A limited budget is one of the common barriers to entrepreneurship, especially when the product that’s being created is capital intensive.

Nevertheless, we always hear of successful entrepreneurs who prove that it’s possible to start a business with very little funding – even in this day where the competition is as tight as ever.

So if you have a product idea or a solution that you think people need, don’t let a limited budget stand in the way of what could be a profitable venture. Use these five strategies to bootstrap your way to startup success.

  1. Build a client base through your personal network

In order to turn your idea into an actual business, you will need to start selling it. But rather than directly taking your product directly mainstream, it’s wiser to start with a small group of high value customers to gain footing within the industry. For this, you can leverage your own personal network.

Contact the various people in your network and tell them about your product or service. It could be your friends, people you met in college or firms you have worked for in the past. Chances are, even if they don’t have a need for your offering, they can refer you to someone they know who might be interested.

This strategy is not only a good way to validate your product or service but also an effective way to build a strong customer or user base for your business. If your product is good, its early adopters will most likely create buzz that will help your business to blossom. As a startup, word-of-mouth referrals are your best marketing and branding tool.

  1. Learn from the failures and successes of others

Many zealous entrepreneurs have tried to reinvent the wheel and failed spectacularly. Don’t be like them. Learn from the mistakes of those who have been there and done that.

You could read books, magazines and articles on entrepreneurship. But it’s always best to seek advice from seasoned entrepreneurs in a similar sector. It might seem awkward to be asking about their experiences. But rather than approaching them as a competitor who wants to steal their “trade secrets”, the key is to approach them as an admirer who genuinely wants to learn.

  1. Differentiate your business with pricing

As a new entrant to the business sector, you can’t afford to offer your product or service at a higher price than existing competitors. You have yet to prove yourself and earn credibility.

That being the case, you must be competitive with pricing. A pricing structure based on performance and quality can be a huge incentive to potential customers, making your product or service more attractive.

A cheaper price means customers have very little to lose if you don’t deliver, and so they are more likely to give your product a try. Once they realise how great it is, they won’t likely resort to other choices and will be more willing to pay higher for greater quality/performance.

Of course, you have to ensure that your product lives up to its promise – otherwise you will risk losing those customers along with the chance of generating leads.

  1. Invest in technology and manpower

Most new business owners have this do-it-all attitude in order to cut corners and keep the cash in. But here’s the thing: it’s okay to spend. If it’s something that can make your business more efficient, then it’s a worthy investment.

For example, if buying software or outsourcing can free up a great deal of your time and let you focus on your core business, then the expense is justified. The important thing is to save where you can, but to invest where you need to. Don’t limit your growth, but explore opportunities for moving your business forward.

Startup success can be achieved, but the sweat equity is tremendous. Well, nobody said running a business is easy. If you persevere enough and take the right steps, nothing – not even a small budget – can stop you from reaching success.