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
    • Rent
    • Travel
    • Track your spending, to see what your return is.
    • People make your business, hire better than you, and don’t be cheap!