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According to Fundera, only 5% of start ups get VC funding. A sobering reality is that most startups fail. This reminder is not to discourage you from building your business. It is to explain part of the reason most startups do not get funding. Most successful entrepreneurs have several startups that fail before becoming successful. It is okay to fail and in fact that is where you learn. However, it is an important thing to keep in mind as you are building. In light of this fact, Bootstrapping your business is important. Watch both your personal and business expenses. Until you are revenue positive, scrutinize every expense. Ask yourself, is this expense something essential to moving me forward?
Most entrepreneurs get their funding from themselves, family and friends, bank loans, credit cards, and some do get funding from angel investors. As much as humanly possible, fund your business yourself and avoid debt. Do you need to take a side gig to fund your idea or business? Are you willing to do? These are hard questions; however, building a start up and being entrepreneur does take some soul searching sometimes. What are you willing to sacrifice for this project and is it work it to you?
If it is a passion project and it is your "why" (Read Simon Sinek's Start with Why), consider taking a second job, selling things you don't need or use any more, barter or swap services for business services like web building if you can. How lean can you get?
Often times bootstrapping at the beginning can mean learning the basics of a lot of different things until you can hire help. Be willing to that. Its 2020, you can learn almost anything or gain a working knowledge of it. This will pay dividends as you grow your company and you are competent enough to know what questions to ask.
Avoid debt as much as possible and avoid borrowing from friends and family if at all possible. Entrepreneurism can be a long road full of twists and turns so try and keep yourself resilient and protect your support systems and networks.
Price check everything and get multiple quotes and do your research before spending money. More than 1 entrepreneur has spent a ton of money on a graphic designer, web builder, or many other business services only to find they overspent by 2/3 times because they didn't know better. (The author of this article included).