So you want to start a business, or maybe you are already working on one. You want the best equipment and the most advertising space possible. But do you really need it?
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No matter how much you may want a step-by-step DIY guide to launching a business, there isn’t one. Trust me, I’ve looked. What worked for one person may be old news by the next day and it won’t work for you anymore because the market decided so.
Money is finite, and it is distributed awfully throughout the U.S. And chances are, you’re on the end with less (a reason you may be looking at articles how to be an entrepreneur and bootstrapping)
The only path you can take is yours. As I’m working on my own startup, I’m learning this every day. I’m the kind of person you reads, a lot. I seek out books on just about anything related to business/entrepreneurship/startups. And what I’ve learned is that I have to stop reading and start doing.
The only way you are going to see what works is by doing something, anything. There are strategies you can implement but no clear guide.
So what I want to provide here is some ways to be lean without compromising your product. Let’s get started:
Skip the fancy equipment
You don’t need the latest and greatest full-frame DSLR camera to create videos and photos that stand out. There are books dedicated to iPhone photography and equipment. There’s even been award-winning films filmed entirely on an iPhone (which I highly recommend Tangerine).
Seek out alternative ways of funding
Investors want a proof of concept that is scalable. If you’re like me, you aren’t at this stage yet. And if you are at this stage, you need to be ready for rapid growth (watch your cash flow).
A great alternative way to gain funding I recommend is through business competitions. Oftentimes, these include submitting a presentation, business plan, and giving a pitch to a panel of judges. This has been a great way for me to gain funds. If you’re a student, there are even more options at your disposable. So far this year, between two business competitions I have been awarded $6150 in funding. This may not seem like a lot, but it’ll get me to conferences across the country where I can further network for more funding.
Now there are many other methods to bootstrap. I’ll be writing a more in depth post about bootstrapping in the future but for now, know that you don’t need to find and throw a bunch of cash into your startup. There are exceptions, but generally a little bit (or zero) can go a long way. For now, jump into the cold water to see what works and when you fail, learn from it, grow from it, and make it better.