"I’ve mentioned in a previous post about my plan to start this business on a limited budget, or bootstrapping as it’s commonly known.
Although bootstrapping isn’t on the surface an ideal scenario for starting a business, particularly when competing with companies that have millions of pounds of VC investment, there are certain advantages. One of the key advantages for me is that I am getting to learn about so many different aspects to running a business: financial, marketing, social media, retailers, design, development, and many more. Once the business is more established and I can either employ staff or outsource, it’s good to know that I will have a grounding in these subject areas.
Another advantage is that things have to be done on the cheap. Although this might seem unappealing, it’s amazing how far your money can stretch when you are forced to be a little bit inventive about how you spend each pound to get the best return. Profitability is not a factor at the moment as I’m pre start-up but adopting the principle of getting the highest possible return from any spend is surely a good foundation for a profitable business.
So what are the downsides? Well, one of the most difficult things about bootstrapping is the sheer amount of work to get done, and the breadth of the work. Learning how to focus in on one important area is very difficult when there are others screaming for your attention. So this has been a good learning curve for me in terms of how I get the most out of my time. I thought I’d use the rest of this post to offer a few tips:
I love my iPod touch. It’s great for when I don’t have a large amount of time to spare; I can still get something done quickly in 5 minutes
Following on from that, one of my favourite apps is Evernote – a straightforward to-do list application. Helpful for prioritising.
Reading business news about starting up is great for motivation, ideas and inspiration but it can be a time-zapper. Flipboard is a great application for giving you the most relevant headlines quickly.
I try and do my most difficult and high priority tasks early on in the day, as that is usually my most productive time (I’m a morning person) – so a lot gets done between the hours of 7am and 11am.
Do emails once a day. Constant streams of information and requests via email can be distracting. Dedicating specific time to replying can save you a lot of time."