Self-Made Is Well-Played: Why Bootstrapping Is the Way To Go For Entrepreneurs
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This is the age of start-ups. No other business phenomena witnessed such a tremendous success rate as start-ups have in this century. These new-age upstarts are blessed with the daring enterprise of the young risk-happy generation which allows them to venture beyond preset conventions and explore the hitherto ‘unexplored’. Driven by rich and restless ideas they set out to disrupt the established status quo, so to say it symbolizes the triumph of the underdog against all odds, quite literally a throwback to the old ‘David and Goliath’ legend.
It is rare to come across a business that traces an independent and self-funded origin story. The market belongs to the exemplary few who overcome all adversities and emerge successful at their own terms and resources.
In a bootstrapping model, the founder of a company uses one’s personal resources such as savings and investments to fund their business. These businesses don’t have the privilege of inheriting enormous amounts of family-owned capital, nor a readymade empire awaiting their lead, and neither do they enjoy the financial patronage of investors. This model is antithetical to the pre-financed one, where investors and big league sponsors see you through by funding the company and acquiring a stake in its equity.
Bootstrapping your business allows you to eliminate all undesirable externalities, leaving you the freedom to direct your business and resources as per your vision by creating lasting alliances with the enterprises of your preference.
Bootstrapping a business initiative is no walk-in-the-park, for only a few of them are able to survive and even a smaller percentage manage to thrive. So how exactly does a company chart a successful business course on its internal cash flow? How does a business emerge victorious in a seemingly impossible-to-win battle where it is cornered by countless adversities?
Here are some words of advice and techniques I learned from my own experience as an entrepreneur for young disruptors on the journey of building a self-financed profitable business.
Ensure everyday action with a passionate soul
It is important to take daily action and execute ideas into active conceptions. As a founder you ought to participate in the most menial and peripheral of activities in the heydays, as the hard work put in the beginning stages does pay off in the end. Instead of procrastinating and brooding endlessly over the uncertainties of the future, toil as much as possible in the present now. A passionate and persevering entrepreneur leads his workforce not by pressure or incentives but verily by example. You have to be super passionate about your business and its core value, otherwise your bootstrapped business may not survive. You need a vision, a drive to make things happen and an enduring spirit that lets you resist and overcome failure.
Turning dust into gold and rejections into approvals
When starting out, you will be amazed by the amount of criticism and negative feedback that may come your way. It is important to look for clues and to take feedback constructively as it may point towards areas of improvement eventually leading to the ‘yes’ an entrepreneur is seeking. Back your ambition with that ‘never say die’ attitude by taking out the time to build connections, online and offline, manage calls and requests, entertain curiosities and business novelties. All this goes a long way in creating solid business alliances that pass the test of time. Turning refusals into agreements and red signal into the green one while staying true to your beliefs and potential should be your chief focus. Do not lose heart when you face rejection as with every door that closes itself, another one opens.
The foremost task is multi-tasking
At the onset, you should be comfortable in becoming a jack-of-all-trade by adorning multiple hats, and ensure your overall participation in everything that is done, under the sun. Complimentary operations such as sales, customer service, managing inventory, manufacturing designing and accounting would demand your active participation. Multitasking your way ensures that you save precious amounts of growth capital which would otherwise be used for paying outsourced parties and units for the same job.
Be a Unicorn in a field of racehorses
For any business to become a Unicorn, it has to be unique and outstanding in its own class and the first step is to define what you want to do and who are your customers. Once you have defined your niche and the target is set, allocate all your time and energy in developing it into an achieving model. As the renowned marketing guru Seth Godin himself concludes in his bestselling book, The Purple Cow, that for any business to become a reckonable force, you have to be incredible in what you do, rather than subscribing to exhaustive marketing techniques. Such a strategy may enjoy momentary attention but can never sustain success in the long run.
Daily reminder: Have Fun
Last but nevertheless, while it’s pertinent to accelerate your business vision on full throttle, it is equally important to enjoy yourself and have fun in doing what you do. If you are bored of your business and do not look forward to the everyday toil, your Titanic is as good as sunk before it even hits the iceberg. Businesses prosper only when both the employer and the employees find pleasure in their work by staying engaged to it.
The business is after all an entrepreneur’s baby, born out of one’s own flesh and dreams. Without the necessary love, affection, firmness of action and strength in vision, the brainchild will not transform into a mature and shining entity that brings fame and glory to its creators.