Bootstrapping Your Business

In a tumultuous economy, many bank lenders and venture capitalists are holding back on funds, making it even harder for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to get their hands on cash. Without their help, it can appear nigh on impossible to start-up, survive and thrive.

Don’t despair too much though. There are alternatives.

Bootstrapping is one of them; funding the development of your company through internal cash flow, rather than relying on external capital.

Initially this might seem an unrealistic prospect, but, with a helping hand from technology, the process can become a little manageable. There’s a wealth of free apps that’ll help you save cash. Here’s a run through on some of the most useful apps to the entrepreneur or small business forced to go it alone…


The comprehensive Google Drive app provides an online environment where users can take care of their word processing, spreadsheet and presentation needs for free. A more than capable alternative to Microsoft Office, it brings all the benefits of cloud software, too. Even better, you don’t have to pay for the first 5GB. Generous.


A fully functional website should be a key piece in any businesses armoury, what with almost everyone and everything online nowadays. The free WordPress app provides you with the opportunity to run not only a mere blog but also the opportunity to set up an ecommerce site. It’s an app that can prove extremely cost-effective, should your ecommerce site take off.


Apologies for getting a little Google heavy here, but in comparison to their rivals, the ubiquitous heavyweights provide an app that is great value for money. It is free after all. All-encompassing, this app will allow you to track, analyse and optimise your website, allowing you to measure your website’s effectiveness and examine exactly where that traffic is coming from.  Ultimately, it should help you to market more effectively.


A fact of business life is that you’re going to have to make calls. The Skype app makes this cheaper, as it offers free device-to-device calling and low-cost device-to-number calling anywhere in the world. Useful if you trade abroad or have aspirations to. As a well as this Multi-person video chats and screen sharing are also available, should you need them, the app offering an all-round thoroughly comprehensive and useful service.


It often pays to keep a keen eye on the latest news and industry developments, these providing opportunities and threats, often in equal measure. The Thomson Reuters app makes this easier and more effective, as it allows users to personalise and customise news to suit them. Aside from this it provides a customisable watch list allowing users to monitor stocks and a feature providing detailed company profiles, including business descriptions, officer and director profiles and contact details.

All free and remarkable value for money, these apps can help you and your start-up give a stunning riposte to the assorted bankers and venture capitalists being tight fisted with their cash. It’s possible to succeed in a volatile economy with a good idea and some spending savvy, despite the big banks frugalness.

Mark James is a Writer who specialises in Small Business and Technology. He currently works in-house at online accounting firm Crunch [] and is a regular contributor to soccer sites… (He’s British).

Filed in: Finance, Small Business, Startups
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