For Bootstrappers

Growth Strategies

Mainsail and our partners share strategies for driving growth and building winning teams

How to Develop an Early Warning System to Combat Churn

6 factors to measure your customers’ satisfaction and likelihood to churn.

As more companies embrace recurring revenue models—trading large upfront sales for annual or monthly recurring payments—they often neglect to invest in the relatively new and developing field of Customer Success. Many firms rely on their existing customer support teams, with the hope that answering calls and emails quickly and accurately will combat customer churn and make for happy customers. A far better approach: invest in a customer success team that can proactively identify …

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Bootstrapped Sentiment Survey 2015

Annual report that provides a business outlook for 2016 from over 400 entrepreneurs and executives.

Mainsail conducted the Bootstrapped Survey for the 5th consecutive year at the end of 2015. The survey is intended to measure the shifting sentiment of bootstrapped entrepreneurs on a number of topics, including the U.S. economy, momentum of their own business, and the most important areas of investment in their company.

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Bootstrapped Sentiment Survey 2014

Annual report that provides a business outlook for 2015 from 460 entrepreneurs and executives.

For the fourth consecutive year Mainsail Partners conducted a survey of entrepreneurs and executives of bootstrapped companies with the goal of understanding their outlook on the U.S. economy and their own businesses headed into 2015.

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Rethinking the Board

Joe Mandato talks about how to get the most out of your board of directors

It is critical to recruit your board members with a specific purpose in mind. Bootstrapped companies frequently make two major governance mistakes, both avoidable, at critical stages in their company growth.

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Build a Better Sales Machine
Part 2

Use data and technology to optimize sales efficiency and effectiveness

At Mainsail Partners, we work exclusively with bootstrapped companies founded by ambitious entrepreneurs. They’ve created capital efficient businesses that have typically exceeded more than $3 million in sales, though often with an unpredictable sales process heavily reliant on the company’s CEO and maybe one or two sales stars.

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Build a Better Sales Machine
Part 1

Prioritize people and create a supportive sales culture

Mainsail Partners works exclusively with companies that have grown without the help of outside capital. We choose to partner with these bootstrapped entrepreneurs for good reason: they often create capital efficient businesses with great products that almost sell themselves. Almost. What we’ve discovered through our partnerships with more than 40 bootstrapped companies is that they typically have an unpredictable sales model.

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Making a Strategic Acquisition Work

Carlos Antequera, CEO and Co-Founder of Netchemia discusses strategies for a successful acquisition

Carlos Antequera, CEO and Co-Founder of Netchemia discusses the experience from his company’s recent acquisition of SchoolSpring, including strategies for keeping key stakeholders aligned through the process and ideas for engaging the new customer base.

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Ben Truehart
SVP Marketing, PayLease

How a clear brand identity can impact your entire organization

When Ben Truehart took over product development and marketing initiatives at PayLease in 2011, his first priority was to craft a brand best suited for executing the company’s vision. Here Truehart talks about how other bootstrapped companies can build a brand identity that speaks volumes, both to the marketplace and throughout the organization.

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Bootstrapped Companies and Human Capital

Improve your recruiting process to avoid the high costs of bad hires

The costs associated with researching, recruiting and retaining talent can be daunting for a growing company. In fact, in Mainsail’s annual survey of bootstrapped entrepreneurs and executives, “Finding good people to hire” was by far the most commonly cited challenge entrepreneurs expected to face in 2014. Many entrepreneurs and growing companies don’t have access to the vast network their larger and better resourced competitors have to source top talent.

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Ty Kalklosch & Yann Phung
Co-Founders, PayLease

The PayLease co-founders discuss their success and why they brought in an outside CEO

Ty Kalklosch and Yann Phung founded and built PayLease into a very successful online payments company for the property management industry. The Company has grown to serve thousands of property management clients in all 50 states representing millions of residential units.

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Bootstrapped Sentiment Survey 2013

Survey of over 500 entrepreneurs and executives

For the third consecutive year Mainsail Partners conducted a survey of over 500 entrepreneurs and executives of bootstrapped companies with the goal of understanding their outlook on the U.S. economy and their own businesses headed into 2014.

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Karen Padgett
Novus Co-founder and CEO

The CEO shares how she started Novus with credit cards and a set of twins on the way

Karen Padgett is the CEO of Novus Biologicals, a company she founded in 1996 to help scientists  find and purchase biological antibodies. Since then Novus has evolved into a global e-commerce company with over 180,000 products serving scientists and researchers.

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Preserving the Unique Culture for a Bootstrapped Company

We’re big. But we still want to be us

For many entrepreneurs, their companies are an extension of themselves. Founders, especially those who bootstrap, often start with a vision and then invest every waking hour–and every dollar–into building a company that answers a personal calling. For this reason, it’s common for a bootstrapped company to have a unique culture based on the founder’s vision and personality.

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How to Build a Real Sales Team

How to get yourself out of day-to-day sales and bring in the pros.

For many bootstrapped companies, the founder is the sales organization. This setup may work well in the early years, but to grow meaningfully, bootstrapped companies have to build out real sales teams, and founders need to get out of the day-to-day sales activities.

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Bootstrapped MarketingTips

3 super-cheap marketing tactics

As an entrepreneur running a bootstrapped company, marketing is not likely at the top of your to-do list. Bootstrapped companies are by definition lean, so founders don’t usually spend much on formal marketing. After all, great products sell themselves, so why bother?

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Bumps In The Road

Six common roadblocks facing the bootstrapped entrepreneur – and how to speed past them

Here are six ideas to overcome just some of the challenges bootstrapped entrepreneurs face while building their company.

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Marketing on a Bootstrapped Budget

Tools and strategies you can implement for under $100 a month

Here are several impactful marketing ideas that cost less than $100/month.

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