Author David Hugo Hargreaves Growth Guru at Charterhouse: A family man and walker of the family dogs
I love the idea of bootstrapping a new business and it’s how I have started a number of my companies throughout the last 20 years. Let me ensure you understand what I mean by Bootstrapping. Bootstrapping is starting your business without external equity funders however most bootstrapping entrepreneurs do borrow modest levels of debt finance.
The benefit of Bootstrapping forces you to get in the trenches, work extremely hard and to figure the basics out yourself. Funding from an investor sounds great, it can often have two negative setbacks –you have to give up part of your company and it can make you lazy. Modest levels of debt funding is a little different as you will still need some money to operate the basics, even if you are bootstrapping.
When you are bootstrapping your growth, there is no room for error or laziness. Alexandra Cristin knows a thing or two about bootstrapping. As the founder ofGlam Seamless, she used $1,500 to build her company into a seven-figure business in less than two years. Check her site out.
Cristin did it all on her own — no business partners and no investors. Whilst we are showing you her story please keep in mind that her story is very rare and most businesses need partners, outside experts such as a coach and at least a modest amount of finance. So bootstrap smartly not the hard way!
Below are five components of bootstrapping that she credits to her success.
1. Don’t overthink……..just get on with it.
The sure fire way to fail at a business venture is by not starting it or simply overthinking the task ahead. A lot of would-be entrepreneurs never launch their idea because they overthink the process in the beginning. Also they aren’t sure how they will fund it and grow the business.
When starting a business, many entrepreneurs ask themselves questions like ‘Where will I get my customers?’ and ‘How will I fund this?’ While these are great questions, focusing on what you are selling and perfecting your delivery is more important. Sales cure all, and you can figure out the rest along the way. You just have to start even if you don’t have a concrete business plan in place. Starting is the first step to creating a business.
2. Outsource to contractors.
When we bootstrapped we outsourced much of our work to help in the beginning. Outsourcing to contract workers is a great way to propel your business forward quickly without the added expense of full-time employees.. When we started our first business, we couldn’t afford full-time employees, so we hired contractors to handle the tasks we were not experienced in, like marketing and operations. Contractors have expertise in specific areas and you can hire them on an hourly basis.
We have used outsourced talent several times in the past myself and we still do today, and it can be a huge money-saver when you are able to connect with the right contractors. Just make sure you take a few things into consideration before employing contractors
3. Don’t think of starting small as a disadvantage.
Very few entrepreneurs are going to launch the next unicorn and build a multi-billion-£ company that grows overnight. While it’s only natural to want to build a large business, there is nothing wrong with starting small. We are a real-life example of how starting small can quickly turn into a much larger operation.
It’s perfectly fine to start with just a few products or services until you prove your concept. In fact, if you are bootstrapping a start up you should start small to protect your assets. It’s often an ideal way to launch your business and test the market. Sure, you might want to eventually sell more products or offer a wider spectrum of services, and you can eventually get there if you prove the business model works.
4. Always innovate and try new things.
We believe that constant innovation as a major key in creating success. If you settle and start to become comfortable because things are going good, your sales will eventually go flat. You always have to try something new for the business to continue moving forward. You should always be asking yourself what is next and strive to be a cutting-edge brand in your industry or profession.
You essentially have two options: stay still and let the competition blow by you or constantly try new things to help propel you further ahead. Those who constantly innovate within their industries will always have more success.
5. Focus on the process, not the numbers.
The best advice we can give anyone who wants to bootstrap a potential six or seven-figure company is to keep your focus on the process rather than the numbers at the beginning. Numbers should be in the back of your head, however not necessarily your daily motivation. You have to focus on the process of the sales and the delivery of your service. –focusing on perfecting your sales process first. When you do this, the numbers follow quickly on.
Entrepreneurs who start with a focus on money rarely find success. When you find something you truly love doing, pour your heart and soul into the business. Lead with passion and an emphasis on process and the money follows naturally. One serious caveat; always keep in mind why you set up your business. Always ensure that you retain a level of balance between your business and your family. Too much emphasis of one over the other is likely to reap negative consequences.
Charterhouse are on hand to help build and develop your business and your personal wealth and well being. Charterhouse has access to all the funding available in the UK, coaches, mentors, trainers and other vital support for your growing business.
Author David Hugo Hargreaves the Growth Guru at Charterhouse.
We help entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses and make a difference in this world.