BOOTSTRAPPING YOUR STARTUP13 Jan 2016
As a startup founder, you know that not all startups are able to get investors when they start off. Sometimes you have to fund your startup from your own savings or bootstrap. Often, founders don’t understand that may not even need the funding. First-time entrepreneurs often have trouble getting funding without first showing some traction and a plan for potential success. When bootstrapping, you have to understand that bootstrapping your startup may not lead to VC funding. Funding is not the end goal of bootstrapping. Here’s a list of ways to help you with bootstrapping:
Pick your founding team wisely
The initial team that you hire while building your startup will be the core individuals whose contribution will be critical to the future of your business. When you bootstrap, all the work will be done in house, so it is good to have people on board who are skilled in various things and complement each other’s skill set. It is crucial that your founding team understand and mirrors that passion that you have for your startup.
Monitor cash & be smart about money
Create a separate bank account for business, for tracking what brings in cash and what are expenses from the business. You don’t need to have a fancy office space. There are a lot of free tools you can use. Design your own business cards. Spend on things that are functional and core to building your business, for instance, technology.
Hiring people or outsourcing for jobs that you can learn and do yourself is an expense that can be avoided. Don’t learn this the hard way.
Work on doing one impossible thing
Work on doing one thing that no one else out there is doing. It could be a non tech co-founder learning how to code or pulling off a difficult and seemingly impossible growth hack. These will set you apart from your competition. Coding, sales, marketing are all core to the building of your startup. Learn how to do these yourself. Almost all successful startups that are bootstrapped worked on both the technology and the getting the initial customer base. Examples are: Quickheal, Just Unfollow, Directi, Zoho, etc.
Work on building personal relations
When you’re a very small startup, not many people might want to work for you. It takes working on personal connections to get a yes. Network to build connections with people that will help you in the long run.
Bootstrapping your startup is difficult, but not always impossible. Your passion for your business, an excellent team and dedicated hours of hard work, you just might be able to successfully bootstrap your business.