A few years ago, I left my thriving career in the technology industry for a very specific reason: I wanted to build something from scratch.
The urge to do something that the marketing data world wasn’t yet offering - an ethical, transparent and inclusive alternative - made bootstrapping an integral part of my business strategy.
Today, as the CEO of Corporate360, I consider myself as an escapee from the traditional tech industry, and gladly so.
Corporate360 is an independent marketing data software firm, with an emphasis on ‘independent’. And here’s how bootstrapping helped me get here:
Your vision and your business remains yours
I founded C360 with only one thing in mind, “do good and good will come to you!”
If you don’t take on financial backers or investors, you’ll always remain the owner of your idea and your business. I approached the B2B marketing data industry with the agenda of going against traditional marketing list resellers, and building something better, something that kept up with client centric ethics.
You have the freedom to operate the way you want
As a budding entrepreneur, I knew that trading capital for a percentage of ownership in C360 would mean losing some part of control over the operations of my firm, no matter how small the percentage would be. If you bootstrap, you reduce the probability of facing limitations. You make all the decisions.
You’re never pressed to overgrow
Bootstrapping keeps you from overgrowing, usually the case when investors come into play. Starting-up on your own creates an inherent self-control mechanism for managing growth, even when it comes to hiring. Sometimes the ability to control your own growth cuts both ways - you need to resist undergrowth as well. So, we created a positive and profitable trajectory by leveraging ourselves and allowing our current profits to fund our future growth.
There’s one thing I have noticed time and again - a successful entrepreneur’s key trait is his neverending willingness to get creative about conserving and maximizing resources. Bootstrapping removes the risk of over-expanding, but also makes sure you don’t slow the pace too much either!
I miss the ‘cool brand’ I once worked for. Definitely miss being the VC-funded poster-boy on startup media, and scaling my business quickly. But bootstrapping allowed me to build a customer-centric company. Also, I’m glad I didn’t have to be paper rich, or burn myself for the next 10 years, in order to get a great exit. My present is much more than a ‘successful entrepreneur’ can ask for!