Startups and Entrepreneurs have been buzzwords for quite a long time now. There is not fail-proof trick to establish and grow businesses and win markets, strategists need to put in a lot of efforts to understand the idea, bring investment and build technologically potent models. Not a lot of people understand the intricacies and hence not a lot of startup facilitators have been able to do justice to the process as well as the business. It’s safe to say that allowing entrepreneurs to launch their ideas and initialize businesses, bootstrapping in an undervalued aspect of entrepreneurship.
In simple terms, bootstrapping means utilizing existing and limited resources to build and process your idea, create a model and check for viability and sustainability without any external help. Practically, if the model works and generates revenue, the next step can be implemented wherein external investment, and creation and polishing of the proprietary product can further help the drive the idea towards a higher revenue based system.
Startups and entrepreneurship sounds pretty sorted out and simple, good execution of the idea and success, however the struggle is real. Lack of a standard procedure and understanding of the concepts and ideas and worrying about revenue generation, profit and loss and managing operations efficiently, the most crucial phase – establishment is as important as it is difficult.
An essential first stage, bootstrapping answers numerous questions with very little cash and allows start-ups to achieve some milestones within a given time period. Allowing the concept to mature into a product or a service, bootstrapping helps entrepreneurs or startups focus on revenue generation through limited resources with an opportunity to create an audience and market base.
With bootstrapping, owner can access complete control on the idea and model with absence of investors. Relying on limited resources, startups and entrepreneurs can utilize bootstrapping phase to only consider the viability and sustainability and performance of their model with no worry of extended debts to pay back. This allows entrepreneurs to keep sole ownership of the business that might turn into a multi generational business. With a sense of accomplishment, bootstrapping makes you prove your idea into a successful model what will work in the market and generate revenue with little or no tweaking, makes an important step in the fast growing world where businesses lose money every single day.
With limited resources however, entrepreneurs can’t judge and reflect the full potential of their idea and hence the next best thing after your model has been tested and proved is to shift to venture capital. Financial risk focused on the entrepreneur, bootstrapping inhibits growth, prevents promotion and might even undermine the quality and performance of the service or product that you are testing.
Let’s take an example of an ecommerce platform. Once you have identified and validated your niche, you need to ensure that the service or product that you are trying to sell through ecommerce should be competitive enough and generate revenue. With related statistics like SEO, SERP analysis and more around your idea, the next step would be to choose a business model. The most traditional way of setting up an eCommerce store is WordPress or similar solutions that allow the creation and access of a self-hosted eCommerce website. However, the problem
with these models is that you will still have to deal with fulfilling orders, deliveries and returns etcetera. Drop shipping on the other hand lets suppliers handle shipping, deliveries and returns.
Experts and strategists can’t stress enough on the fact that however important bootstrapping is, it’s only a stage required to test the potency of your idea.
These platforms use numerous plugins to provide specific features and your website as a whole is the combination of these plugins that work in harmony. On the slight chance of updates, changes or glitches within these plugins, the entire website can be impacted and in turn will impact your business and virtual presence.
Initially you started with creating your retail space and now in order to protect your retail space and presence, the need of a proprietary platform is of utmost importance. Unlike open source CMS, WordPress in our example, a proprietary platform will be able to handle a lot of visitors and large transactions with much ease. Maintaining a uniform appearance, a proprietary platform will also provide multiple functionality and higher performance with easy integrations and comprehensive security that speaks to your business goals.
While bootstrapping is an important and inevitable phase for startups that are on a cash crunch, it certainly is not a ‘forever’ solution. Once the idea is proven to generate expected revenue, startups should invest in a proprietary platform build a more robust platform to suffice customer visits and business needs.