Whenever I think of thousands of startups that are beginning their journeys every day, I remind myself of Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball”. A true story about the MLB manager Billy Beane who guided his team to the MLB finals on the lean budget and his illustrious friendship with a statistical genius pretty much sums up how being bootstrap in today’s world really works.
Days of large conglomerates with hundreds and thousands of employees working their 9 to 5 shifts in different branch offices throughout the world is slowly passing.
I’m not saying that this is the end of the corporate world as we know it. All these corporations will stay in business for a long long time for sure. They will eventually adapt at some point in time, but they will prevail.
What I’m saying here is that new generation of entrepreneurs is taking over. Most of the today’s big dogs in the industry started small and continued that way. We all know the story behind Facebook, Google or eBay… That’s not how GM or Exxon started.
Welcome to the time and place where barriers between where you live and where you work no longer exist. To the time where it is more important to be an all-round player than to be specialized in doing just one thing. To the time where less is definitely more when it’s all about being as bootstrapped as you can be!
What Does Being Bootstrapped Really Mean?
First of all, being bootstrap means being completely independent. Having no money lent from banks or outside investors gives you just enough space to develop your idea in a way that you’d like it to go. No external pressure, no forced business decisions – nothing. Just your idea coming to life over time.
Of course, this comes with a great deal of risk. We are always talking about all the startups that made it and made millions but there is a lot more to it. Be aware that lots of startups fail for lots of different reasons so you should always be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. Yes, it will be risky but remember – he who dares, wins!
Benefits of Being Bootstrapped
Man, do I love this part here. How many times did I hear the question: Why do I have to bootstrap my business? If you ask me, the real question here should be: How do I bootstrap my business?
But, never mind that! Just sit back while I make a couple of points here why is it important for you to bootstrap your business and what’s in it for you.
You Will Be Responsive
Yes, you will get to the point of flexibility that no other bigger corporation has. Handling smaller teams of people working on the same idea means that you can overnight shift from one project to the other if the customer’s expectations suddenly go in a different direction. Listening to your customer’s needs is essential in today’s world, and you will be the first to jump in when they are in need. Which brings us to our second point and that is.
You Will Become One With Your Customer
No, for real, you will, in fact, give a damn about what they want from your product and what they don’t like about it. Being small and bootstrap breeds a culture of actually giving a shit for what your customers say. No generic e-mails, no please refer to the following page bullshit – just 24/7 head-to-head contact with your customer. And trust me, they will know how to appreciate that!
You Will Become and Improvisational Expert
Bringing your idea to life on a very tight budget mean you will become a designer, developer, customer support and marketing expert all at once. Knowing how to improvise can really be detrimental to your startup’s success and it’s really hard for one to learn if he wasn’t forced upon in the first place. So you can thank being bootstrapped for doing you that favor.
You Will Build a Strong Relationship With Your Coworkers
Last but not the least, this social aspect of your working atmosphere is what truly matters. Think of the thousands of people working in their booths in their offices every day, having absolutely no life nor indulgence in doing what they do. Same stuff every day.
By gathering a small team of highly capable people to work on the same idea from the very start is really tough. Bootstrapping your business will not pay off quickly. It will be a long and turbulent ride. You might need to hop off the train here and there just to encourage and shake your partners a bit.
But, by the end of the day, when your project puts food on the table for everyone, you will all become a true family, grateful to each other and proud of the great things you’ve done together. And that bonds are hardly broken.