Bootstrapping for business capital

It is possible to start a writing business without breaking the bank–as long as you spend wisely

You’ve heard the bad news about how many small business fail in the early years, I’m sure. And while it’s true that many small businesses do not survive, this is often for good reason. You may feel put off the idea of starting a freelance business, but you don’t have to.

Here are some things to think about when setting up.

You can start small

  • All you need is something to write on and somewhere (preferably ergonomic) to sit! My big executive chair with wheels and 360º seat rotation looks very flash at my working space (the dining table).
  • Write a basic business plan. I like this ‘The $100 Startup One-Page Business Plan from Chris Guillebeau.
  • Platforms can be free, or really cheap. to make yourself known and get the word out about your services—website, business page, social media accounts.
  • For Australian freelancers: Get an ABN. It’s free. It demonstrates you’re getting serious that this fun thing you’re doing is actually a business. It also means more organisations will want to do business with you.
  • Think hard about your spend; only spend the money if there are real, quantifiable benefits, or your business activity can cover it.



Stacks of notebooks bound together on an old shelf
One writer’s archive?–Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash (

Use your existing technology if it’s reliable and safe

A good reason to replace your technology is if it becomes unreliable and threatens your ability to deliver quality service to your clients.

Consider your options. You don’t have to start big; in fact, it’s better if you start small. I started out freelancing using a fully-functioning Windows tablet that was barely bigger than a hardcover book, that fitted easily into my daily tote bag. It was only after I gave up the daily commute (and also realised that a tablet was not safe to use long term) that I bought a new laptop.

Don’t rush to leave the day job–if you don’t have to

It’s true! Day jobs, and their associated salary and benefits, can be wonderful. Particularly if your business planning suggests it will take a while to build a clientele for your offering. There is no shame in keeping the day job for now, if it keeps food on the table and maybe one day your side hustle will become the day job.

But more on this topic later…

So tell us in the comments…do you have a day job? If you have a side hustle, how did you get started?