A new ideology that shuns outside funding and is instead focusing on initiative and success, is being embraced by entrepreneurs today. Several publications have recently come out that further explain how entrepreneurs attitudes have changed. These changes have brought back a new method called Bootstrapping that many business and management text and theories ignore tend to ignore. But for modern Internet startups that are ready for growth, this method has become highly lucrative.
Below is a quick definition of what “Bootstrapping” actually means:
Bootstrappers deliberately bypass bank loans and other traditional sources of funding, instead they focus on building a business from scratch with nothing more than their own money — mixed with blood, sweat, and tears. To bootstrap is to be free. You won’t be hustling for venture capital or reporting to a distant board of investors.
Bootstrapping is a philosophy pointing out that you can build your own business without large-scale financial backing. This is especially true of online business. We live in an age when barriers of entry to business are historically low. Anyone with a little bit of cash can set up a PayPal account and a website. The Internet is still a relatively new frontier, and it allows you to take your skills and put them to profitable use.
In order to follow this simple business plan by eschewing outside funding and succeeding on your own you will have a new found sense of freedom and control that you could never get working a regular job.
Here are some examples of why this “Bootstrapping” method is for everyone:
One is ManageWP, which began with the simple idea of giving users a single dashboard to manage multiple WordPress websites. Now its customers use it to manage over 100,000 sites.
But what if you’re not looking to create an app? Don’t worry. In reality, bootstrapping can be applied to any online business. Starting small and doing it yourself is, in many ways, what the Internet is all about.
Most bloggers, even those that are now huge, bootstrapped their empire.
Darren Rowse is the owner of both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School (the biggest digital photography blog in the world). He practically created his blogs out of thin air (while also attending theology school part-time and working three jobs).
By working hard to not rely on outside funding, it allows you to take action when and how you want. With most business startups being inherently risky, Bootstrapping gives you the power to cut down that risk by not being tied down by investors.
As a small business owner, freelancer or entrepreneur can you point out the other benefits of Bootstrapping that we haven’t covered?