What Does “bootstrap a Business” Mean?

What Does "bootstrap a Business" Mean?

Author: Clint Jhonson / ArticlesBase.com
Posted: 01-11-2007

The term bootstrapping is very popular these days for web entrepreneurs and offline businessmen as well. When you bootstrap a business, it simply means that you put up a venture using your own resources without any outside help. A bootstrap is actually a small loop of leather or some other material that can be seen on the sides or the top rear of a boot. Its main purpose is to help you pull your boot on. The concept of a bootstrap has been extended into the business sector to mean "putting up your business on your own terms."

As a web entrepreneur, when you bootstrap a business it would mean that you will carry all the responsibility for financing, promoting and developing your business. You will use your own initiative and resources to put up a business and not seek for outside financing. From the looks of it now, you might think that bootstrapping is difficult. It might be, and it will definitely take a lot of effort on your part. However, if you think of it from a brighter side, you will see how potentially advantageous it is to bootstrap a business. The most obvious advantage is that you do not have to think about outstanding loans that you need to work hard for to pay up. Also, when you bootstrap a business, you focus on your role as a web entrepreneur in providing utmost services to your customers.

There are many ways that you can finance your very own business using
your own initiative. This said, what are some ways that you can
bootstrap a business as a web entrepreneur? Here are some of them:
• Operate a home based business. Bootstrapping through a business from
home can save you a lot of money. You do not only do away with
commercial rent and commuting cost, you can also have some expenses
deductible from your income tax.
• Secure credit through your customers. You can actually use your
customer’s money as an added capital. You can sell subscriptions,
memberships, coupons, gift certificates and the likes to get your
customers to pay you up front. Of course, you have to make the package
attractive to get them to buy from you. When you get advance deposits,
you do not only add to your capital but you maintain a constant pool of
customers as well.
• Drop ship products. If you are maintaining an online shop, you can
consider drop shipping in which you contact your manufacturer or
distributor to ship the product to your customer directly once the sale
is made (with your invoice and shipping label, of course). This way,
you save on shipping, warehousing and inventory costs.

There is a multitude of other ways to bootstrap a business. You should
use your skills and abilities as a web entrepreneur to bootstrap your
way to success. You can get free online publicity instead of paying for
advertising (as in blogs and online forum), aggressively control costs,
get some extended terms with your supplier, establish good collection
and credit policies, and whatever else you think will generate you more
profits.

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