by Rhonda Adams, president and founder of PlanningShop and author of “Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies“
Small business owners never seem to have enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks on our to-do lists — developing new products, searching for new customers, training employees, closing the sale. As busy as we are, we also need to keep up with small business and marketing trends — trends that change quickly.
Google Primer, a free app from Google, has developed a number of small business and marketing lessons — each of which you can complete in a manageable five minutes. Each interactive lesson breaks down a small business concept into bite-size pieces. Learn how to get found online, how to create effective email marketing campaigns, how to build an online presence, and much more.
My Google Primer lesson has just gone live: “Start Small and Grow on Your Own with Bootstrapping”.
“Bootstrapping” is the strategy of growing your business through income – sales – or other personal or short-term financing (like credit cards) rather than going out and looking for investors or taking on significant debt. So instead of relying on outsiders, you’re “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.”
When you have only your own resources, unfortunately that means you usually have less money, so you need to make sure every dollar counts.
One great way to do that is to “start small” – to get to market and start making sales with the leanest viable product or service you can get out the door. That’s what we call an “MVP” – or “minimal viable product.”
While you might not start out with as grand a project as what you might have initially imagined, focusing on getting a lean – but viable and workable – product or service launched and making sales is a great way to grow your business with the fewest outside dollars.
By “bootstrapping” and starting with an MVP, you’re not only reducing your need for outside investors or lenders, but by interacting with prospects and customers and making real sales, you gain insights about your product/service that you’d never know
You can learn more about bootstapping and MVP – minimal viable products – in my Google Primer lesson, that’s now live. To take my lesson now, click on this link from your smartphone or tablet: https://www.yourprimer.com/app/en/lesson/bootstrapping
But I’m not the only one creating Google Primer lessons. You’ll find a whole slew of small business lessons there, including a few from some other small business experts I respect, such as:
- John Jantsch: Foster Customer Relationships to Sell Your Product
- Anita Campbell: Small Business Budgeting: Track, Plan, Prepare
- Ramon Ray: Fight Fatigue and Stress While You Start a New Business
In small business, as in life, always be learning!
Author, entrepreneur, and nationally-syndicated columnist, Rhonda Abrams is widely recognized as one of the nation’s foremost experts on small business and entrepreneurship. Rhonda writes the nation’s most widely-distributed column on small business and entrepreneurship, appearing weekly in USA Today. She is the author of 19 books on business planning, small business and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling business plan guide “Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies“.