If you are already in the startup world, probably you would have heard about the word “Bootstrapped Startup” mean, it’s a trendy jargon of these days. So, what does it mean bootstrapped startup and why it is valued so much, all these questions can be answered in these 30 Important Lessons To Bootstrap Your Startup In 2019 guide.
So What is Bootstrapping Mean?
Bootstrapping is about creating products on existing markets (A pre-validated idea), niche it down ideally to 500 – 1000 customers worldwide, then slide it down again to segment your niche and target your right audience easily. With better execution and User Experience (UX) as a main competitive advantage (and to attract competitors users) and find your flywheel via semi-automated marketing/content creation (to achieve the lowest possible CPA).
Don’t create new markets, don’t chase innovative ideas. Prefer optimization over innovation.
Tips to Bootstrap Your Startup In 2019
- Bootstrapping or entrepreneurship is a career. Do not expect quick results in shot period. Build it one by one. Better to Stair step rather than jump. Run a marathon, not a sprint. Do a research and back-envelop estimations, then plan to spend on one project three years rather than three months to go in vain.
- Keep in mind that You don’t have a viable business if you don’t have profit. Understand the finance and keep profit first. Pay yourself first and then pay your creditors. Simple but important.
- Do marketing before coding. Let the world know what you are up to! Create a FOMO effect.
- Learn to write and understand content marketing.
- Research your segment and write down your product value metric. Be result oriented always
- Niche down, niche down, then niche down again.
- On-boarding should guide your user on how to get the best out of your product in less than 30 seconds.
- Eliminate as much complexities as possible, keep it simple along the user-to-customer journey in your product. In extreme show your offer to a user right after on-boarding.
- Always Prefer freemium to trials where you could be able to get more users and convert them into subscriber. The user should stumble upon the product’s “real value metric” every session and suffer by not able to have it all. If you concerned of support burden for the free tier make registration private and re-channel the rest of the traffic to a waiting list.
- Start collecting emails from the beginning. On an early stage prefer email collection to conversion. You have greater chances to reactivate user with personal email than reactivate a lost visitor without one.
- Keep on testing. Add new features to build a value and helps your profit as well.
- Use content marketing strategy to create a hype about your product. People love controversies and keep them on the edge.
- Your product should sell value rather than a cheap price: products with product-market-fit will be making money or saving your time.
- When its time, Charge more, it’s the simplest and most controllable way to quickly increase your revenue.
- Understand your market pricing strategy and test it out by increasing and decreasing some, so you would be able to find more customers in this way.
- Optimize conversion Strategy. It’s the second most important way to improve your profit after pricing. Fix any bugs or issues in the product before doubling your marketing budget. Squeeze more out of current product state before moving forward and build more new features.
- Three Important places you should spend your time on,
- 1. conversion optimization
- 2. execution (UX)
- 3. marketing rather than new features.
- If you are developing new features stop today and think which one to remove eliminate without losing your Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
- A new addition or feature in your product should always serve a new segment of potential customers. Build it just once you have already optimized the previous version of your MVP / a product. If it’s not the case you don’t have an final product yet.
- Be able to dynamically update pricing to your service in seconds (not days) through your admin panel (or DB).
- Use analytics regularly and make sure your to have lower bounce back rate, otherwise you attract the wrong audience.
- Bootstrappers do not build products. But they build marketing/conversion systems around the final product, optimize them and replicate what works.
- Choose products that could be scaled horizontally to serve right audiences (Read Perter Thiel’s – Zero To One ). This way you could replicate the system and product relatively easy, target a various segment of users and multiply your profit.
- Build a perfect technical platforms to reuse them to multiply your success.
- Use boring technologies, that can reduce the cost of bootstrapping and coding. Research from the beginning and choose the right cost effective platform.
- Use holidays and year end sales to boost your revenue. Don’t forget to use Black Fridays/ XMas sales to close more deals from your mailing list.
- Utilize social media and connect with your users regularly and get feedback to improve the product.
- Implement creative promo codes and offer a small discount to your users as a part of your drip campaign.
- Join and Connect with your product niche community people (like Indiehackers.com , Producthunt.com & Hackernews.com ..etc) and help the newbies, which can give more trust around your brand.
- Never stop improving! You can find new ideas and inspirations everyday, so try to find a way to connect with your brand.
All these lessons can help you to bootstrap your startup in 2019 for sure, still you can learn many along the way and build something your users want.