Bootstrapping Your Startup: A Guide for the Lean Entrepreneur

So, you’ve got a brilliant idea for a startup. There’s only one thing missing: venture capital. Maybe you can’t find willing investors, or maybe you don’t want to. Either way, you can always self-finance.

Here’s your basic bootstrapping guide, in three steps.

1. Plan carefully

First, you need to research your market. Find out if people actually want what you’re offering. You need to know your customers’ needs and desires.

Next, if you’re going to have a cofounder, choose wisely. Your cofounder should share your vision. If you’re not working towards the same goal, you’ll waste time and money

2. Get money coming in–fast

If you wait too long to start generating revenue, you’ll burn through your savings. Aim for a business model with short sales cycles. Develop your minimum viable product as quickly as you can.

3. Keep a close eye on your expenses

You won’t have a salary in the early stages of your startup. You need to live lean for a while.

That means you can go without a stylish office space. You don’t need company t-shirts either.

Bootstrapping can be a grind. But it comes with the satisfaction of building something that’s completely your own.