How to get past the hesitation and launch your business.
1. You think you need more capital.
No money? No problem. In many ways, bootstrapping is the simplest way to start a business. You don’t need to hunt for investors. You don’t need to convince a bank willing to lend you money. You don’t need to find a way to get potential crowdfunding partners to invest in your idea.
Instead, you’re in charge. You’re the sole owner. And if things go well, you keep all the rewards.
And if you think you need a lot of money to start a business, think again. Seventy-seven per cent of small businesses rely on the personal savings of their founders as a source of startup capital. Two-thirds of small businesses started with less than $10,000.
While $10,000 is a lot of money to come up with, with time and effort and a willingness to cut personal spending and find ways to earn more money — all of which are skills every bootstrapper needs to possess — it is possible.
Bootstrapping will also help you become a better entrepreneur. Having limited cash on hand creates a genuine sense of urgency: you need to go to market quickly so you can start generating revenue. And you need to find a way to make a profit; otherwise, your business will quickly be out of business.
And that’s a good thing since revenue and profits are the lifeblood of every startup — and every successful small business.
2. You think you don’t have the time.
Here’s the thing about time: we all have the same amount. The only difference is how you choose to spend your time.
If you still have a full-time job, fine. Launch your startup on nights and weekends. Your kitchen table can be your office (mine was; that’s where I started LogoMix). Spend your “free” time launching your startup. I would literally get up at 5:00 am every morning to talk with developers and make sure the business was moving forward.
Will it feel all-consuming? Absolutely. But that’s okay. Work really hard on your startup and someday you can convert all the hours you spend working your full-time job into hours spent running your small business.
Again: we all have the same amount of time. The difference between aspiring entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurs is how they choose to use their time.
Want to be an entrepreneur? Spend your time making your startup dreams come true.
3. You think you don’t have the skills.
Join the club. All entrepreneurs — even highly successful entrepreneurs — at some point fall prey to the imposter syndrome, the feeling that we aren’t smart enough, or talented enough, or experienced enough, or skilled enough and soon, people will realize it. In fact, an estimated 70% of people experience impostor feelings at some point in their lives.
Why? Think of all the skills a small business owner requires. Leadership. Management. Financial. Operations. Sales. Product development. The list goes on and on, which means it’s almost impossible for any entrepreneur to feel he or she possesses all the skills required.
But you don’t have to. You’ll outsource wisely. You’ll hire employees who possess skills you don’t have. You’ll build a team with complementary skills.
And in the meantime, you’ll simply put one foot in front of the other. You’ll take the next step — whatever it is — and figure it out. Then you’ll take the next one. And the next one. You’ll keep figuring things out. You’ll keep making decisions, keep learning, keep growing.
And before you know it, you’ll be off and running your own small business.