In general, the term bootstrapping refers to a self-starting practice that is supposed to progress and grow without any external input or any significant angel investment. In many cases, successful companies were entirely bootstrapped before accepting any venture capital or other means of external funding for the commencement of the business.
The self-made entrepreneurs belong to a rare breed; they have bootstrapped their way to success. It takes a sound mix of confidence, risk tolerance, self-discipline, determination and competitiveness, to start a business and bring it to a flourishing fruition position.
To build a worthy business, by taking an idea and using talent and professionalism, without any financial backing from the investors, or having little or no initial capital for starting a business, takes great devotion and dedication, resonance work ethics and untainted single-mindedness to achieve thriving business.
Why Bootstrapping Matters
Today, every other entrepreneur thinks that they have the most unique and extraordinary idea and the outlook on running your own company is exciting and awe-inspiring.
Being an entrepreneur seems to be very electrifying and thrilling, but the life of an entrepreneur is not an easy one, and the decision to commence the business initially from personal funding means, you are going to be responsible for most of the things one is going to do.
Bootstrapping the business on the whole, without any external inputs involves making hard monetary choices, especially when you have limited funds, and your money is at stake. There is no assurance of a steady salary, as most bootstrapped companies don’t pay salaries until and unless they turn to be a profitable one. Often entrepreneurs continue to work a full-time job; adding to those long days.
The benefit of building your business your way helps you to craft worth of your company before taking on any angel funding. You have all the authority from retaining full control during development to own a greater share of the company after the investment.
Even the investors prefer entrepreneurs who are able to construct a lean company with little financial support and exhibit victory, before providing them with additional investment. Investor’s put their faith on the entrepreneur who proves to provide maximum result with limited resources.
We live in an incredible era where bootstrapping options are abundant and economical. In last five years we have seen a vivid increase in number of resources available to entrepreneurs. New technology, apps, and services are making it easier for start-ups to bootstrap their way to success.
As time and money are restricted, so an entrepreneur should always focus on the crucial decisions first that makes money. Focus on your highest priorities and let less priority bits and pieces wait. Avoid redundant expenses. Draw attention to your value, not your spending.
Social networking is an influential tool for entrepreneurs. Start meeting owners and CEO’s of other companies, and start networking with people. There is an entire entrepreneurial community, you never know who can be creating new opportunities for you, start participating and meeting new people. Bring on smart, hard working, people with a variety of skills different from yours on board. Build a team of talented people around you who will help you to achieve your goals.
Don’t ignore the important stuff. It’s an appealing option to withhold on quality for a higher margin early on. Customers and investors both want to see a well-run operation which produces quality products.
Building your brand and reputation are key factors towards the success. Reaching your target customers with the precise message is very important. Even if you have the best product in the world, but nobody is aware about it, then your company is doomed.
Do what you can do yourself, but know when to take the help of experts, especially when you’re creating any legal documents. Build your associations with trustworthy consultants whom you can depend on. Bring on board the experts to make your business look proficient and professional. It will save you a tonne of time.
With a little hard work, you can build an unbeaten business from your own capital. You should be passionate about what you’re doing, be open to your customers, have a great and positive attitude, and a broad vision.
You should focus on the actions which are giving the most return out of your capital, and bring on investors on board when you’re ready.
Bootstrapping will be easier said than done, but also has its own advantages. Follow the right ladder, and you can bootstrap your way to success.
[The author, Avijit Arya is the Chief Mogul (founder) of Internet Moguls – a digital marketing agency for the hospitality and travel industry.]