By Fernando Berrocal
You have finally decided to take on the entrepreneurial adventure of a lifetime and establish the business of your dreams. You’re probably commencing with a planning phase of development, and contemplating how you'll fund your ideal organization. While you probably already know that bootstrapping isn't recommended for all types of entrepreneurs, establishing a business with your own resources will eliminate the need for investors. The following tried-and-done suggestions can assist you in bootstrapping your organization's product launch on a tight budget.
Before you launch it, put your product concept to the test. The first step? Testing. Testing allows your team the opportunity to discover if there is a significant market for your products. This implies that, before investing any resources to make your products, you must first experiment and then try to sell them. You might do this to establish if enough customers are willing to pay for your final product. This phase can help you avoid wasting any main resources as well as avoid the stress of not knowing what will happen. You want to be sure that you don't build a product only to realize that customers won't pay for it.
There are several approaches to putting your concept through to the testing rounds. Perhaps you want to offer physical objects on an e-commerce website, and try to pre-selling them at a discount to see if customers are interested. In other cases, if you intend to start a software as a service (SaaS) business, try to sell it with a limited number of discounted lifetime subscriptions, (even before it exists). All of these scenarios are different examples of how to evaluate if customers are interested in your product.
This stage is critical; you must ensure that you don't pay a developer a huge amount of money to create something that no one will want to obtain. These tests may be carried out in virtually any type of industry, regardless of size or sector. Also, know that you won't be taking cash from potential clients; if necessary, you will have to simply give a refund if you don't get enough sign-ups or presales.
Make and release a minimum viable product (MVP): If your startup's pre-sales attract an important quantity of potential customers, then it's time to move through with your public release of it. You probably don't have the cash to recruit workers since you're bootstrapping your business with your own money and that resource is very scarce. As a result, you will be responsible for building and delivering the product that you pre-sold. To do this, you must launch a minimum viable product (commonly known as an MVP) as soon as possible–while avoiding the perfect completion spiral. After you've created something that your consumers are interested in, it's time to go on to the next step - requesting honest feedback from your customers.
Request open and honest feedback from consumers: Even if you don't want to hear it, genuine criticism is critical to the success of your business. Asking your early consumers for their blunt feedback is a great approach. It saves a good amount of effort and funding on prospective manufacturing expenses, crucial cost cutting when you are bootstrapping a business. Of course, you want to know which aspects of your product or service your initial consumers like most, as well as other positive elements. However, finding out what people dislike about your business offering is far more beneficial to your firm in the long run. You may learn that important elements of your product need to be changed to better suit your consumers' demands as a result of this process.
Remember not to take this genuine feedback too seriously. Use this critical input to enhance the features of your core product. The idea here is that this product is as prepared as possible for your target market. There are different ways to obtain honest feedback; a simple, often used method is sending surveys to your consumers, asking them to rate how much they liked the product–and what they would improve. Even after you've launched it, you'll need to keep this feedback cycle going for as long as your business is in operation. Continuous feedback will enable you to improve your organization's services and drive it to new heights of success.
In conclusion, when bootstrapping your own enterprise there are several crucial bases to cover and stages to complete. Some final takeaways before you go on the adventure of establishing the business of your dreams:
- Presell your product before you invest funding. Make it an experiment to see whether there is an actual market for it.
- Then, if you discover that your organization's service/product has a viable market, move ahead and release an MVP as early as possible. This will allow you to gain vital feedback from early consumers.
- You can get honest feedback from consumers by sending them a simple and quick survey. The ideal survey questions them about their experience, and what they would improve about the product. Use their valuable insight to improve your organization's product or service, and increase your chances of overall success. Note: don't forget to keep asking for feedback from your customers throughout the life of your business.
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