Guide Bootstrap Your Way to a Successful Business

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Use it, consume it, order it, and dig into the details. It also keeps the team no matter how small on its toes. Additionally, If the startup was built to scratch your own itch , there are always more opportunities to extend the solution. Ask yourself:. What would make this solution more valuable — both to current and potential customers? Very few problems in life are tackled once and solved forever.

They need to evolve with needs, culture and markets. When you keep mining the problem and the solution , it can keep the business fresh and vibrant.

Sonny and Cher. Bert and Ernie. Calvin and Hobbes.

These #3 Entrepreneurs Explain how Bootstrapping is One Good Way of Growing Your Start-up

Thelma and Louise. Apple, for example, paired the late, sales-savvy Steve Jobs with Steve Wozniak, who focused on technology. It makes sense.

Many founders also have a strong desire for freedom, which can quickly feel stifled when someone else weighs in on every detail. Ravikan makes a bold statement. Not everyone would agree that the partnership matters more than the product — or the market. But starting a business is a massive commitment. The right partnership is powerful. Working with the wrong person can feel heavy and frustrating at the very least and, in the worst case, it can destroy the business. Hire an experienced lawyer, if you go this route, and plan for everything: equity breakdown, vesting schedules, intellectual property, termination clauses, and more.

Ensure that everyone is clear on the terms and feels fully protected, should the partnership go south. Entrepreneurs who do trust themselves to go solo are often rewarded with the ultimate freedom. Spanx founder Sara Blakely, for example, built a global company without a co-founder or any outside investment. Entrepreneurs, of all people, should know that rules are meant to be broken.

So, partner up or stay solo, but do it on your terms, with your eyes wide open. Most startup experts worship at the altar of rapid expansion.

3 Reasons to Lace ‘Em Up

Investors dream about rapid growth, too. They want to recover their money fast, so they often pressure companies to expand quickly. A hockey stick looks great on paper, but it typically requires the business to grow revenues first and figure out profits later. That can put the company at risk. Bootstrappers take the opposite approach. They sort out profits first and stay focused on that key goal. Slow growth takes patience and a good dose of bravery. But slow growth can provide stability.

It also enables founders to sleep well at night, spend time with the people they love, and create products that attract loyal, satisfied customers. Bootstrapping math is pretty simple: spend less than you earn and you can grow at your own pace. When we celebrate companies that raise millions and post huge vanity metrics, like user acquisitions, that math can seem almost too simple. Glorifying hockey stick growth also implies that you can chase flashy numbers now and worry about profits later. Make decisions that keep your company in the black, right from day one.

After all, a bootstrapped business needs to work, because there are no hefty bank deposits to fall back on.

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Newly-funded companies often face pressure to fill every seat — immediately. Building the right team is essential. These are the people who will build and nurture the product. Caring about customers is good for business. VC-backed companies often start out with deep knowledge of their audience. If you believe that growth reigns supreme, then it will quickly become the primary focus.

Very few people are born knowing exactly how to lead — or to design, code, market, sell, and build. Aggressive growth can quickly highlight those knowledge gaps, which are totally okay.

8 Ways to Bootstrap Your Small Business | Startup Grind

Most people launch businesses to create a smart solution, not because they want to run staff meetings. Growingly slowly enables you to learn alongside your team. You can learn how to manage and motivate those people , too. Take your time and you can:. But bootstrapped companies ultimately answer to their customers, not to investors. Even criticism is great for business, because it pushes the team to stretch and innovate. Never assume you know what customers want; you have to look at the data.

Making a product change? Release it to a small group and establish a clear way to measure user reactions. Apply what you learn and test again. The numbers are clear: customer service matters deeply.

How to Bootstrap your Startup Business - A Real World Example - @PetePeranzo @Mgeorgiou22

Support teams do much more than resolve tickets and answer tedious questions; they have a massive effect on company growth. Bootstrapping is not a great way to get PR. And most self-funded entrepreneurs are too busy refining their product to worry about landing on magazine covers. Well-funded startups that crash and burn often make headlines. With serious money often comes serious scrutiny. Big-time investments can supercharge the startup for better or worse , but slow growth can ensure you have a sane, happy personal life — even as you build a thriving business.

Most people think success requires hour days. Strategizing and planning. Taking a digital sabbath can also keep you feeling rested and ready to play the long game.

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On Saturday, Sunday or another day of your choice, avoid technology in all forms. For example, power down your laptop and place it safely out of sight. Shut off your smartphone and hide it in a drawer. Change your Netflix password — and then try to forget it. Give your brain the gift of peace, and the time to reflect and generate new ideas. The title has now sold over 1. Founders are often hungry for success, but it takes time. Often, lots of time. A sustainable business model gives you the freedom to enjoy the ride. You can focus on building something you love, and that truly serves your customers, instead of racing toward empty growth targets. Either scenario has merit. Business is personal, and we all need to make our own choices.

Although some bootstrappers will eventually sell their firms, they rarely begin with this goal in mind. As I mentioned in Building my startup for 12 years: how to win the long game , you can retain your values, freedom and flexibility. You can learn from a slow-burning journey. You can focus on the long-term rather than the short.

Relying purely on estimates can be risky, because a sky-high valuation demands rapid scaling. And if the sky suddenly falls, VC-backed startups are often left in a vulnerable position. The media may glorify fast movers and big wins, but playing the long game is another type of victory. Entrepreneurs who start without a plan spend more money.