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The Art of Bootstrapping for Start-Ups

When it comes to getting your start up off the ground, there are tried and tested ways to bootstrap. Here are some great ways to punch above your weight when it comes to starting out…

Advisory Board

Advisory boards can add credibility to your start up. You may have received a grant or been sponsored by an enterprise board. If so, let your customers know about it. It indicates that a higher power believes that you have something to offer.

Non-Executive Director

This is goodie trick to bootstrap a start up if you can get the right person. Pay them in shares instead of salary.

Virtual Assistant

“Outsource all but what makes you great” there are now endless sites where you can get online assistants. Works best for a specific project with defined parameters or alternatively, for repetitive tasks. You usually pay by the hour and because they are virtual, you can choose from any country in the world. Try some of these sites on for size:- Freelancer.com; Brickworkindia.com; peopleperhour.com

Interns / Students

The Law is changing on this but for now, it is possible to have an unpaid interns. The concept operated off the win-win idea where you get a helping hand in return for providing the intern with genuine useful experience.

Pay staff in Equity

Consider offering staff shares in the company to compliment salary.

Brand Alignment

Align your brand with an existing established brand. Say, for example you sell a patio heaters. Why not approach B&Q and ask them if they can hand out your brochure with their customer receipts at the check out? Hey presto, you have a segmented audience (DIY’ers and outdoor recreational types) who just might want your product. Borrow credibility wherever possible.

Leverage LinkedIn

Have a look at your linked in contacts. Then have a closer look. Can you call in any favours? Can you have access to any of their databases? It never hurts to ask and if you are connected, you’re pushing an open door. Don’t forget good will so be sure to reciprocate now or later.

Guest Blog

Just like you, many other start-ups have tumble weeds blowing around their blog pages with nothing to fill them with. A great way to set up a low cost startup business is to make contact with a complementary brand (use the alignment example of B&Q above) and ask if they would like you to send over some of your own work in exchange for accreditation.

About The Author Rachel J
About The Author Rachel J
Rachel is an entrepreneur, lawyer and the Managing Director of Office Suites Club.

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