It seems obvious when you think about it, but when you’re bootstrapping a business, trying to get it off the ground at the lowest possible cost, while maintaining your health and fitness then an easy way is to consume less, waste less and ultimately pay less.
Starting your own business may require significant personal sacrifices and if you’re personally financing your business, you’re likely to need to bootstrap your life as well as your business.
Here are some thought on things you could consider:
Instead of maintaining you gym membership take up running or dig that old bicycle out of the garage and go for a ride. Not only is it good for you, but it will give you personal time to think through ideas and re-energise you.
Instead of buying 2 litre bottles of milk, buy 2 one litre sachets of milk. Save R2 a litre. It’s fiddly but the savings add up. Over a month that could save another R100
Coming to the end of your phone contract? Switch to a pay monthly plan, not a contract, that you can scale according to your needs, and keep the phone for another year or even two. At R500 a month for the phone that could save you R12000 over 2 year.
Have an old phone/pc/printer at home, use it to start your business, don’t buy new unless the business can afford it.
Don’t use your personal money to buy goods for your business unless you have to. Wait until the business is making it’s own money, it exists as an entity separate from you.
Walk somewhere instead of driving, save petrol or take a bicycle and add it to your exercise routine.
Look for bargains in store and shop around and don’t be afraid to buy something nearing the end of it’s sell by date, just consume it within a reasonable amount of time.
Be careful of buying in bulk, this saves money over a long period but ties up your money in stock or in the food cupboard. I know so many people who struggle month to month, or day to day, but have cupboards full of bargains they bought in bulk.
Use up everything you have in the cupboard before doing shopping. Get creative with your ingredients.
If you have the space, plant a vegetable garden, it’s almost free. And if we’ve learnt anything from the current drought, use grey water to keep them alive. This is a great way to not only return water to the ground, but also saves you on your water bill.
When dealing with suppliers don’t be afraid to ask for a discount, almost anything is negotiable, but also recognise that we all need to make a living, and if you cut the deal too fine someone may not do business with you in the future.
This is only the first of many bootstrapping articles we’ll be sharing. We might even explore some of these ideas in more detail as we build up our knowledge and experience.
Feel free to add your thoughts and ideas below.