Getting Started

No venture capital: Why every entrepreneur should try bootstrapping their business

Building a business is difficult, but not taking venture capital actually gives you some surprising benefits

I got an adviser to help accelerate my learning

I then sought the advice of an adviser to grow traffic, something I recommend to any bootstrapping entrepreneur.

He pushed me to tackle social media and email marketing. He was selling me on the merits of new forms of marketing to add to our mix. I put off his advice.

We needed to focus on one type of marketing and dominate it, not stretch ourselves thin or spend erroneously. From my earlier ventures, I knew we wouldn’t have time to make things complex.

I piggy-backed on media stories for organic PR

We built our brand by piggybacking on media stories. If there was a Bank of Canada rate hike, we would encourage journalists to use our mortgage payment calculator to break down what it meant for the average Canadian and how it would impact their finances. The journalists would link back to us, increasing our brand exposure.

We outsourced and were thoughtful about hiring employees

We outsourced projects with a definitive start and end. Our first outsourced project was to build the Ratehub.ca website which allowed us to get to market quickly without committing to full-time employees.

When it came time for a full-time employee, we made a list of everything we do every day. The first thing we did is looked at all the daily to-do’s and figured out which one took up the most amount of our time. We didn’t need to hire someone that did things we didn’t do – we needed to hire someone who could free up our time allowing us to focus on next steps. Our first hire came through a trusted referral network.

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