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Entrepreneurship – Start Your Business With Zero Fundraising

How I Bootstrapped 2 Multi-Million Dollar Companies With No Funding. Business Strategies, Frameworks and Best Practices
Instructor:
Swarnendu (Sean) De
9 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Learn the basics of bootstrapping, what is it and how businesses boostrap
How to start a business with no funding or with only personal funding
Understand why bootstrapping is a great way to start a business
Learn the challenges of starting without funding and how to avoid them
Get to know how great companies bootstrapped and made millions. Case studies of how bootstrapping companies succeed
Learn how to bootstrap with initial consulting and services business
Know how to hire team members internally and also outsource works to freelancers and agencies
Understand the basics of branding for bootstrapped businesses and how to create a great brand with checklists and gudeis
Learn how to use finance effectively to save cost and increase profit
Learn how to create a value centered business that provides great customer services to customers
Know how to find advisors and mentors who can help you bootstrap with least mistakes
Know the best practices to follow while bootstrapping your business so that you don't make the mistakes common bootstrapper makes.
Plan and start your business with our initial bootstrapping framework
Understand if you really need funding to start your business or bootstrapping is the right way of starting for you
Know when to bootstrap and when to look for funding. Learn the best stage for approaching investors to get funding
Get to know all types of tools that will help you in all functional areas of your bootstrapping business - Idea, Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR

The only course on Udemy that teaches you with practical guides on how to bootstrap your business with zero fundraisings, no money or only personal savings and generate million-dollar revenue.

In my 15 years of career, I have worked with 1500+ businesses, out of which 75% were startups. Do you know the #1 reason why startup fail? It’s ‘running out of cash’. Whether it’s a funded business or a bootstrapped business with only personal savings, cash flow is still the primary cause of startup failure.

Yet, there are hundreds of businesses that bootstrapped, without any funding and made millions in revenue. In the last 8 years, I myself bootstrapped two companies and today they both are multi-million dollar businesses, with 100+ members and presence in the US, UK, Australia and India. 

“Bootstrapping your business” is a game and you need to know the rules of the game to succeed in this. You do not need to run behind the investors in order to make your business growing. You do not need to scratch your head wondering how to have a stable business with a shoestring budget. This is not taught in an MBA degree or in any other MBA courses because this needs practical survival knowledge, not some theoretical information.

In this course, I have shared what it takes to start a business with real case studies and grow it without any funding and with a very limited budget. Here’s what I have covered in the course:

  • Entrepreneurship fundamentals

  • Bootstrapping startup concepts – how to start with no money

  • Why Venture Capital or outside investment isn’t always the right choice

  • Why launching a startup with zero fundraise is worth the struggle

  • Pros and cons of bootstrapping from my personal experience

  • Best practices – Mistakes CEOs must avoid

  • Bootstrapping strategies

  • A bootstrapping framework

  • Tools for all functional areas of business

  • When to bootstrap and when to look for funding

  • Real case studies

WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU ENROLL IN THIS COURSE?

  • Lifetime access to the course and all updates

  • Personalized support and answers to your questions

  • Udemy certificate of completion

BOOTSTRAPPING STARTUP COURSE BONUSES?

  • Downloadable checklists to keep you on track

  • Downloadable guides to help you take action

  • Case Studies to show you behind the scenes of our strategies

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT ME?

“Swarnendu is one in a billion, I am generally very reserved when it comes to recommending IT personnel, however, I make the exception when speaking of this man and his team……his work speaks for itself and he comes highly recommended from the best in the business. Truly a very intelligent man who goes way beyond what you would ever expect from such a high-level technical team in this space.” -Dan Auito, Mentorship Director at Business Mentors 101

“Swarnendu is a natural leader towards his team….I can definitely recommend him to anyone that wants to develop a great product. “ -Alexander Edsvärd, CEO, Homfy

“We are so impressed with our new capabilities that Sean and his team have come up with, especially now that we’ve identified new revenue opportunities we didn’t think about prior to building our vision.” – Frank Curtin, Founder, The Smart Guides LLC

GET READY TO TAKE ACTION

Throughout the entire course, you’ll be taking action!

You’ll learn the proper techniques and strategies for each section. Then you’ll see how these strategies are used in the real world with case studies. Finally, you’ll take action yourself, and see real results!

You will get lifetime access to over 40 lectures plus corresponding guides and checklists for the lectures.

This course comes with a 30-day moneyback guarantee! If you are not satisfied in any way, you’ll get your money back. Plus you will keep access to the guides, best practices and checklists as a thank you for trying out the course.

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on and let’s learn together!

Introduction

1
What To Expect From This Course

Of all the stages of a business, the most initial stage where 99.9% of the entrepreneurs bootstrap, is the utmost difficult one. The reason being, when you have a zero or low budget, the essentials of setting up a business become too limited.

A bootstrapping startup needs certain practices to sustain the challenges and competition and most entrepreneurs jump into the business without having fair knowledge of these areas. In this course, I have outlined all these essentials that I learned while bootstrapping 2 multi-million dollar businesses.

2
What is Bootstrapping

The basic knowledge bootstrapping is important for every entrepreneur so that they don’t mix their business concept with another high growth startup that recently closed a round of funding. Bootstrapping a business has certain characteristics that you must have a good knowledge of in order to run your business in the right direction.


3
Why Bootstrapping Can Help You Build a Great Business

Bootstrapping has a lot of benefits like control, caution, customer focus, responsibility and freedom. Almost every business at one point bootstrap and some of them continue to build empires without any external funding. If done properly, bootstrapping can create a very profitable business for you.

Here are some core benefits:

  • Ownership of Your Business

  • Control Over Direction

  • Keeping Your Business

  • Sense of Accomplishment

  • Being Forced to Build a Business Model That Really Works

  • You have to wear all the hats - learn on the job

4
What Are The Drawbacks of Bootstrapping

Regular cash flow and cash reserve are two main attributes of a successful startup. For bootstrapping businesses, this often becomes a problem for a newbie entrepreneur. That is one of the major reasons why more than 90% of bootstrapping startups fail. Having a clear knowledge of these disadvantages can help you plan your journey with the least hiccups.

Here are some major disadvantages:

  • Fewer Chances of Survival

  • Slow Growth Trajectory

  • Poor Beta Product

  • Can’t Afford to Do It Right

  • More Work and Slower Results

  • Need To Stay Organized, Always

  • Competition Can Outperform You

  • You Have to Hire Cheap Talent and Potentially Pay for Their Mistakes


5
Additional Resources: 66-page Startup Bootstrapping Checklist
6
Section 1 Quiz: Bootstrapping Fundamentals

Successful Bootstrapped Companies And How They Made It

1
Successful Bootstrapped Companies

Building a strong business with a sound foundation and value takes time and many bootstrapped companies have achieved this by providing amazing products or services. Eventually, they reach the point, through solid strategies and sustainable profit, where the company grows to have a powerful position within their industry.

Many of the successful companies that we see today had their humble beginnings as a bootstrapped enterprise. In this episode, I am going to tell you about some of these companies and I am sure that their case studies will encourage you to take the same path for your business


2
Key Learnings From The Success Stories

There are countless success stories of bootstrapped companies who have been doing business for decades. These are just some of the big names that you and I heard of. There are so many bootstrapped businesses who we don’t know about, the information about which is not available online, but they are earning in millions. Case study of each of these bootstrapped companies will give some lessons that are unique and useful for your journey.


3
Section 2 Quiz: Bootstrapping Case Studies

Bootstrapping Strategies To Follow

1
Introduction
2
Sell Services - Build an Income-generating Business First

Selling services or providing consultation at the initial stage of your business is an easier way of getting quick money. Understand that it is not your primary objective, but I am sure that there are some areas where you are really good at and you can think of providing consultation on those areas. A lot of businesses go through this route at the initial stage just to keep the bootstrapped startup going. Ultimately, maintaining steady cash flow in the first few months can be of great help for any bootstrapping business.


3
Wear All The Hats - Till They Start Burdening You

For bootstrappers the first few years are tough. Because you won’t be able to afford to hire experienced employees in all the major departments, a good amount of responsibility will lie on you and your co-founders. Also, all the employees are going to report to you at the beginning phase and in order to provide them with proper feedback, you have to have some knowledge in all the following core areas of business:

  • Strategy - Planning, Organizing, Controlling, Leading

  • Marketing - Promotion, Sales, Business Development

  • Finance & Account Management

  • Human Resources

  • Operation and

  • Technology & Engineering

4
Hire Slow and Go Global

Remember to only hire if and when needed. It is important to create a team but at the same time remember the old startup adage; hire slow, fire fast. Just like funding, hiring isn’t a matter of picking up the phone or posting a job proposal; it takes time to find the right fit. Another advantage of starting within a team of complementary skills is that hiring can be delayed until some higher level of validation is reached. Even for such teams, hiring begins the day the startup venture is initiated.

Follow these practices:

  • Hire Only If You Need It

  • Hire Smart + Experienced OR Hungry + Least Experienced

  • Plan Well While Hiring

  • Don’t Restrict To Only Local Hiring

  • Save A Lot With Freelancer Hiring

  • Say Goodbye Fast

5
Additional Resources - Startup Local Hiring Guide
6
Additional Resources - Startup Global Hiring Guide
7
Build a Brand For Your Business

Your brand is what the outside world thinks of you. That’s it. Although you can influence your brand through well-designed logos, hilarious ad campaigns, carefully crafted press releases, or super-friendly service, ultimately, your brand is what the outside world says it is. Brands are the most valuable assets many companies possess. But no one agrees on how much they are worth or why. Strong brands inspire loyalty, and we can’t always put our finger on exactly how they do it.

This lecture tells you why branding is important and how you can create great branding for your business on a shoestring budget.


8
Additional Resources - Bootstrapping Startup Branding Guide
9
Save Cost As Much As Possible

If you’re self-funded then you must always know your most important financial metrics. You can only spend the money you made last month, as you don’t have any outside money to invest back in. You’ll quickly learn the importance of cash. Spending money that depends on revenue you generate is a lot different than spending someone else’s money. We have discussed some best practices that can help you save costs in a better way.

10
Leverage The 80/20 Rule

Prioritization sets boundaries around the amount of work, or concurrent work, that must be accomplished, thus it also helps to allow for quality producing tasks in the outcome of the work.

If you’re like most business people, you are often a little bit overwhelmed by all the tasks on your to-do list, and there are usually so many of them that you literally don’t know where to start. This can, in fact, be so demoralizing and frustrating that it can leave you unmotivated, with no idea about where to begin tackling the overall agenda. This is where prioritization comes in. It provides a certain clarity which is necessary before you can move forward, and by focusing in on what really matters, it provides you with a sense of direction and purpose.


11
Build a Value-centred Organization

A savvy founder knows that developing a positive company culture is top on the list of priorities. It's not so difficult in the startup phase, but creating a culture that will grow with you takes foresight and diligence. But someday you won't be a startup anymore and you must build a culture from the first day that will grow with you. Startups struggle if core values and company culture aren't built to grow with the business.


12
Create a Customer-centric Organization

A customer-centric way of doing business is a way that provides a positive customer experience before and after the sale in order to drive repeat business, enhance customer loyalty and improve business growth. But, a customer-centric company is more than a company that offers good customer service.

13
Leverage Content Marketing

Content marketing is important, not just because it works for building trust, generating leads, and cultivating customer loyalty, but because it has become the new normal from the consumer side.

It is, in itself, helping to evolve what customers expect from the brands they interact with. Neglecting it is way riskier than investing in it. Here’s how content marketing can help you at the bootstrapping stage of your business:

  • By building trust through Content Marketing, you’re improving brand reputation and brand awareness

  • Optimised content helps with organic search (SEO)

  • Great content will generate lots of backlinks (and traffic)

  • Content Marketing helps support through all stages of the Buyer’s Journey

  • Give people a reason to keep on coming back to your website

  • Content Marketing will help almost all your other digital marketing strategy efforts

14
Reach Out To Advisors & Mentors

Mentors are integral to founders' success because they can provide different opinions, a helpful community and valuable connections. Mentors have as much to gain from mentorship as their mentees. A strong mentorship network strengthens the global startup community. Having a business mentor can help you turn your good idea into a viable business proposition, and can make all the difference in getting your dreams off the ground.

I have discussed here in detail why and how you can find a mentor for your business.


15
How to Use These Strategies
16
Section 3 Quiz: Bootstrapping Strategies

Bootstrapping Framework & Best Practices

1
Bootstrapping Framework - The Key to Success

A simple framework that can be immensely helpful for any business, mostly at the starting phase. This framework will help you create a better plan and execute with more chances of success.


2
A Live Example of Bootstrapping Framework

We have discussed a real-world example of how the bootstrapping framework helped David to bootstrap his startup.


3
Best Practices To Follow While Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping a business is certainly not everyone’s strong suit and when it comes to startups, there’s always that high probability of not being able to succeed. However, you might be surprised to know that the majority of startups are funded through personal savings and credit, or in other words, are bootstrapped. There are a number of do’s and don’ts that we recommend entrepreneurs to follow, especially those who want to start their business with zero or low budget.


4
Section 4 Quiz: Framework & Best Practices

Bootstrap vs Funding

1
Do I Really Need Funding?

If you're relying on gaining the attention of an investor, you're probably pinning your hopes and dreams on the money they will provide. Is this a sign you're looking to do too much, too fast? Are you trying to go all-in on development when you can take things slower, use creativity and wise decisions to build a stable foundation, and only then look to growth via investors?

If your company can survive without an immediate influx of cash, ride that wave as long as you can. The longer you can survive without it, the more time you have to develop a winning formula, a winning product, something that can hit the market and succeed without that investment.

On the other hand, if you're certain your company will crumble without investment capital, you might need to take a look at where that money will go.


2
How Long to Bootstrap and When To Look For Funding

The best time to raise capital for a startup is when you have a clear idea of what you want to do and a clear idea of how much money you need to get to a milestone that will set a higher value for your company. In general its better to bootstrap and do friends and family as long as you can, because the more mature and successful you are the better deal you will get from angels or VCs.

3
Bootstrap vs Funding: Internal Factors to Consider

There are a set of factors that need to be considered to decide whether you should look for funding or just continue bootstrapping. I see a lot of founders who are absolutely confused about it and they are chasing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Some are looking for funding when it’s still not the right time and some keep bootstrapping while they should be actively looking for raising capital.

In general, I advise to consider external funding when both the following conditions have been met:

  1. You've established that a repeatable formula for getting paying customers is in hand. Real sales, not your uncle or cousin, and not 'users' who don't pay, either. In other words, customer traction is proven, and the funds you seek to raise are to scale-up the business.

  2. You are concerned that continuing to grow your business without external capital is risky, due to imitation by others, possibly better-funded others. If you're doing something complicated and have a substantial lead, however, you may, as the wonderful Danish company Goviral did, be able to continue growing your business without ever taking venture capital.

I have discussed multiple internal factors that can help you analyze the right time and resources to raise capital.


4
Section 5 Quiz: Bootstrapping vs Funding

Tools That Can Help You Bootstrap

1
Bootstrapping Tools To Define Your Ideas

Before you launch a business, you need to take a moment to define your ideas. The failure rate for startups is above 90% and much of this is due to inadequate business ideas. I’ve discussed the tools that can help you define your ideas.


2
Bootstrapping Tools To Find a Partner

If you are trying to start without additional finances, it might be a good idea to find a partner for your business venture. Here are the tools that can help you find your perfect business partner.

3
Bootstrapping Tools For Collaborating

Startups are all about collaboration. But when you’re bootstrapping, you often encounter further problems with co-operation. You might not yet have an office and members of your team might even live in another city, which can quickly add costs. Let us see what tools can help us collaborate better.


4
Bootstrapping Tools For Testing Your Ideas

Once you’ve refined your ideas, it’s of course time to start testing them. Ultimately, it’s only sensible to focus on spending more time and money on ideas that pass the consumer test. Here are some tools that can help you test your ideas better.


5
Bootstrapping Tools For Building Your Idea

Once you are done validating your ideas, it’s time to start acting. If your startup is centred on a product, the development of it will be crucial, yet a costly step to take. But you shouldn’t go all out and spend all of your resources on product development. Here we have a few ideas on how to bootstrap building your idea.


6
Bootstrapping Tools For Design

Creating the right design and look for your business is an important part of branding. Taking advantage of already existing designs, which are free to use, can easily bootstrap branding. Sometimes even browsing these ideas can be enough to get your own unique idea and create a design without spending money on a creative designer.

The following tools and platforms offer plenty of free and cost-effective ways to add a design to your brand.


7
Bootstrapping Tools For Marketing & Social Media

Bootstrapping marketing is among the easiest aspects of starting a business without extra financing. The Internet allows you to leverage social media for marketing purposes and market analysis can be cost-effective.


8
Bootstrapping Tools For Finances

Financial management is an important part of bootstrapping your business. You need to ensure you make the most of your limited resources and different tools to track and analyze spending can help you do so.

The following tools are perfect for ensuring you know exactly where your money is going. Use the tracking tools also for analyzing your spending in terms of returns. You don’t want to be spending money on tools or people that aren’t providing good enough returns.


9
Section 6 Quiz: Bootstrapping Tools

The Next Steps

1
The Next Steps

Congratulations on completing the Bootstrapping Your Startup course. I hope the course has provided you with a plethora of examples, strategies, case studies and some good resources to start or continue with your bootstrapping journey. If you need any more help, feel free to reach out to me directly and I will be happy to help (my email is shared with you in the resources section).


You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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Entrepreneurship – Start Your Business With Zero Fundraising
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