Founders & CEOS

Bootstrapping Your Business? 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid to make it Past the 1st year

So you started a business.Its the first year,  you are excited and want to go all out. There’s nothing wrong with that. The thing however is,  you need to focus your energies and resources in the right place so you do not end up digging yourself into a hole through your habits and choices.

These are 5 most common mistakes business owners make in their first year. Avoid them especially if you are bootstrapping:


  1. Office Space;

    I know- its cool to have a great working space but you have to slow down on this one. You need to make sure you spend your resources effectively.Office spaces are one of the big expenses that could burn right through your cash. Instead of jumping off to get a shiny new office,consider options like co-working spaces, incubators etc.

  2. Custom Website:

    Except your website is the core of your business, you do not have to get someone to build your site from the scratch. You can find innovative designs in premium theme shops or build yours at Shopify or Squarespace

  3.   Team Outings:

As a business owner you probably already know the essence of  a strong team. Indeed, taking them on retreats, fancy dinners are perks that would foster team bonding but you need to get more creative- especially if you are bootstrapping.

Think of other options- game night at the office? Volunter together?. These would equally foster team spirit.

4. Marketing and Advertising:

The first year of business is not the best time to hire the biggest, most awarded agency in Nigeria. Also don’t spend a chunk of your budget on a marketing campaign if you’re unsure if it will convert any customers. Instead, start off by employing small tests targeted at different audience sets through a variety of marketing channels to see which gives you the best return for your spend.


5. Travel:

Make sure you absolutely need to travel before you make trips. If you can send across your product specifications to your guy in China through e-mails and walk him through it on video calls- why not? Your first year is also not the year to head off to the fanciest conferences except you are absolutely sure it would add value to your business. If you need to travel, be sensible in your spending.



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