Spoiler alert: There’s no “recipe” for a great startup founder. And anyone who tells you that you just need 7 habits, or 10 qualities, or any other magic number of things is probably more concerned with selling ad space than mentoring founders. Great leaders come in many different forms, with different backgrounds, strengths, and areas of expertise. But some patterns do start to emerge when you look at a big sample of successful founders — especially in the bootstrapped business model. Being in the acquisition business we’ve had the distinct advantage of purchasing more than 30 companies and reviewing hundreds more from behind the scenes. These are a few things we’ve noticed along the way.
There are a lot of great businesses out there that can benefit thousands of potential future employees and customers that need some help getting off the ground. But the typical funding paths and assistance available to startups don’t work for the vast majority of founders. The majority of venture capital funds and accelerators create one successful business in 20. Sure, small business loans are available — but banks don’t offer any support or advice when it comes to running or scaling your business. That’s exactly why Earnest Capital was created: To offer a new model of startup business funding and accelerator guidance specifically for bootstrappers.
Hiring your first employee is an exciting, and potentially stressful time for any business. Expanding your team beyond the founders means your company is bringing in enough money to grow, and having help means you can work less in the business and focus more on the business from a strategic level. But if you’ve never hired or managed anyone before, how do you find the right people for your team? We’ve got all the details for you including where to post your jobs, how to filter applications, interview questions, and more.
We came up with this list of 15 of the best books for bootstrapping entrepreneurs by asking our own team of founders for their personal favorites. These are the titles that came up over and over because they’re like playbooks for running your business better. From classics to new releases (and even a little inspiration outside of the business section) we’ve got something for every entrepreneur’s reading list. Eyes blurry from staring at your screen? Relax, we have links to the audiobook versions, too.
A lot of SaaS startups have a blog as part of their marketing strategy. On most blogs, a few posts will outperform the rest of your content combined. Instead of spending time, energy, and money refreshing outdated and poor performing articles, learn how to identify your top-performing content, and maximize the heck out of the results.
Building a virtual team should be a top consideration for every startup, entrepreneur, and online business in growth mode, because expanding your talent search to “everywhere” means access to better job candidates. However, managing a team that’s spread across the country (or the globe) presents its own unique set of challenges. SureSwift’s rapid growth from a team of two to a global company of 80 over the past four years has been like a crash course in managing virtual teams, and this is our guide to doing it right.