Archive for September, 2009

5 Bootstrapped Startup Reality Checks

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

If you’re in a bootstrapped startup,  looking at your bank account probably isn’t the most cheerful experience. You are probably still investing all that comes in and maybe even a bit more. So how do you know that you are still on the right track?

1. Are we there yet? Are you running a profit?  If you don’t know… do your homework and get back here ASAP.  If you are making a profit… why are you even reading this article?

2. Is there a future? So you are not running a profit… but could you?  If you would cut all development and investment related costs  and  would coast with whatever you have right now…  Would there be enough money for you to sustain this operation? If so: you are already investing in making more profit in the future, make sure though that the extra investments really contribute to your goals.

3. Can we make it? If your revenue is not high enough right now, you are walking a thin line. Is there enough money expected to bridge the gap?  Find out when you can get to #2 and sum all losses you expect to make in between.  Do you have that kind of money or can you get it?  This may be the time to adjust your plans,  either cut some costs or get some extra money.

4. Does it matter? What if you would sell everything right now? Would it be enough to cover debts and the income you missed?  If so, maybe it’s good to stop bootstrapping and get some money to prevent this value you’ve created to be wasted.   Keep in mind that you don’t want to wait till the last minute, because if you’re out of options… you are going to be a bargain.

5. Do you love it? Maybe your business isn’t that dependent on money, still, you are investing a lot of time in it, right?  If it’s not worth the money, at least make it worth for yourself.  Is this really the thing you love most to spend all your time on?    If you feel committed to a project you don’t really love anymore,  find someone who can take over,  or change it so that you can love it again.