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Insights for Entrepreneurs

How to Build a Successful Startup and Keep It Afloat


The business world is in a constant state of evolution.

From fledgling startups to well-established ventures, companies today need to be ready to pivot as unpredictable markets could demand a shift in a business model. At times, it can seem difficult (even impossible) to weather these extraneous forces — especially as a new venture. Here, tips on how to start your company in the face of uncertainty and keep it going, come what may.

Act small, dream big

When starting a new venture in an emerging market or with an untested model, it’s important to keep costs as close to zero as possible. Those who’ve bootstrapped their company know this better than anyone.

When we started InstaBrand, we worked out of my dining room for months to keep overhead costs down. We started with only a few hundred dollars, and it was very, very carefully spent. Instead of hiring developers or bringing on a technical co-founder, the entire system and workflow were built in Google Docs — the “personal” version. (We didn’t want to pay $5 for the “business” version.)

Keeping costs close to zero gave us something others didn’t have — time. We could run our bootstrap operation indefinitely, and every dollar we brought in was a dollar used to grow the company.

$5 mistakes

While trying to grow our business model, we made a lot of small mistakes. But those mistakes turned out to be the keys to our success.

Instead of building our ideal custom website for big bucks, we put up a Squarespace site — and invested just a few hours into doing so. Instead of spending money on marketing, we went to trade shows to network — often finding ways to attend for free. When testing new concepts that required ad spend, like Google Adwords for example, we would build $5 campaigns instead of $500 campaigns.

We were able to learn from our mistakes at a lower cost and stay dynamic.

Originally posted 2015-10-30 12:01:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter