Some of the biggest companies in the world begin as crazy ideas in College dorm rooms. College is meant to inspire people to greatness and creating a successful business is just one way people achieve that.
Of course, the road to success has a lot of speed bumps and, for college startups, those speed bumps often involve money.
It should come as no surprise that cash is short for companies created in a place where ramen noodles are a staple food. Bootstrapping becomes essential for creating a business that lives beyond the walls of the college dorm.
So, how can you build your startup with little or no money to get started?
1. Become a Jack of All Trades
In a startup culture there aren’t many people who simply do one job. This is especially true in a college startup. While it may be tempting to outsource jobs to freelancers with the experience you need you may find you simply don’t have the money for that kind of luxury.
Instead, invest in your own knowledge. Learn how to do things that you would otherwise have to pay others to do.
Learn marketing, coding, design, and copywriting so that you can do as many jobs as possible until revenue begins to roll in.
2. Get a Student Loan
Getting a student loan can be a great way to gain access to funds. Of course, student loans aren’t meant to be used for funding startups directly. What you can do is get a loan to pay your school expenses and then use your own funds to help bootstrap your college startup.
The best thing about student loans is their low interest rate. In fact, you can even use online tools to help you shop around and compare the best rates from all lenders.
You pick the loan that works for you and then get back to work on building your startup.
3. Start Making Money Fast
This section might feel like an obvious solution. Of course, every startup wants to make more money!
However, is your startup designed to pursue revenue opportunities right away? While these streams of revenue may not be your golden goose they may be the key to early success.
Look for ways to bring in revenue right away. Every bit of money will help you be more able to fund your startup.
These methods may not be your ultimate revenue solution when the company matures but they may be necessary now to get the ball rolling.
4. Reduce Personal Expenses to Increase Funds
Chances are that if you’re bootstrapping your college startup then the funds are coming from your own resources. This means that every personal expense is money that could have gone to the startup.
Obviously you should continue to eat food and ensure you have a place to live but there are ways to cut expenses.
Getting a roommate or living with family is a great solution that could put hundreds of dollars per month back into your pocket. Are you able to carpool to work or find a place closer to campus that allows you to walk?
Every little bit adds up!
Never Give Up on Yourself
Bootstrapping a startup in college is not easy. There will be tough decisions and bumps in the road.
However, you can put yourself in a great position to build a successful company from the ground up with a few good decisions.
Make a plan, stick to it, and enjoy the ride.