With limited resources and a pressure to thrive despite stiff competition with bigger players in the industry, small business owners must find ways to be resourceful. The following tips will guide you in bootstrapping your small business from the ground all the way up.
Effective time management
Successful entrepreneurs from any discipline and industry thrive because they understand that time is one of the most valuable resources. Managing time allows entrepreneurs to become highly productive and minimize, if not completely eliminate mistakes and wasted opportunities. Time management is a skill that can be acquired so fret not if you haven’t mastered it yet. Following a morning routine is an ideal starting point to maximize productivity. Wake up earlier than you should. Drink water. Meditate. Exercise. Take the time to have breakfast. Jot down your priorities for the day. Remind yourself to focus on one task at a time and avoid multitasking. These acts may be simple, but it readies you for the day ahead and allows you to focus only on the important tasks at hand.
Track all your expenses
This is a must for any business—but more so if you are a cash-strapped small business owner who is trying to bootstrap your business. Create a proper bookkeeping system that will allow you to track your expenses from your company registration to all your subsequent business transactions. Remember to keep all the corresponding receipts or proof of purchase. More than simply complying with statutory requirements, knowing where most of your money gives you insight on which part of your business you can optimize to cut costs and eliminate unnecessary expenses.
Promote your business
Good branding can improve the chances of your business getting attention and increasing the number of potential customers. However, seeking professional help for marketing, advertising and PR can be costly. Small business owners can cut costs by trying their hand at marketing and advertising their own business. There is a gold mine of resources available online and learning how to market your own business can become an invaluable investment. One can learn how to design a business card, create a blog to increase site traffic, leverage a business presence on social media platforms instead of paying a creative shop for these services.
Utilize free tools and platforms
Time is an important resource so being efficient and effective is a must. There is a wealth of free tools and platforms that you can take advantage of to efficiently manage your business’ day to day activities. More often than not, there is a corresponding free tool for your specific business need—from tracking your budget to scheduling social media content, measuring fan base growth, tracking site traffic and other important metrics, and even backing up your files, you can save both time and budget by simply looking for and using free tools and platforms that best fit the nature of your business.
Use your negotiation skills
Small businesses need to make the most out of any deal. To do so, conduct transactions with the idea that everything is negotiable. Request for a discount or ask for freebies, call for friendlier payment terms— appeal for just about anything that will get you a better deal than what is originally offered. Many times, entrepreneurs miss out on opportunities for a better deal simply because they did not ask.