6 Ways how to start a Start-Up with no Money
You’ve got an idea and now you want to turn it into your own business. That’s great! We at PANDO always encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. So today we will tell you about a concept that is integral to the way we work. Bootstrapping!
What is that you say? Bootstrapping is a way for founders to get their business running on as little capital as possible. We say: waste not, want not! So here are a few tips on how to do it:
But of course! Work out of your parents’ basement! Use your own laptop. Get your friend/business partner to bring the snack. Use free social media platforms. Save money wherever you can. Steves Jobs and Wozniak started out in a basement and you can too!
Test Your Product Before Committing
Well duh, right? But you’d be surprised how important this is and how many may fall into the trap of failing to do it adequately. The thing that we have realised is that sometimes the results may surprise you.
Maybe you think that one design is definitely going to be the crowd favourite. I mean how could it not be?
But testing will reveal a lot of important information that you could not have expected. Like maybe, both designs are equally popular but design A costs more. Not really worth it anymore is it?
This is the age of Photoshop and it is a simple matter of editing the images and posting them on social media to gauge crowd response before committing to one.
Similarly at PANDO, we push for rigorous testing to ensure that when you finally sink the serious money into something, it is something that will work.
Scrap That Business Plan
Ok, so I know this may sound a bit unconventional. But when you think of it, a business plan is big and bulky and a LOT of work goes into it.
We are not saying don’t plan! Quite the opposite! Planning is essential to saving money; but have a flexible plan. First off, you need to work out the basic details to make sure that the people want what you’re selling. So for that, you could use a light version of the business plan. We call it the Pando Canvass. You can download it here
The idea of the canvass is simple. In it, you outline the idea and what makes it feasible. Fill in the appropriate information so that you have the necessary points at this early stage. And with that, you can go out and start gathering crowd response!
First Proof of Consumer Interest
To save money, you need proof that it works before sinking money into it. Pretty simple right? And no, you don’t need to spend loads on professionally made market statistics because if you’re the kind of enterprising entrepreneur we think you are, you are part of your target market already (or associate closely with it) and understand it pretty well!
Go out and pound that pavement! Asking for people’s opinions is free and most likely more accurate as you will then be able to personally pitch them on your actual idea instead of just a hypothetical. Knock on doors, stop people in the streets! Try to get as much feedback and criticism as you can from real people who would potentially use your product/services.
Maybe after knocking on a few doors your realise that the original business plan wasn’t as viable as you first thought it would be. (Now aren’t you glad you didn’t spend weeks preparing a full-blown thesis?)
So that’s when you…
Rework the Idea
This entire process is to be done until you and your consumers are satisfied. Take the feedback and criticisms into account, make changes accordingly. And finally…
Get Pledge Purchases
You can see now how this saves you a tonne of money right? Set up a social media page, start selling your product or your service. Get those pledge purchases. That way you can ensure as far as possible that when you launch, you won’t be making a loss.
These “early adopters” are essential to your business development. Every good business needs good support in order to grow and these early adopters will support you throughout your growth; either because they believe in your idea/product or they love innovation.
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