In the era of never-ending competition, many aspiring entrepreneurs are worried about ways to get their startup funded by high net-worth firms and investors. Without any connections, contacts, and business networks, it can be really difficult for new startups to attract investors and secure exorbitant funds.
But there is another route that doesn’t require any hefty funds to get yourself going, and that is bootstrapping. You can simply bootstrap your startup if you are facing financial barriers and investment hurdles by starting a business with whatever little money you have.
It might sound fantasy but that’s the truth. Many thriving businesses that we see know as money-making machines, such as Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, have once failed to attract investors for their idea. However, they didn’t stop believing and started off as bootstrapped enterprises without awaiting any external financial assistance.
So, if you too are willing to go beyond the horizons but lack financial aid, here are the 10 tips to bootstrap your startup from the scratch.
1. Take Action and Never Back-off
Humans are prone to despair, but not leaders – because they are super-humans. If you ever feel that your idea is not worthy enough to succeed, then remember Steve Jobs, who was fired from his own company; Mar Zuckerberg, who left Harvard just to continue working on Facebook. Just never back-off and take action.
2. Kill your Fear
Overcoming fear is a crucial element in a startup. Kill the fear in your mind and push yourself forward. Bit by bit, day by day; the time will come when those who reject you, will favor you. The idea is to never overthink; don’t analyze things to death. Perhaps things may not seem to align initially, but they will. Take action and keep going until you reach your destination.
3. Plan the Unexpected
Simply having an idea without proper planning is easy prey for experienced market competitors to let down. Plan ahead of time and jot down every unexpected situation to prove your vision. Watch out for the best dealers, analyze market strengths, predict your future market competitors, and make wise decisions. Instead of targeting the whole industry, start by narrowing down your list of competitors to a few and focus on how they meet the needs of their customers.
4. Understand the Market Needs
One of the reasons startups fail even after securing heavy funds is because they lack to deliver and meet the needs of their customers. It’s very significant to understand the market needs prior to launching a startup. It doesn’t mean that one should never follow the passion, but it means to align your passion with the needs of the customers.
5. Learn from Experiences, not by Experiencing
It’s really cheap to learn from others’ experiences first rather than experiencing oneself. Most of the time bootstrapping businesses bring up a product that already exists in the market. Hence, the best strategy to leverage a bootstrapped startup is by learning from the existing literature of experiences so as to avoid any losses in the early stage of your business.
6. Manage your Team
Your team is your identity that defines how well you plan to carry your startup idea in the future. Strong team management is crucial to avoid early-stage failures. Often times, poor team management results in weak strategy which leads to issues with the product not getting built correctly or on time and also affects the go-to-market execution due to poorly implemented ideas.
7. Surround Yourself with Goal-Oriented
If you have plans for long-term success, then surround yourself with individuals who are goal-oriented and understand your vision because the company matters. Those who are successful and have a powerful network of strong-minded entrepreneurs will always stand by you to give you the motivation to succeed. People stuck in the status-quo will tend to raise your fear, whilst those who believe in you will help you overcome it.
8. Adopt to Any Role that Comes By
Founding a company does not place a tag on the founders to be only regarded as the CEOs. Early-stage businesses and startups require you to walk in many boots, be it the CEO’s, an employee’s, or a sales executive’s. You have to be open to adopting any role that comes your way to bootstrap your business. Did you know that Twitter founders had to request their friends and family to make their free accounts just to test their beta model? That’s when success shows its presence.
9. Be Ready to Hear No
Whenever a new idea is presented, it has to go through many Nos before finally reaching a Yes mark – and that’s normal. Be prepared to hear Nos because that’s what strengthens a startup to become a thriving business. Don’t ever consider a No as a permanent failure; it’s actually a new beginning. Take inspiration from Melanie Perkins who heard no a 100 times; now she runs a $1 billion business.
10. Build Trust-Based Relationships
Always look for better connections and be curious to build trust-based relationships. Sooner or later, your connections will get handy to help you grow your startup. Building trust-based relationships can provide a pathway for your bootstrapped business to develop connections that can accommodate your long-term financial needs.
Bootstrapping isn’t meant for everyone because it requires true conviction over one’s abilities. But it can be a really good way to at least place foot in the market to know if you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and future leader. Nevertheless, it’s good to try than not to try at all because according to Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.