Bootstrapping has likely been part of every successful business story while companies go around the hard way of being self-funded rather than backed by investors. Nearly each growing startup prefers a self -funded venture to have a lesser amount of liabilities in their basket.
So, the bigger question arises – how does a self-funded entrepreneur get started with his e-commerce site, deal with all the primary web & product designs, initiate the most critical stages of manufacturing till marketing without the help of investors?
Here’s Woodenstreet, one of India’s leading online custom furniture store who made its way in the most fierce industry in just a matter of a year. Concerning competition, the firm entered the furniture space during those times while the leading players had already made a presence & were backed by huge venture capitalists. However, the scenario further motivated the startup to experiment and take forward their idea to the execution level.
Wooden Street Bootstrap Journey
Started operations in May 2015 Wooden Street considered bootstrapping as their initial strategy since they wanted to make this venture self-sustainable while overcoming the scalability challenges.
One of the industry myths that the venture debunked through their 1-year progress was regarding “scalability being the next must have!” Instead, they went on to achieve scale by doing all those things that don’t scale! Implementing the strategy of deeply connecting with their customers largely affected their early days of progress. This enabled them to receive feedback and suggestions more frequently, which helped them to understand their target market carefully.
So far the venture has completed more than 1500+ custom orders while registering a 100% month on month progress. With half a million page views and 1 lakh, unique visitors monthly, the average ticket size remains of INR 20,000.
The team of Co-founding member’s Lokendra Ranawat, Dinesh Pratap, Virendra Ranawat and Vikas Baheti has managed to break through the INR 30 Million-revenue milestones this May’16.
“Our numbers speak for themselves, and a great team’s contribution is the resultant of our progressive success, ”said Lokendra, Co-founder Woodenstreet.com
When functioning within a highly competitive industry it is crucial to maintain the product superiority factor, but that doesn’t mean that your unique selling propositions are how you stand apart from the competition; rather it requires your business to beat that competition. Similarly, with the presence of leading players in the furniture industry ready-made furniture choices were many, however, the custom to order facility introduced by Wooden Street changed the complete scenario. Not just the custom made requirement but the venture also studied the furniture space further. Understanding the increasing demand in real estate for small flats & the issue of limited space they introduced a wide a range of multi-utility & innovative furniture for dual purposes.
Simultaneously the firm has recently launched their new TVC’s crafted around their customization concept leveraging their expertise to customize any piece of furniture that would make up your home!
“Through this TVC we are trying to deliver our visualization of how easy it is to transform your dream furniture with simple customization that was missing in the Indian furniture market.”- Said Dinesh, Co-founder Woodenstreet.com
There is a long list of Indian companies who made it big in the industry by being a bootstrap such as Zoho, Fusion Charts, Rate Gain, etc. Just the right idea that each business needs to recollect is of facing a set of challenges & overcoming each with different solutions. So not that it’s right or wrong to seek investment for your business but rather till how far could you utilize your resource efficiently.
The biggest learning is to be taken from the Co-founder of Facebook when during his early days of growth he deliberately choose to go forward with a set of things that didn’t scale, which ultimately helped his venture to build a huge value for his target users.
So the best way for a startup to more forward is by being flexible in your thoughts and not focusing too much on fundraising or by what percentage the business would scale. Eventually as you kickstart each stage helps you to learn and grow bigger.