Recently, we attended a e27 founder’s drink event where Lifestyle Entrepreneur Jon Yongfook, founder of Beatrix shared about how he bootstrapped his startup from a beach. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Having a lifestyle that is envied by everyone and still be a boss.
For those who of you new to startup lingo, all bootstrap means is funding your startup with your own money. Most importantly, you still have to make enough money to cover your daily living expenses.
This stuck with me for a while, it’s always amazing to find out what the founders have to go through to achieve their dreams. Nothing is too unglam when you are trying to survive, they usually turn out to be pretty funny stories.
1. Start Lean
The idea is to validate your idea and make sure there is demand before even beginning to create the product.
2. Have a Story to Launch With
Having a story helps make your idea that more interesting, talk about why you started your company and how it fulfils a need or gap. Go around and spread the word, get lots of interest, do guest posting, get media sites to cover you and more.
3. Validation + Customers = Leverage for Funding
If you want to get venture capital funding, what better time to go other than after having customers and revenue? It gives you a better bargaining power and higher valuation for your company. He mentioned that it is a trend now that many startups are starting to raise money only much later, such as Nasty Gal.
Bootstrapping forces you to focus on important stuff: customers and revenue – Jon Yongfook
Looking at his speech overall, he is definitely very sales oriented and for good reason, you need cash if you are going to have to bootstrap all the way. Instead of users, think of customers, especially paying customers. And he is certainly right about one thing
If you are starting a startup and have no concrete revenue model, you have been reading too much TechCrunch – Jon Yongfook
We are just flooded with stories of startups getting funded huge amounts of money despite not having any form of concrete revenue, but does that equate to success? Food for thought?