I’m incredibly proud of the fact that I’ve never raised any amount of money and was able to build a sustainable, highly profitable large scale business that was self funded. As mentioned earlier, I started my online business with free domain and hosting. Although I regret not upgrading to a paid plan sooner, I’m still very proud that I’ve injected ZERO Dollars in to the business from outside funding till this date.
After I generated a few hundred dollars on free domain and hosting plan, I was able to buy a domain and a shared hosting plan with that money. I was able to sustain my business on shared hosting for about a year but eventually had to move to a Virtual Private Server to provide consistent uptime and faster load times.
Moving to a VPS was very tricky for me. My website had a large amount of Pakistani audience which generated very little revenue and required a larger server so I didn’t have a lot of budget for my VPS without hurting my positive cashflow. In the end, I had to make a decision that I wasn’t very happy with but couldn’t avoid. I had to rent an unmanaged VPS. For those who don’t know what that means, I was given a machine somewhere in US with no Operating System on it. I had to set up the server from scratch remotely and I had absolutely zero knowledge on how to do it. Since I was tight on budget I had to learn how to do it on Google.
In the end, I was finally able to set the server myself after 4 days of work. This opened new opportunities for me as I had finally learnt a new skill which I offered as a service to everyone I knew who paid twice the money for a managed hosting plan. I moved them to unmanaged hosting, managed it for them and charged them a one time fee of $50 instead of $50 a month that they were already paying. This not only helped me save recurring costs in on my own business but also provided me with a few hundred dollars quick capital that I could inject in my actual business.
When you’re bootstrapping, you’ve to find innovative methods, often outside of the main product or service your business is selling, to generate cash flow so the business can continue to get funded.