Advice from a Bootstrapper

Dr. Jeffrey R. Cornwall writes:

I just finished several weeks of teaching about bootstrapping to my students. I wrapped up the unit with a visit from Charles Hagood, co-founder of The Access Group, which was the feature of a recent Entrepreneurial Showcase at this site. Charles shared his advice on being a successful bootstrapper:

1. Cash is King. Enough said!

2. Sometimes Less is More. Having fewer resources can force a business to be more flexible and more resourceful. For example, Southwest Airline’s business model grew out of the limited number of planes that they had to work with during their start-up.

3. Keep Your Priorities in Order. Never compromise your ethical principles, even when money it tight.

4. Enjoy the Ride. Love what you do in your business and enjoy each day. That will make the lean times easier to take.

5. Cut Costs, Not Quality. Focus your money on customers when money is scarce.

6. Impress Your Customers, Not Yourselves. Don’t waste money competing internally over who has the best stuff. Invest it in your customers and in your product.

7. If You Have $1 Left in the Bank, Spend in on Marketing. Even when the market is not buying your product stay in front of them so they will remember you when things pick up.

8. Always Look Bigger and Tougher Than You Are. See my post from earlier today for ideas on this.

9. Continuously Reassess Your Business for Wasteful Spending.

Being an Entrepreneur is very rewarding when everything comes together, however getting to that point is quite a challenge. Even more so when you wear many different hats and have to juggle from one roll to the next; sales, marketing, product development, qa, web presence etc. We really do need all of the help we an get.

There is a lot of good information to be found on the web on Entrepreneurship, running a small business, marketing etc. and unfortunately also a lot of “me too” dross.

Jeff Cornwall’s, The Entrepreneurial Mind is well worth reading if you have the slightest interest in Entrepreneurship.