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How to Start a Business without Outside Investment

Starting a business without outside investment is known in the trade as bootstrapping. Here's how it is done.

Instructions

  • TIP: Be sure you have good credit.
  • Step 1: Be self-reliant. If you don't know how to do something, research it until you can.
  • FACT: The Spanx apparel line, now a multimillion-dollar company, started with a bootstrap of only $5,000.
  • Step 2: Ask your suppliers to extend payment terms. Explain your business plan to them, emphasizing how they will benefit when your business grows.
  • Step 3: Offer discounts to early customers. This will generate an immediate cash flow.
  • TIP: If your dream is to run a 5-star restaurant, consider starting with a deli.
  • Step 4: Aim for steady revenue and profits over a period of years. Invest in rapid growth once you have built a base of loyal customers.
  • Step 5: Keep your overhead costs down as much as possible. Pinching pennies will increase your likelihood of succeeding.
  • Step 6: Keep your expectations low. Break big projects down into smaller projects that you can easily accomplish.

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