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Do you have what it takes to start a bootstrapped business?

Have you ever heard the idiom – pull yourself up by your bootstraps? But what does it mean? The idiom means to improve your own situation by using your own means. And what does that mean for your business?

When many people talk about bootstrapping a business, they talk about a self-funded business but it is more than this. Here are some disciplines which you need to run a successfully bootstrapped business.

Discipline one: Be cost-effective

You need to be careful about how you spend your money. If you can use free software or resources then it is best. If the software is critical to how you run your business then it is important to save for it and buy it. There is a wide range of free software available to help you with your business. For accounting, you can use Wave and for designing images for your brand you can use Canva.

Discipline two: Be humble

When your business starts to become successful, it is important to remain humble. People prefer to partner with people they are able to connect with and who are humble. You can learn something new from every person you meet.

Discipline three: Be determined

It is important to always have the interests of your business at heart. You need to clearly understand the core of your business and be determined in only doing activities which help your business to grow. Sometimes you will have to say no to opportunities because they won’t have any benefit for your business.

Another area where determination is important is when you make mistakes. You should review your errors , make notes on how to improve and then move on. You will fail but through hard work and determination, you will succeed.

Discipline Four: Be innovative

Sometimes you will need to be creative in your solutions when you are bootstrapping a business. The regular course of action may not work for you and you may need to find another way to do business. You need to be creative. By being innovative, you can learn to work smarter instead of harder.

By thinking differently about how to run your business you may also be more successful. One way is to forecast from the bottom up. Instead of considering how many customers you need to earn the amount of money you need, rather consider what you can do now to earn money.

Discipline Five: Be simple

When you are bootstrapping a business, you need to focus on function rather than how things look. You need the equipment to complete the job rather than look like beautiful works of art. You should focus on the minimum requirements you need to build your business. Often small businesses overstaff because of the work they believe will come in. It is better to be understaffed in the beginning, with a plan on how to deal with the deluge of work if it does come in. You should also outsource non-critical functions in your business.

By developing these five disciplines, you will be well on your way to building a successful bootstrapped business.

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