7 Smart Tactics for Running Your Startup on a Budget

09/05/2015 09:51 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Whether you're just starting out or need to cut down on current expenses, these economical tips will set your business up for success.

A. Be Flexible With Your Finances

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If you aren't independently wealthy, you're probably going to take a pay cut (or work for free). Bootstrapping doesn't work if you need C-Suite amenities or lack a plan to survive on less (or no) income for a long time. You may think you'll raise money quickly -- and you may -- but the point of bootstrapping is to be in a position to raise money when the business needs it, not you. - Ross Faith, SpectrumFX, Inc.

A. Have a Realistic Mindset

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While it may seem like everyone on the internet is making a ton of money at an incredibly fast rate, it's actually the opposite. To make it as a successful bootstrapped business or entrepreneur, you need to have a realistic mindset and appreciate the time, work and effort it takes to grow your idea into something amazing. - Zac Johnson, Blogging.org

A. Stick to Cash

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I've built our thriving business from the ground up starting with nothing but a laptop. As the old saying goes "cash is king," and there is nothing more satisfying than paying for everything in cash. It keeps you from going into debt and builds your business on a solid foundation by slowly and steadily paying for equipment and staffing as you grow. It may take longer to build your business, but it's also less stressful. - Steven Newlon, SYN3RGY Creative Group

A. Ask for Pro Bono

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I'm always amazed at how many people will provide pro-bono support to super early-stage startups just because you ask. Many legal firms do pro bono work as do many other types of service providers. - Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli

A. Keep an Eye on Your Profit and Loss

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Remember that you are playing with your own money here, and when it runs out, it's gone. Learn to focus on your profit and loss. Strive for profitability early on and stay away from expensive rabbit holes. Fair pricing and customer retention become very important. When you focus on P&L, you are looking at yournumbers often and for ways to improve them. - John Arroyo, Arroyo Labs, Inc.

A. Consider Your Surrounding Benefactors

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Bootstrapping is about turning every situation into a win-win-win for all involved. Always lead by giving as it'll help in the long run. I've bootstrapped many ideas into fruition by looking at all of the surrounding benefactors of my efforts, bringing them in on the opportunity, and together making it happen. Cross-promoting with complimentary brands at this stage is key! - Ben Maitland-Lewis, PrettyInstant

A. Prove the Value of an Investment Before Going All-In

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When you're bootstrapping a business, you don't have endless resources to spend on things that aren't working. Do small tests before committing to big spends wherever you can. For instance, plan a few $25 online ad spends before investing more heavily in your most successful version, and when it comes to hiring, try potential employees out as freelancers to make sure they can deliver. - Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.