Why You Should Bootstrap For As Long as You Can

Thomas Taylor - Sunday, March 05, 2017

 

bootstrap
ˈbuːtstrap/
verb
gerund or present participle: bootstrapping
  1. 1.
    COMPUTING
    fuller form of boot1 (sense 2 of the verb).
  2. 2.
    start up (an Internet-based business or other enterprise) with minimal financial resources.
I remember a friend at uni years ago saying "In America, you just go to Wall Street and get a bunch of money, in a month you have a big building and hundreds of employees. In two years you are either filthy rich or broke." (Hello, Marrion).

I guess that's the way that some people envisage business success, sort of like the way it's shown in soap operas like Dallas and in reality shows. That once people want to invest in you, the business has made it. But that's like thinking a marriage is the beginning of living happily ever after.

Obviously, there are wild success stories but if that's your thing you probably wouldn't be reading this humble blog.

Apart from the obvious benefits of having all of the equity, and not having other people to appease, who might tell you what to do, the greatest advantage is the freedom to make inexpensive mistakes. To iron out product issues, have strong core processes, know your margins and KPI's, test marketing effectiveness, establish HR practices, etc.

All of these things make businesses more stable, less risky and, of course, more valuable. And it sounds obvious, but it's the value at the end that counts.

So, just like a good marriage, you should start with the end in mind, not the beginning.

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