If you have been hanging out here long enough, you may remember the days where I shared about our student loan debt. While that student loan debt has been a definite thorn in our side it has also taught us discipline in a whole new way. Tyler and I are firm believers in bootstrapping our dreams, paying cash, and running the race, even when it's hard.
There have been plenty of times in this business journey that I wish I could have just snapped my fingers and had a pile of cash to invest in the business. An extra pile of cash would have meant I could hire things out, like a website designer, or a copywriter. But from the beginning I knew I was going to have to bootstrap my way through this business. Hopefully these insights will give you encouragement to bootstrap your business too.
CONTINUE WORKING THAT FULL OR PART TIME JOB
We all wish we could throw caution to the wind and quit that day job right from the start, right? I think it's easy to want to jump the ship of that full time job before the business is off the ground or before any systems are in place. I actually did something kind of like this, haha! In 2013 I quit my day job to pursue running my own business. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but nothing about the business was even built yet, I didn't even have a website. The thing about this particular experience was that I quit my job because it really wasn't a good place for me to work and I had planned on finding a part time job while I worked on the business. But I ended up not finding a part time job, which made things pretty tricky. That is an example of what not to do, haha.
A great example of what to do is to keep that full time or part time job while you build your business. It takes time for businesses to turn a profit. I currently work two days a week at a completely different business and I can't stress enough how important this is. Tyler and I know that each business venture we want to pursue we want to do debt free. So, even though things may take longer and I sometimes have to do edit or shoot on Saturdays, it's worth it.
WATCH YOUR EXPENSES
Something that I have learned this past year is that expenses can eat up your businesses profit really quick. It's really easy to want to sign up for every service out there, from social media schedulers, accounting platforms like Honeybook, and really anything else you can think of, but these expenses add up. Keep in mind that none of these services are bad, I have wanted to sign up for them too. But I didn't want them eat into the businesses profit, especially if I could manage the actual tasks myself. Things take planning and sometimes a little more time, but if you are able to implement systems within your business without spending cash then in the long run, when your business is really making profit, you can say yes to all the services that make running a business easier.
LEARN AS YOU GO
I feel like I have learned more as a small business owner then I learned in college, haha! Embrace the learning aspect of being a small business owner and it is a perfect way to bootstrap your business. One thing that I really had to embrace in my journey was learning CSS. I'm not a web designer in any way, but I got really good at googling CSS. Sometimes learning new things can feel frustrating, but there are somethings you can figure out and bootstrap until your business is making a profit to hire someone to do it for you.
With time, determination, and discipline, you can bootstrap your small business. Stay focused on the journey and simply take one new step each day. What are some ways that you have bootstrapped your small business? xoxo. Samantha