Tips for Bootstrapping Startup by Sandeep Aggarwal, A Serial Entrepreneur
Earlier, at bootstrapped ventures, the most serial entrepreneurs used to struggle to make ends meet. They are aware of the hard work and vision required to turn ideas into action. The sophisticated entrepreneurs don’t get overwhelmed by any random comment of a random person regarding the market.
Many of the experienced entrepreneurs share the same mantra to the new comers in the startup ecosystem. The mantra is- If you are confident and have faith in your idea, Dive wholeheartedly to yield ideas into reality. However, before diving in your startup, dive in the pool of tips by Sandeep Aggarwal, popularly known as the father of marketplaces in India. He is a Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investors, Internet Visionary and Philanthropist.
The Bare Necessities
Imagine yourself sitting in a well-furnished workspace of your own startup with an excellent team. You are operating in a passionate and positive atmosphere. Suddenly, your family member shouts your name and asks for money to pay electricity bills. This is your reality and present concerns.
Sandeep said, “Dreaming is good, even necessary. However, behind the desire to live and operate in that imaginary world without concerning for your real problems is an individual who does not have any idea of priorities. The entrepreneurs bootstrapping startup with less money, should always look for the most ideal return even form the smallest investment. One who builds such practices in an early stage will develop excellent operational efficiency and good unit economies in future.”
Sandeep said, “Given the way they work, bootstrapping startups are required to maintain their debt at minimal level.” If you take loans to meet business expenses, the monthly interest charges and paying daily expenses will turn into recurring expenses. As a result, these debts will become stressful for the statrup. One should avoid EMIs at every possible stage. He added, “Any business needs a gestation period to achieve profitability, and the task becomes much more difficult with EMIs looming large every month."
Ego has never done good to anyone
In the initial days of start-up, every bit of business is significant. Any entrepreneur who is bootstrapping a startup, should focus on every client coming at the door, as there is a high possibility of it turning into a loyal, profitable customer later on. One should entertain every kind of business work, even at the verge of the break-even points. The only condition at which you won’t acquire a client if it could result in losses.
Acquire all possible freebies
One should grab whatever equipment or help he/she is getting free or at a negligible cost such as a laptop from friends, unoccupied space, transportation, etc. Sandeep shared, “ At the inception, these assembled resources are extremely handy and can contribute significantly to cutting down on costs.” However, an essential point to always bear in mind is to never ever take the resources for granted. In future, whenever you are in position to acknowledge the efforts and help of these people do that.
Bootstrap some more
“You have been living like a glorified pauper. In such a situation, when you suddenly land a big client giving a huge offer, you might feel like the road in front of you is a bed of roses. And most probably you will love to celebrate it by throwing a huge feast. This is what you should avoid doing.” Sandeep advised.
The entrepreneur should never forget that even though the satrup has started yielding good profits, the startup is still a bootstrapped one. When you remember this fact, you will ensure that the organisation operates in a disciplined manner as a bootstrapped startup should, in order to reduce unimportant expenses.
Keep a lean workforce
Overstaffing should be strictly avoided. Multi-skills employees should be given preference. One should recruit the best and pay a skill-worth package to them. Increments, bonus, gift hampers should be given to the team to motivate them.
Social media- Store of Luck for Bootstrapped Startup
For bootstrapped startups, social media is a boon as it assists with accomplishing that much-needed perceivability at free or with minimal cost. Besides, social media connects to a huge customer base and helps to get instant feedback about their preferences and inclinations as well as your services. Employing social media analysts is fundamental for a bootstrapped firm to rapidly accomplish business spotlight.
Give Time To Test Viability
Before giving life to your ideas, it is fundamental for each bootstrapping entrepreneur to broadly assess the suitability of their business idea. "Conduct surveys, lead detailed discussions, and study past industry gauges on an individual level. Remember, once you involve other people, your degree of responsibility and answerability assumes bigger proportions and you might just not have the desired amount of freedom anymore. A half-baked idea can only go so far before being drowned in the sea of anonymity." Sandeep said.
While concluding, Sandeep said, "At the end of the day, it is the idea and the power, feasibility and practicality it exudes which is important, and the ideator should try and realize the potential of an idea by going all guns blazing. If your project has real substance, ultimately the money will follow you like a common cur in the street with its tail between its legs."