The sweet 16 Rules of Bood-Strapping 07/09 compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
1. Love your idea. Be “passionate” about it. You’ll be pouring lots of time & energy into it – if you don’t love the concept & the product, two things will happen: You’ll lose the “passion” required to run it and you’ll be an ineffective spokesperson. If you’re not enthusiastic, others wont be very interested in a seemingly dull idea.
2. Solve a Problem; Fill a Need. There may similar ideas or alternatives. Make sure there is a “real need” for yours. Will a Customer be willing to switch to your idea? Would they pay for it? Talk to potential Customers about your concept. Get their feedback
3. Get to know your potential Customers. Who will be your users? What are their needs? Who are you trying to sell your product to? Get all of the data to specifically identify your users, their behaviors, and where/when you can target them. Then you’ll know what their needs are and the ones they’d most like a solution to.
4. Measure & Modify. Get your product/service in the hands of users (Beta Test), so they can: a) verify that it works & b) validate that the product solves their need. Monitor closely and have a close relationship with the user, so you can get lots of feedback – which you may use to modify & enhance your product.
5. Promote your Product. As a bootstrapped startup, it’s all “grass roots” marketing. Write articles (for free) for Blogs & major industry publications. Carry dozens of business cards in your pocket (ideally, with a coupon for your product or services at a discount – to get them to try it – with the hopes they’ll come back). Keep a box of promotional Fliers in your vehicle to pass out – where ever you spot an opportunity. Have an Elevator Speech and use every free moment to talk about the site – to anyone who will listen. Don’t be embarrassed – be proud. Use the Web to “market” your new product or service. Do a search or how (if you do it yourself) or hire an expert. Web marketing is relatively inexpensive & fast. And if you get lucky – right product at the right time – you could go viral.
6. ABG: Always be Growing. AGB: Always get Better. It’s easy to chase revenue to offset costs – but those are often short-term revenues that ultimately will be insignificant and are potentially distracting (from an operational perspective). Grow your Users \ Visitors. Use your time to release new features… chase revenues after you’ve solidified the product and secured a strong user-base.
7. Be Efficient. Sounds obvious. Sounds simple. But it’s neither. As a Boot-strapper, you’re short on time & money. That means that efficiency is key. Before engaging in any single task, ask yourself (and/or your team) if this is worthwhile task – that will help me get to my goals?
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