Being a founder of a startup can be a lonely existence. Even if your startup is well established, boasts a strong team of staff and is based in a busy co-working space, it’s easy to understand why you may experience bouts of loneliness from time to time.
Bootstrapping is a term bandied around a lot to describe the way in which many entrepreneurs operate, manage and finance their startups. What is bootstrapping and what exactly does it mean in a business context?
Freelance parents working from home know how it feels to be stretched from every conceivable direction. Coronavirus lockdown measures required freelance parents to take on a whole new level of multi-tasking. It meant juggling all the usual parenting tasks (a full time occupation in its own right), whilst simultaneously presuming the role of homeschooling teachers... All whilst trying to work from home and manage their own freelance career. Add the widespread mental health repercussions of lockdown into the mix, and achieving a “healthy” work-life balance became ludicrously unattainable.
It’s well known that startups operate on limited resources. Their marketing budgets are much the same. They’re tight. Therefore, they must devise creative and low cost solutions to reach their target audience and generate revenue.
Having briefly lived in New Mexico as a teenager, I’ve always followed US elections with great interest. ‘Go big or go home’ is a phrase I often heard stateside which can certainly be applied to the manner in which US presidential candidates run for office. Massive rallies and conventions, A-list celebrity endorsements, extensive advertising campaigns, balloon drops and of course, whopping big budgets to finance it all. It’s hard not to get drawn in by the fanfare.
Whether you’ve just launched your startup or you’ve been running it for years, the idea of taking on a co-founder has likely crossed your mind. Maybe you put a bit of time into looking for potential founders, but hadn’t really sussed out what kind of person you were looking for, so stalled your search? Or perhaps you want to take on a co-founder but you weren’t really sure where to start your search?
Founders work tirelessly on every aspect of their startup, whether it be branding, hiring, marketing, accounts, planning or pitching. You name it, they do it. It’s more than a full-time job, it’s a lifestyle. The initial excitement of starting a business is a great motivator early on, however, it can also distract from the grand vision. Tiredness, mistakes and burnout creep in as founders spend more time trying to master areas they are not qualified in. It goes without saying therefore, that they could all do with a little help from time to time.
There’s no doubt that raising capital as a startup can be challenging at the best of times, but doing so in the midst of a pandemic is another story. That said, if we’ve learned one thing over the past few months, it’s that humans have an innate ability to adapt. The millions of individuals who are successfully working from home having never done so before the pandemic hit are a prime example. Similarly, startups have adapted. They’ve identified the best ways to go about funding their businesses during this tumultuous time. One such method which I’ve noticed many startups pursuing over the past few months is crowdfunding.