Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too: Bootstrapping vs. Outsourcing

During the start-up phase of a new business, most people ‘go it alone’. Perhaps there are no funds to hire someone to help—perhaps the business is still leaning towards the idea-only stage. Either way, there comes a point where a business starts to gain traction, make sales and start to grow. It’s at this point where the owner may realize that bootstrapping—completely utilizing your own efforts and resources—starts to wear a person down.


According to Elle Kaplan, CEO of Lexicon Capital, bootstrapping is usually second-nature to an entrepreneur and a start up culture. While she is a huge proponent of being ‘scrappy’ she also knows that a bootstrapping-forever mentality isn’t always the best use of a business owner’s time.

Tap Into Your Network

When starting a business, there are many resources and networks out there for you to ‘consult’ with. Talk to other entrepreneurs and ask them questions—seek advice from people who you’ve met who have been there, done that. People in your network will be willing to really listen to you and offer helpful feedback to help you and your business move forward.

Try Bartering

Similar to contacting your network and asking for advice, bartering is a way to work with the little that you start with and turn it into the most it can be. Find someone in your network that can help with something you may need, and offer to return the favor by providing that person with something s/he needs.

Outsourcing Isn’t a Bad Word

Luckily for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, it’s easy to keep the once-very-expensive marketing and public relations “in house” in our digital age. There are tools, like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, that can even help you to monitor how effective your social media and marketing outreach is doing, allowing you to save money on otherwise pricey services.

For example, if you don’t have the ability to design a company logo, you really shouldn’t be trying. Leave that one to the experts.

Learning how to delegate tasks can be difficult—especially for someone of an entrepreneurial nature. But when it comes to the quality of your business, you should really do what’s best—even if that means letting a project or two be outsourced to an expert. In the long run, this will allow a business owner to better dedicate his/her time to projects that they excel in and ultimately will be the best thing for the business.

As an entrepreneur, what activities do you find yourself bootstrapping and what have you outsourced?

To read more about bootstrapping versus outsourcing, please visit the following:


Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!


  1. aspilialleli August 20, 2013 Reply

    “Leave that one to the experts.” – Exactly. Why would someone attend paid trainings just to learn something that could only be done once (like logo-making) if it can be just outsourced? Your article is superb.

    • wisesyracuse August 22, 2013 Reply

      Thanks for the feedback – glad you enjoyed the article!

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