The most obvious weakness that a bootstrapped business has is its lack of capital. Without investment, a business simply can’t grow. The biggest strength of a bootstrapped business? Most often, it’s the creativity and enthusiasm of the founders. By hook or by crook, they find a path to success, using their minimal resources effectively.
Tools also help. In 2018, there’s a tool for everything, and if you run a bootstrapped business, there are tools that can help you cover many things, from logo creation to organization. Let’s take a look at the best affordable tools that bootstrapped business owners will love:
Google Search Console
100% free, Google Search Consoleis a great way to monitor the performance of your website.
You can use it to gauge where search traffic is coming from, and assess what’s working and what isn’t on your website. Once you have this invaluable information, you can start to fine-tune your SEO efforts so that you drive more, high-value traffic to your website. Over time, this will boost conversions and help you grow a stronger audience.
Shopify’s Logo Maker
All businesses need a logo – a logo essentially represents the face of the brand and it’s the first thing we picture when we think of a company. Try to think of Coca-Cola without picturing the logo! Of course, creating logos can be expensive, especially if you hire a professional graphic designer.
This is where Shopify’s Logo Maker comes in. It’s a neat tool that lets you put together a creative and stunning logo or banner in a matter of minutes. For bootstrapped business owners, it’s absolutely ideal.
MailChimp is an email autoresponder that you’ll need once you start building your email list.
It’s free until you’ve got around 2,000 subscribers, or alternatively you can sign right up to their ‘Growing Business’ plan for $10 a month that gives you access to unlimited sending and advanced testing tools.
Email lists are important for all businesses. They’re a very cheap way of bunching our customers together in one place, and when you use a tool like MailChimp – which can segment your list so that the right customers receive the right emails – it’s super easy to build awesome relationships with people.
All online companies – no matter how big or small – produce content. But what happens when we run out of content ideas? Worse still, what if we keep pumping out content that no one wants to read? Conversions drop, as do sales. Our business loses its presence online.
BuzzSumo is a tool that resolves these problems. It analyzes the best performing content on the Internet so that you can generate better content ideas. In other words, you can use BuzzSumo to create a content marketing plan that will score you more readers. This, in turn, can improve your conversions and sales.
You don’t need a massive pot of gold to succeed on social media if you’ve got a tool like BuzzSumo for content ideas – and a tool like HootSuite for managing your social media channels.
Social media can easily get on top of us, which is why HootSuite was created. It comes with a 30-day free trial, links up over 35 social networks, and measures things such as trends, which posts are performing best, and what’s working and what isn’t on your platforms.
In 2018, more and more teams are remote-based. Keeping track of everyone can be tricky, especially when cash is sparse and you don’t have office space.
A tool like Slack helps to keep your team together in one, digitized space. It’s great as a communication resource, and it helps to keep your team on track and up-to-date. It works well as a project management tool and comes with real-time messaging.
Pitching isn’t easy, but it’s essential. A solid, well-crafted and compelling pitch can be the difference between you securing investment for your business and going back to the proverbial drawing board.
Pitcherific is the tool that raises your presentation to the next level so that your pitch convinces investors to do business with you.
Overall, bootstrapping is exciting and there are affordable and even free tools that can help you grow your business.
However, businesses ultimately live and die by cash flow. If you feel like your business could do with some extra capital right now, we at IOU Financial provide affordable small business loans to help you scale. For instant pre-approval and funding, apply now.
Guest Post: About the Author
Michelle Deery is a content writer for Heroic Search in Tulsa. She helps businesses improve their sales by writing educational and engaging content.