Time to pull up your socks and start bootstrapping. Got a great idea but it’s still in your head? Not sure if any customers would give your idea a second look? Still trying to figure out the startup game? Bootstrapping is great way to give you and your idea some validation and a jumpstart. It allows you to take the time and effort to assess and tweak your idea using your own funds before seeking rigid external investors. The obvious case study is Sara Blakely who grew her Spanx empire to over $1 Billion without the help of investors.
However, you don’t hear about the other side of bootstrapping. Extreme and obsessive budgeting will impede your progress! Penny-wise pound-foolish will slowly become ton-foolish and it will negatively impact your startup. This is an avoidable #entrepreneurfail. Bestselling author Ramit Sethi attests that we are cognitive misers – making it a waste of mind energy to save a few bucks on lattes (or chewing gum or whatever your vice). We instead should focus on growing the big opportunities, and shrinking the big gaps.
Allocate a budget to your startup, and draw the line between personal and business expenses. Sacrifices are, of course, necessary when you bootstrap. But allow for small indulgences of things you really enjoy, which will help you get through when you are strapped in.
As you assess your expenses, think of them as absolutes. You must remember that as an entrepreneur, your time is priceless and worth more than ever before. It is OK to outsource tasks that don’t help you grow your bottom line. This attitude allows you to get an objective look at what you are spending and helps you focus on the big line items thus saving you time and money as you reach success.
Are you bootstrapping your business? Has it impacted your personal spending drastically? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Kriti Vichare is a marketer, entrepreneur, and cartoonist. She is the illustrator and co-founder of #entrepreneurfail: A Humorous Look at Finding Success, a comic about the ironies of starting a company. Sign up at http://www.entrepreneurfail.com to get exclusive never-before-published comics. Kriti is also the founder of IdeaKube, a company that facilitates brainstorming and networking through ‘ideation parties’. Kriti was a former marketer at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. She holds an MBA from NYU Stern, and a BS and MS from Carnegie Mellon University. You can connect with her at http://about.me/kritivichare.