Akinpelu Babatola Guest Writer
Bootstrapping a startup means launching the startup yourself without any sort of external funding. Usually, you would have to dip your hands into your savings and personal income to do this. This is a challenging thing to do, but an entrepreneur who succeeds at bootstrapping can expect to reap incredible benefits from it.
So how do you ensure you and your startup succeed at bootstrapping? Well, there is no way ensuring 100% success, but here are the Xpress Train’s dos and don’ts of bootstrapping to raise your chances.
- Do choose a worthy cofounder: Pick a cofounder that complements you. While they don’t need to have skills similar to yours, they should have something they can add to your startup. This will allow the easy assignment of tasks and responsibilities.
- Do cut your overhead expenses: Overhead expenses are the biggest drainers of funds for any business or startup. While bootstrapping, your funds are severely limited, so you should try as much as possible to reduce your overhead costs.
- Do limit things to just your team: Outsourcing can be an expensive venture if not adequately managed. As such, you should try to keep tasks within the team as much as possible. This will allow you to save on costs while also building on your team members’ existing skillsets.
- Do cut your personal expenses: While you should keep your business and personal lives separate most times, this doesn’t apply when you bootstrap a startup. Your personal funds are what is going into the business. So, you try as much as possible to reduce your personal spending, so you have more money to invest in your startup.
- Do sell your services: Angel investors are not the only ways to raise money for a startup. If you have a handy skill and some free time, sell that skill as a service to others. By doing this, you will raise additional funds that you can invest in your startup. No matter how little you make, remember that every cent counts.
- Don’t get a loan: Startups fail almost every day. Rather than racking up debt while launching, wait until you start to earn profit from the startup before even considering a loan.
- Don’t chase funds with just an idea: Angel investors and venture capitalists are more likely to open up their wallets if you already have something up and running. If you are still at the idea stage, try to build, launch and grow your startup alone, and the investors will come running later on.
- Don’t expect instant results: Startups are difficult work. They take years before they break even, and even more time before they begin to yield profits. So take your time, get your hands dirty, and the profits you want to see will undoubtedly come your way.
- Don’t give up: As we already mentioned, startups are difficult work. They are not meant for the faint of heart. So prepare yourself for the long journey and don’t give up along the way.