Organically growing a business is a lot like organic farming. Organic farmers pay attention to the signs of nature as a planting guide. They use rich sources of organic matter to build and maintain soil fertility.

If you’re like many entrepreneurs, it probably makes sense to grow organically. You might not have another choice.

Assuming you don’t have an angel investor, you’re not independently wealthy or you’re able to purchase an expensive franchise, organic growth is your likely option. Why?

Bank funds aren’t usually available. Even if a bank would loan you the cash, it would be inadvisable to finance your operations with a bank loan.

So how can you organically grow your startup?

Pull your business up by the proverbial bootstraps. Operate as affordably as possible as you strive to get ahead without help from others.

To grow organically, here are eight strategies:

1. Consider a business that’s inexpensive to start and operate. For example, a restaurant is more expensive than other businesses to launch. That probably might means starting a home-based business. You’d have a short commute and would save on overhead.

2. Do a SWOT analysis to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Focus on the easy-to-pick fruit for a fast start.

3. Review your personal finances to see your liquid options for startup capital. But don’t tap into your credit cards or home equity.

4. Manage your cash flow. Control your expenses. Evaluate even the smallest of costs. Ask if you need each item to be productive.

5. Keep your day job. If you can, start your company on a daily part-time basis. Keep your job until your company is making enough to support your salary.

6. Look for trade-out opportunities. If you’re able to trade for products and services, you’ll conserve assets.

If you’re like many entrepreneurs, it probably makes sense to grow organically. You might not have another choice.

7. Half or more of expenses of all business expenses are usually in human resources. Recruit freelance workers to save on benefits and salaries. But beware of the federal and your state’s approach on employment laws. Typically, a person can’t be an independent contractor if you’re managing their work and they use your equipment.

8. Become savvy in public relations and the use of social media. Here are 10 best marketing tips for growth even on a tight budget.

You might be interested in more advice on taking an entrepreneurial leap (an interview of me in The New York Times).

Good luck on your organic growth.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional resource links:

Checklist to Increase Your Startup’s Cash Flow — It’s true that cash flow is the salient dynamic that leads to the failure or success of a business. Whether your new company’s performance is stagnant or you’re growing quickly, cash flow is paramount. There are at least 11 ways you can increase cash flow for your business to function properly.

Startup Financial Planning: How to Get a Pragmatic Forecast — Unless you have a lot of startup experience, it can be a little tricky to make down-to-earth financial projections for your new company. Pragmatic assumptions are important in such a forecast. Internet startups When in doubt, start by decreasing your assumptions.

11 Sales Strategies to Outsell Your Big Competitors — Big companies have obvious advantages over small businesses. Their brands are well-known. They can afford sales training, sales-support staff and customer-relationship management software.

Convert More Prospects with 10 Best Marketing Tips (Even on a Tight Budget) — So you’ve got a pile of business cards from prospects, but you haven’t converted them? Great sales stem from great marketing. You can’t grow crops until you plant the right seeds.

 “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

-Thomas Edison


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.