Anxious to get their ideas to market, many entrepreneurs seek to raise funding through venture capital.

While this is an easier and faster way to get your business off the ground, outside funding does not always work to your best interest. Getting investors on board essentially limits your control over your business and hinders creative freedom. It’s for this reason that some first-time entrepreneurs choose to bootstrap their venture.

It’s not glamorous or easy, but bootstrapping teaches you to become a wiser and stronger entrepreneur. With a small capital to work with, you will be forced to test your assumptions carefully, make smarter decisions and get your product right quickly. More importantly, bootstrapping keeps ownership clear and manageable and aligns your incentives with the success of your company.

Bootstrapping entails funding your business out of your own pocket, so it’s best to approach it wisely. Here are some tips to help get your venture through the startup phase.

  1. Do your due diligence

Before you dive in, make sure to conduct market research to get solid feedback on your product. What do customers think of your idea? What feature or functionality would they expect from a similar product? How much would they be willing to pay for it? You’ll need this information to decide whether your product is ready and how you should move forward.

To gather consumer feedback, you can use tools like Survey Monkey to get the opinion of a large sample size of potential customers. Through it, you can ask questions about their current problems and thus figure out how your product can resolve them.

Another way to validate your idea is to run ads to promote your product, before you actually create it. This way you will be able to determine market responsiveness, without wasting a lot of money on developing an idea that may not work.

  1. Let your do-it-all attitude take over

For the first several months of running your business, you’ll want to take on all of the duties and responsibilities by yourself. Not only will you cut costs by doing so, but you will also learn how to work efficiently and how to use your time wisely. In addition, you will be able to pinpoint what tasks are best outsourced in the future.

As your business grows, you won’t be able to handle everything by yourself and thus you need to begin outsourcing certain tasks that keep you from focusing on growth. These are often time-consuming and technical tasks such as accounting, admin, IT and shipping inventory.

Alternatively, you can buy software or use SaaS to automate tasks and help you scale more easily.

  1. Cut costs where you can

When you’re funding your business with your savings, keeping your personal life separate is pretty much impossible. In some ways, you have to make compromises in order to keep everything in balance.

As such, bootstrapping often means giving up some of your previous indulgences or adopting a more frugal lifestyle until you are already making profits. This may not be so bad at all. If you take a look at current personal expenses, you might find some unnecessary costs that you can actually live without, such as a cable TV subscription (who needs that when you have an internet connection?).

You can also cut costs by cooking your own meals or using digital coupons. Every small change can make a big difference – the money you can free up will add up to significant figure that can help your business. At the same time, consider using penny-pinching strategies to streamline your business costs.

Lastly, it’s important to be persistent. How you fund your venture is only one of the many challenges you will have to face as a startup. You’ll encounter more problems along the way, but don’t let them sway you.

Put your money where your mouth is, then show the world why it’s worth it. Investors and customers will soon be knocking on your door.