Boot Strapping doesn’t sound like a sophisticated business model.  It’s not.  It is a common sense approach to business.  It’s a mindset.  It’s discipline.

Boot Strapping is the art of starting and running a business with little cash and no debt.  In today’s economy, not the most vibrant economy ever, it is a philosophy that can’t be ignored.  In a more robust economy, it is a process that should not be ignored.  Boot Strapping always has its place in business.

The key to Boot Strapping is to exercise restraint and discipline.  Every decision made must show immediate cost benefit for you and your company.  You must make a conscious decision before you spend money, you must avoid the knee jerk reaction in hopes that it will have a positive result.

While there is no litmus test for all conditions and situations, a list of questions can be easily generated to test the desire to spend.  Consider asking yourself some of the following:

  • Do we need this, or is it actually a want?
  • Do we have other options to get the same result?
  • Do we have the money to pay for this?
  • How does this fit in with our overall strategic plan for the company?
  • Is there an adverse affect if we were to delay the purchase or action?

Embedded in the answer to these and similar questions is a cost effective answer that protects your cash flow while yielding positive results.

Consider the process and decision making associated with setting up an office for your business.   It may be beneficial to consider the following questions:

  • Do I need a high profile office or can I work from home?
  • While technology is wonderful, will all of the bells, buzzers, and whistles increase my productivity?
  • Do I need to pay someone to build and maintain a website, or can I buy an inexpensive template and build my own?
  • Do I need to hire a receptionist, or can I have part-time help?
  • Do I need to buy new furniture, or is there a discount scratch and dent solution?
  • Are there opportunities to trade goods and services with someone else?

The more you look for different answers you will find more opportunities to save money, or at least defray the expense until you have a greater need and more positive cash flow.

Obviously the process does not end with the establishment of your office; it penetrates all aspects of your business.  In another installment we will look at inexpensive and free marketing opportunities.

This article was written in my office, a table at the local coffee shop, published on a website that was created via a $60 template.  My cell phone was at my side allowing me immediate access to all incoming calls.  My greatest expense was the cup of coffee that I drank while writing this article.