10 Bootstrapping Terms – 22 August 2017

Bootstrapping Term

How many of these bootstrapping terms do you know?

Basic Bootstrapping Terms

Barter – While most exchanges of goods or services involves money going in one direction and the goods or services in the other, barter is a two-way exchange of goods or services of approximately similar value. For example, a lawyer might trade an hour of legal advice for an hour of a web designer’s time. A cookbook author might trade a cookbook for fresh produce of equivalent value. More…

Freelancer – A freelancer works for different companies at different times, often on a project by project basis. Being a freelancer is one form of bootstrapping, in that you are generating income as your own solo business with very low overhead and typically no marketing budget. Hiring a freelancer, in turn, is a way for bootstrapping companies to accomplish business goals without bringing on part time or full time employees.

Large global freelancer networks have grown over the past decade. They enable young companies to accomplish extraordinary things at a fraction of the cost, although like most inexpensive tools they require some thoughtful management.

The top 10 freelancer networks are: (More…)

Mentor – In the business context a mentor is a particular type of trusted business advisor, very often whose counsel and advice is freely given. Many entrepreneurs find mentors and use them for multiple purposes. Sometimes mentors can be a substitute for professional business services, although sometimes a mentor’s help is something that money can’t buy. Free mentors are generally associated with accelerators, and are also available through SCORE in the US. More…

Public library –  Most people know that a public library is a free resource for books. It can be a terrific resource for bootstrapping businesses for several reasons.

  1. First and foremost you should be borrowing business books from your library rather than buying them. Many public libraries lend e-books if you own a Kindle or similar device. And, many libraries participate in exchange networks so that you can borrow books not available locally and have them shipped to your town library. More…

Rewards based crowdfunding – The best known type of crowdfunding is specifically rewards based crowdfunding which, as it sounds, provides different levels of rewards in return for cash. It is one of the most visible ways to bootstrap your company, in that customers can pay you in advance of the product or service delivery. Customer cash paid early is almost always the best way to fund your business, if possible. More…

Intermediate Bootstrapping Terms

Agile – Agile is a philosophy and/or specific methodology of software development, and product development in general, that promotes incremental development and emphasizes adaptability and collaboration. Agile is relevant to bootstrapping because it minimizes net cash outlays on new product development versus revenue generated by the new product by minimizing development costs for product features that customers don’t want.

Imitative entrepreneur –  Those who study entrepreneurs often set apart those companies who don’t innovate – create a new product or service that customers want – but rather imitate existing products and companies. To some extent all companies have some degree of being imitative entrepreneurs, in that they don’t recreate everything to do with business from scratch. More…

Lean Startup – Lean Startup is an approach to developing products and businesses designed to minimize both time and cost. It is now a global movement led by author and software entrepreneur Eric Ries, who published the book Lean Startup after his own startup used the Customer Development methodology developed by Steve Blank. While details may differ, Lean Startup and Customer Development are very similar in overall approach. The basic idea is that products or services designed without customer feedback often fail or need major revisions, both of which are very expensive. More…

Personal balance sheet – A strong personal balance sheet – the combination of personally owned assets and personally owed debts – can make possible a bootstrapped business launch. Many if not most businesses start through founder funding. If you are thinking about starting a business, look first at your personal balance sheet.

  • Do you have financial assets such as stocks or bonds that can easily be turned into cash? More…

Virtual organization – The term virtual organization describes a broad array of alternatives to traditional organizations that do not use binding agents such as real estate and physical proximity, full time employment, management hierarchy, and asset ownership to hold the organization together. More…

 

Don Gooding

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