Bootstrapping a Startup from scratch is not easy. With the startup bubble all around us, it might seem easier than the actual task, however, once you start building your business, you experience problems and issues that you have never imagined before. In this article, we are going to go through the steps that you need to keep in mind when you are planning to bootstrap a business from the beginning.
Be Careful with the Team
It is a lot better to work alone than with a bad team. A lot of the startup owners do not understand that nobody cares about their business idea as much as they do. Many do not want to start walking the tough path alone and therefore, look for either a partner or a group of people to get help from. This does not turn out to be the best in terms of growth results for most companies. Always remember that having a good idea and implementing it is a lot different than managing a team and making them listen to your directions.
Don’t Sell Too Much of Stock
It is tough to reject monetary offers, but you will have to make sure that you are good at that game if you want to be with your company for long enough. In this day and age, you will get offers from investors if the idea and the execution of your business is interesting. It is your duty to make sure that you are not taking money from a bad investor or you are not selling the controlling shares of your company to someone else. Unless you are in real need of money and you have no other way, try to avoid selling equity of your company.
As soon as the company starts earning money, there are founders who go ahead and take big salaries and start spending personal expenses from the company’s account. That should never happen. Always keep the company and the personal account separate and try not to take salaries initially if you can afford that. This will help the company grow in the long run. For the first three years of a startup, you should put all the money back into growing the company instead of taking it out.
Don’t Hire too many people
You do not really need an accountant or a logistic person from the beginning. Depending on the nature of the startup, a startup can always manage to stay within 5-10 employees at max for the first three years unless the core business is based on logistics. Try not to hire too many people as it will create a burden on you and your company. One, you will have to manage their accounts and will have to make sure that they are getting their salaries on time and two, you will also have to manage their skills and make sure that they are doing their jobs right. Not every founder is a great human resource manager and if you are not one of them, you should not even try to be one in the initial stages.
Invest in Digital
Though it heavily depends on your business, digital can actually be more profitable to your business than you would imagine. So try having a social media presence on places like YouTube or Facebook. Depending on your business, you can use social media and digital marketing to generate leads, to nurture them and to grow your business exponentially with low cost. Many entrepreneurs think that they should not invest in digital channels if their business is not focusing on customers. However, even if the nature of your business is b2b (business to business), you can use the power of channels like Facebook and LinkedIn to get clients for the venture.
Don’t Chase Revenue
This may sound weird but this is very important to understand. You will have to make sure that you are not running after revenue from the beginning. Of course, your ultimate goal should be earning a revenue and building a profitable business but it does not have to come within two weeks of starting the operation of the venture. Take your time and start slow. Do not ask for a huge price or do not try to target too many people and lose customer connectivity or support in that phase. Always start small and try to grow only when you know that you are able to grow without dissatisfying your current customers.
No is Not an Answer
This is important to understand. If you do not have a thick skin and if you are always afraid of the answer no, entrepreneurship is not built for you. You should always be prepared for the negatives to come and they will start coming from the get go. As a new business, you will hear more rejections than acceptance. However, you have to understand that this is a phase and like many bad phases, it will go away if you keep on working towards your dream. It takes a lot to create an idea and then develop something based on that. There is no reason in the world why you should give up.
Never Stop Hustling
As an entrepreneur, you never get to take rests. All your employees will get vacations at one point of their career but you will always be working doesn’t matter whether you are at your office or at a beach with your family. You have to accept that fact and always be prepared to hustle. Hustling is the second name of entrepreneurs. A lot of big names could not succeed in this game because they thought they are too precious to hustle and let other people run their businesses. Unless you are a public company and you have stakeholders to take decisions in a board, it is up to you to make sure that the company grows.
Do not lose hope even if you are seeing downfalls. At the same time, do not get too excited about small wins either. It is your time to work and work only. You will start getting results if you work hard enough and if your hard work is consistent for long enough.