Bootstrapping is the mean by which over 80% of startups are initiated. Because less than 1% of startups are funded, entrepreneurs are left to compete for a small pool of funds. Pitching ideas is no longer the norm. To get a chance at raising a portion of the total available funding, entrepreneurs must build and show startup value through personal investments, which doesn’t necessarily have to be money but mainly by doing the “right things” do define a problem worth solving and propose solutions worth paying for.
Luckily for the entrepreneurs of today, it costs less than $5,000 to launch a startup as compared to $5 million less than 2 decades ago. By leveraging open source software and cloud-based tools, a startup team can make significant progress through existing resources.
Furthermore, entrepreneurs with cash needs, can earn their money by selling services. Whether it is logo design, social media management or consulting, it is advised to generate funds through a side project which can be tied to the startup product for killing two birds with one stone.
Assuming no upfront startup investment, in fact even with an initial investment, entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to pre-sell not only to fund their startups using customers’ money but also because the strongest degree of validation is when people are willing to pull money out of their pockets.
Finally, using non-scalable resources to offer the service is another way bootstrapped entrepreneurs can go to market fast and lean. This can be accomplished through hollow MVPs, using app development without code platforms, selling physical versions of digital products and repurposing existing platforms. The generated revenue is to be invested in the most valuable asset in a startup, team, who will build a scalable version of the product.
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