Going solo as a bootstrapper

I’m a fan of microbusinesses. It’s just the right kind of business for me personally since I’m not that swashbuckling entrepreneur every raves about. I don’t wish to be one. Sure, it doesn’t hurt to earn money while one sleeps but I’d rather focus on a business that pays for the value I create working with the clients for real than offline.

Not that I’m averse to info-marketers or the idea of launching a product that sells for thousands of dollars. It’s a great goal to have once you’ve figured out a business model that you would like to scale. If you’re just starting up, remember that your business is essentially you. Which would mean it’s completely depended on you and your well-being. And I mean that quite literally.

As a bootstrapper, I would love to focus on that one service that is of value to people who would want to pay for results. They don’t have to pay anything upfront just upon delivering results when I’m starting off; I can always turn things around over time as I establish myself among the influencers and the target audience.

The worst move I make at this point is to complicate the way I operate. And that’s the most common mistake micro/small businesses make. They would like to offer a dozen services with tiered pricing catering to everyone who needs what they have to offer. Instead of going broad, go narrow. Believe me, digital marketers (or agencies that are basically a company of one) are dime-a-dozen but there are just a few that focus on let’s say marketing for breweries.

There are close to 49 marketing agencies around the block where I work. Only a few specialize in doing a few critical aspects of marketing (like staffing for marketing teams or just marketing support — no strategy, just execution). Yesterday I bumped into a presentation agency and was simply blown away by their focus. It’s obvious, I don’t have to spell it out.

And all these businesses are small, nimble and highly profitable. Not implying that you will be too (but I wish you the very best) if you follow their path. What I’m trying to say is that the essence of a bootstrapped microbusiness is just that “micro” … focus is the name of the game.

If I were you, I would find that one thing I can deliver well and go out with an arm and a leg to deliver. That’s the only way out. Can I do it at scale? I’m not sure. The real question is whether I create value and deliver it well.

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