A New Book Explains Why Bootstrapping Is an Entrepreneur’s Best Bet

(DGIwire) – Today’s aspiring entrepreneurs are living in an era in which companies can be built without the obligations that come with outside investors. More and more entrepreneurs are learning that bootstrapping can bring success. It’s a fascinating topic about which serial entrepreneur Marty Schultz has just published an entire book: No Investors? No Problem: A Serial Bootstrapper’s Playbook for Breakthrough Success on a Shoestring Budget. Here are a few key components of bootstrapping that Schultz outlines:

  • Passion and persistence are primary: “Persistence and creativity can make the difference between success and failure,” says Schultz. “Take risks and don’t be afraid to do something unusual to attract a prospect’s attention.” Whether it is a meeting with a distributor who might pick up a product, a developer who can be convinced to become an employee, or a one-on-one with a CEO who can become a mentor, show them that something unique is being offered. 
  • Solve customers’ pain: Be the aspirin to customers’ pain; knowing what they really need, even if they themselves may not, is the critical component of any business. Of course, it’s crucial to listen to what people want before beginning to build a product or service. If not, the risk is run of developing something that may be brilliantly conceived—and a complete dud in the marketplace.
  • Make the whole world a focus group: Getting the right feedback from the right people is critical for success. Never assume anything about customers; always focus-group them first. Don’t make the mistake of only listening to people who are saying what the management team wants to hear. Set up a focus group with a wide cross-section of potential customers and quiz them on whether they would actually spend money.
  • ‘Failure’ is never final: There are ways to know if a venture is headed for failure and when, why and how to bail out. For example, if a product is developed and the developers find they don’t have the time or resources to compete with the best in that category, they are wasting their time. It’s crucial to try to analyze which dominos will doom a business and to determine how the management team will react if those dominos do, in fact, fall.
  • Get a mentor: A mentor can teach important entrepreneurial lessons. Don’t let youthful pride stand in the way of finding one. Many successful people care about changing the world; they will give back if they see something in a young startup’s founder. The main function of a mentor is to give insightful feedback in a way that encourages independent thought in the mentee. Ideally, they offer new ways to look at and analyze a problem.

“There are several other key rules that bootstrappers should keep top of mind, such as: hire staff wisely; be prepared to pivot; focus on the short term; creative marketing pays off; and customer loyalty must be earned,” Schultz adds. “Remembering all of these and applying them in as many situations as possible is a wise maneuver that can ultimately mean the difference between success and failure in any business venture.”