Five Real-Life Stories Of Bootstrapped Businesses That Will Motivate You Right Away
Starting a business without enough funding can be quite challenging. But we have enough great examples in front of our eyes to know that bootstrapped businesses can become huge over a period of time. Also, if you can start your company from nothing and if it starts making money, then it can be a matter of immense pride for you, too. But you need to figure out if bootstrapping is for you and if it is as glorified as it is made to be. Here are five real stories of bootstrapping that might motivate you to do so.
Under Armour Started In A Basement
Google is one of the many companies that started out in a garage. The founders of the billion-dollar company, Under Armour, started theirs the same way as well. Kevin Plank was only 23 when he wanted to start a company of sports garments that are of better quality. So, he started working in his grandmother’s basement. He sold prototypes of the garments traveling around the east coast in his car. In just about a year, he didn’t need to seek funding at all for he had already made $17,000 in sales! It was enough to fund his company’s expansion!
Spanx Is Still Self-Funded
Founded by Sara Blakely, Spanx is still self-funded. Being the sole owner, Sara is a billionaire now. But it has not been exactly a cakewalk for Blakely. Her story is extremely inspiring, especially for those who are scared of failing. When she started her career, it seemed like she failed in whatever she did. She tried her hand at stand-up comedy, gave law a try, and became a performer at Disney but failed everywhere. However, it was while she was doing a sales job for a company called Danke that she had a brilliant idea. As a salesperson, she had to wear pantyhose but found it extremely uncomfortable in the humid Florida weather. So, she once cut off the feet of the pantyhose and wore them under her slacks. Though it kept rolling up, she knew she was on to something. With her personal savings of $5000, she started her new business. In its first year, her business made around $4 million!
Living In An RV Does Pay Off
Kimberly Causey couldn’t afford the printing costs of the books she wanted to print. She sent designers plastic comb-bound books worth $100,000 via direct mail. All she wanted was to print her Furniture Factory Outlet Guide. So, she decided to come up with another plan. She used a home printer and bought $200 print covers and made the books herself. Once they were done, she left her apartment and lived in an RV for a year to distribute those books in various book stores, get featured, and to drive up sales. It obviously worked!
Estately Co-Founders Learned The Art Of Frugality
Galen Ward and Douglas Cole, the founders of Estately, did all they could to save money. While Galen left his day job, Douglas dropped out of his grad course. Living on a tight budget was not easy but they soon learned the ropes and the art of surviving on just a few bucks. They used as many online free tools as they could and worked out of Cole’s basement. In fact, their first developer worked for free as an intern. After launching though, they made a lot of profit. Their initial days of frugality was even adopted as the company’s work culture!
The co-founders of tableau software did everything they could to cut down on expenses. All of them invested a few thousand dollars for the business. They also cut down their personal expenses, downsized their houses, and never drew a salary. Thankfully, all their hard work paid off when they finally got funding. They believed in the “pay now play later” theory and hence didn’t mind the sacrifices made in the initial days.
If you are an upcoming entrepreneur, be prepared to face all kinds of hardships and challenges when you plan to launch your business. However, it is important to remember that if you have faith in your product or service, you must do everything to make it work. If you sacrifice today, tomorrow, you might be rewarded with the fruits of your labor.
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