I host my own podcast show, Fempreneur Secrets. I also educate and support women entrepreneurs who are looking to launch and grow their business. Listen and Subscribe at www.FempreneurSecrets.com

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