At the Bootstrappers Breakfast at San Diego, Moe Arnaiz, founder of eMOBUS?, a fast growing leader in mobility management services and software shared his experiences bootstrapping his venture. Moe discussed the best ways to launch your new technology on a budget, tips on getting those early first customers and growing your business organically with cash flow. Here are notes of his remarks and the Q&A session.
1. How to launch a new technology on a budget?
- Keep in mind that people don’t buy software they buy results.
- Don’t build from scratch what you don’t have to (leverage PaaS àQuickbase)
- Canned Functionality (reporting, emails, security, export to CSV)
- Open source, ruby on rails, MySQL, hosted in Amazon’s EC2 environment
- Keep a prioritized road map, ask customers for feedback, tweak as needed. Will they pay for it?
- Build bells & whistles as your customers will pay for them
- Be creative with your deal making (PDF Scrubbing tool)
- Have people in place to fill technology gaps and drive adoption
- Keep investing
2. How to get your early customers on a budget?
- Start in the Mid Market
- Be vertical specific (eMOBUS was construction)
- Greatly support your customers/partners/etc.
- Tell your story. Get your customers to talk for you. Create press releases/case studies/whitepapers
- Partnerships – Find partners who will be able to fill a void or need. Expect them to take a long time to bring in business
- Build relationships and ask for referrals
3. How to grow a business organically via cash flow?
- Revenue then expenses. Easier to spend $, than make it.
- Pay yourself as low as bearable
- Keep Recurring Operational expenses low
- Leverage the cloud/web based apps to minimize IT support needs
- Track your spending, to see what your return is.
- People make your business, hire better than you, and don’t be cheap!