In the startup community, landing a large funding round is cause to throw a party. And why not? Raising capital is a sign that you as a founder have been able to pitch successfully to investors. It is also an indication that your business is viable. Raising funds is validation is many ways. It feels good to know that angel investors and venture capitalist believe in your business and believe in you. At least believe in you enough to give you money.
But what if it doesn’t make sense to seek venture capital for your business? Or what if you don’t want outside money and just want to fund your business without giving away any portion of it? Then your other option is to bootstrap your business.
Bootstrapping in business means starting a business without external help or capital. Such startups fund the development of their company through internal cash flow and are cautious with their expenses
Most founders do not have the luxury to go out and get another part-time or full-time job while building their business. What most new entrepreneurs need is just a little bit of extra money each month to help them cover unexpected expenses that arise or to help them to pay down their debt a little bit faster.
If a person is willing to work hard and they are creative, there are a lot of ways that they can make some extra money on the side while they are building their business. There are a lot of ways that you can make money from home that can give you just that little bit of extra money you need to pay down debt quicker.
One option is to look at all of the ways that are currently available to make money online. Look at all the options that exist for individuals who do freelance work. If you design websites, write, translate from one language to another, do interpreting work, or even know how to work as a personal assistant, all of these things can be done online. They can be done in your spare time to help you earn a little extra cash.
Another option is to become a notary. Individuals who need notary services are willing to pay quite a bit of money in order to have documents notarized when it is necessary. The great thing is that once a person has become a notary and they pay the initial expenses, they are making pure profit. Some people can even qualify to do notary work online. Having been a notary in the past, I can tell you that it is not as hard as you think. Here is an example of how to become a notary in Florida.
If you are knowledgeable, have a proven track record of accomplishing goals and can give an outsider’s view on operational habits of an organization, you may be able to do some consulting on the side. Charles Plant, Founder and Chairmen of Material Minds suggests consulting as way to bring in income while you are still building your business.
“Finding a consulting job is easier than you think”, Plant said in his presentation entitled Bootstrapping.
As a consultant, the startup costs are minimal and the potential income is dependent on your level of expertise. A successful consulting business doesn’t just happen. There are more than a few, inter-related keys to success. Building a consulting business is much tougher and takes a lot of persistence and effort. But landing a few consulting gigs in order to keep the money flowing is a viable option for the bootstrapping entrepreneur.
Teach a Course
It may not feel like it, but there are a lot of things you know that is valuable to others. Keep in mind, just about everything you know, you’ve learned from someone else. If you have something valuable to others, you can share that information while bringing in some extra income.
You can teach a course online or in person. One of the fastest ways is to use a site like Udemy. You also have the option of setting up your own blog and sell courses directly to your readers. Many marketers are now using courses as a main source of income. But as a startup founder, you may not want to go into the content publishing business. Instead, this may be a good option to bring in a little money while you are still building your business and brand.
Leverage Your Problem Solving Skillset
Another option is to use a skill that you already have in order to make money. Do you know how to fix cars? Or do you have a hobby that not many people can do? For example, if you love to sew, you could offer your services to individuals who would like a custom-made outfit. You could also offer minor home repairs as a way to bring in some extra cash.
Turning passion into profit is always a challenge. However, if you have the right focus, a skill that is currently in demand, and the ability to leverage that skillset, you could be able to generate some cashflow from those skills.