10 Secrets For Bootstrapping Your Business

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Jayel Aheram via Flickr

NOTE: This post originally appeared on OPEN Forum and is republished here with permission.Freedom and the entrepreneurial spirit are concepts we pride ourselves on promoting in America. They can inspire the encourage us to become our own boss while managing our own time and life transition.

After all, it is the American dream to pursue our passions and opportunities. When making that big, professional life decision, however, unless you have an angel investor, venture capitalist, or some pre-recession style bank loans, you’re likely bootstrapping your vision yourself.

“After 10 years of working on other people’s creations, I was tired of it and bored,”¬†says Rodrigo Gonzalez, owner of Globotrade, an international specialised battery company for forklifts.¬†“I couldn’t see myself having a boss anymore. I wanted to manage my own time and stop giving my life to someone else to manage. I was ready to develop and work my own creations and passions and be in charge.”

The good news is you can do it too! We spoke with three bootstrapped entrepreneurs about how they pursued their professional dreams without completely breaking the bank.

Minimize overhead

Use your previous experience

Patty Tobin of Patty Tobin Fine Fashion Jewelry has been an entrepreneur her entire career in various capacities. Prior to jewelry design, she worked as a marketing consultant and was also part owner of an environmental construction company.

Each business was self-funded and she was able to use her business administration background to best express her ideas to clients.

Figure out your skills

Jessie Conners is probably most known for being a contestant on Donald Trump's first season of The Apprentice at age 21, but she was using her entrepreneurial skills long before the show.

Conners also owns and manages several rental properties. She flies around the country giving multiple presentations each week on how she did it. June 1st marked the soft launch for her latest endeavour, Peppermint Park, a contemporary designer discount online boutique.

Find a niche within your industry and focus on it

Because Gonzalez had almost 10 of experience in his industry, he had developed really solid relationships with his customers, particularly those within the Latin American market.

When starting his own industrial battery company, he focused on electronic batteries for forklifts and targeted forklift dealers working in Latin America.

Research and look at your competition

Differentiate your business from your competitors

Save some cash to dedicate toward your entrepreneurial vision

Fundraise!

Money is key and if you've got anyone on your team right away it is family and friends.

After you've invested the money you put aside, hit them up for Round Two. (For some, Round Three can be that angel investor.) Tobin raised an additional $50,000 from her family and friends.

Create a business proposal

Keep a good attitude

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