July 25, 2006

Bootstrapping It

What is bootstrapping?

According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary the term bootstrap means “to promote or develop by initiative and effort with little or no assistance.” The term is believed to have originated from a German legend about a Baron who pulled himself out of the sea by pulling on his own bootstraps. While this presents an interesting visual, it also provides an example of what entrepreneurs need to do if they want to be successful in business. You must be willing to do all you can. Like the cliché states, “when the going gets tough the tough get going.”

Why bootstrap?

Essentially, bootstrapping means you do all you can with your own resources and efforts before going to search for outside capital from investors. Having the dedication and ability to pick yourself up by the bootstraps to further your business goals gives you an added measure of credibility with investors. Investors will see the sacrifices and accomplishments you have made getting by on your own power.

Ways to bootstrap

  • Keep expenses to a minimum: Use supplies you already have on hand. Rent equipment when necessary. Do not make unnecessary purchases. The necessities for any business include: a computer (with Internet access), a mobile phone
  • Work from Home: Rent is often a high yet unnecessary expense. See if working from home makes sense for your company.
  • Think outside of the box: Avoid traditional, more expensive means of marketing. Be creative. Come up with ways to reach your target markets without a large marketing budget. Along the lines of being creative, think of what product or services you could trade. For instance, if you are starting a bakery, you could arrange a deal with an advertising company to cater their lunch for free in exchange for advertising. Again, be creative.

In addition to the previous tips, Guy Kawasaki provides 11 insightful ways to grow your business. Click here to view his list.

Additional Information

A plethora of resources are available to give some ideas and suggestions on ways to bootstrap. We have included just a few to get you started:

Plans across the Nation

When FundingUniverse.com started, our research showed investors generally funded companies close to where the investor was located. In an effort to increase your deal flow, we created state by state sites to view plans from your specific area. After talking to more investors, we realized that many investors wanted to see business plans from other regions. Some angel groups were even interested in viewing business plans in areas on the other side of the nation. In response to this need, the FundingUniverse.com team created “national view.”

What is National View?

Released in June 2006, FundingUniverse.com’s national view service allows you to search for business plans in your own state and in states throughout the country. You are no longer limited to deals in your region. You and your angel group can search the entire country for deals which are of interest to you. Some of the benefits of national view are:

  • Access to greater deal flow
  • Quality deal flow
  • Ability to discuss business plans with other investors across the country
  • Access to regional biz plans
  • View top business plans in the nation

How do I use National View?

1. To use this service you will need to register as an investor in your respective state. If you have already registered and been approved, simply log in and you can view business plans from around the country.

2. After you have logged in, you will be directed to the main page. Just above the list of business plans you will notice the search bar. In the middle of this bar, there is a drop-down box where you can select a specific state from where you would like to view business plans.

3. Note: To the right of this option is a button that says “Last 100 Nationally.” This option let you view the most recent business plans that have been posted to our site.

Try out the new National View to gain access to greater deal flow from across the country. Visit FundingUniverse.com to login or register now. If you have additional questions about National View call us at 877.638.3616.

July 12, 2006

Wanted: PHP, MySQL developer

FundingUniverse.com is looking for a PHP web developer with strong UI and information architecture experience. The developer will be working directly with the marketing and sales department to design, build, and develop pages on FundingUniverse.com and other sites under our umbrella (FundingUtah.com, FundingArizona.com, etc.). The company is fast moving and the developer will have the opportunity to work on many different types of projects.

The developer needs to be able to pick up or find problems with websites and propose/implement a solution. Strong database skills and experience with XHTML and CSS is a must.

Skills Required:
1 year PHP experience
Strong knowledge of MySQL or other database system
Good design eye
Knowledgeable in XHTML, Javascript, CSS
UI experience

 Helpful Skills:
Experience in Ajax
Linux administration

Hours: 20-40 hours a week, flexible

Wage: DOE

Benefits: Full-time/salary team members may be eligible.

Contact information: Please send a resume and examples of your work either as links or attachments to trentATfundinguniverse.com