If you’re not familiar with the term “bootstrapping”, you may want to get acclimated as it may be your only option for now. It simply means self-funding your own operation and reinvesting earnings into your company until you can prove to lenders or investors that you have a sustainable business model worth taking a risk on.
But how exactly do you bootstrap? You can trim excess spending from your personal budget and allocate resources to your startup, take money from your savings account, use credit cards, take out a home equity loan or borrow against assets you have in your possession. Keep in mind that some approaches are riskier than others.
2. Take out a loan
If you prefer to borrow the funds to launch your startup, there are several lenders to choose from. But, securing a small business loan can pose major challenges for new business owners. Many lenders have stringent qualification criteria. And if you do find a lender that caters to up and coming small businesses, they may rely on your credit score to make a decision.
So it may be in your best interest to secure a personal loan without as the barriers to entry may be lower. Before you apply, check out reviews from various lenders.
Have you considered launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise capital for your startup? The idea of asking strangers for funding may be daunting. But it’s a free way to reach hundreds, if not thousands of potential investors without spending a fortune. Plus, you’ll be offering an incentive in return for their investment, so it’s a win-win for both parties.
4. Angel or venture capital investors
Are you willing to sell a percentage of your company to raise the funds you need? If so, an angel or venture capital investor may be ideal. They’ll expect to make a profit off of what they invest. But you may be able to cut ties once your company is profitable and they’ve turned a profit on their investment.
5. Friends and family
The support of friends and family is a definite plus when launching a startup. And if you get the sense that they’d be willing to go the extra mile to help your company succeed, consider asking for a small investment. It may be the capital infusion you need to boost profit margins in record time. Plus, it could garner the attention of other potential investors.