Subject: Re: Intro and question
From: DV Henkel-Wallace <gumby@henkel-wallace.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 12:18:22 -0800

     From: Faber Fedor <faber@linuxnj.com>
     Date: Thu Feb 27, 2003  07:53:52 America/Los_Angeles

     I was wondering if there was any practical advice on running an
     FSB to be had in here.

Usually not, but a question like yours will usually elicit something
useful.  Hell, questions like Tom's elicit useful responses, though he
ignores them.

     The reason I ask is this: I'm trying to figure out how to grow my
     business.
     So, my question in this email (I've got another one or two coming)
     is: is it possible to build a business without a large nest egg?
     So is it possible to bootstrap a business-with-employees?  Anyone
     know of cases or sources that I can look up?

Cygnus was a bootstrap (well, we each put in $2K and leant the company
an additional 3, plus it got free rent and a pay-over-time
sparcstation (serial #2, I believe).  So yes it can be done.

You have several potential sources of money:
  - family
  - people you know
  - friends (beware of this one -- friends are more important than money)
  - banks (business loan, credit cards, home equity loan)
  - various government programs
  - your customers
  - your own time

Different people use different schemes; personally I like the last two
best.  But everyone's different, and has different situations.  I
suspect when you ask people it's not so much that they're less
"secretive" as not sure that you have the right model to be able to
use their answer.

There used to be a boko you could get from Nolo press called "Small
Time Operator."  If it's still in print it might be appropriate for
what you want.

     I run a one-man Linux consulting company in New Jersey called
     "Linux New Jersey" (creative, I know).  My sales are split between
     consulting...and training.

So: why do you want to grow?  A rough plan is enough.  You perhaps
want to increase revenues or you want to develop some package?  In the
latter case, can you structure it so that you can get customers on
preliminary versions?  If not you have a lot of development dollars
going out with no revenue coming in.  Now you can start to see the
benefits and drawbacks of the FSB approach.


Can you cut your salary to the point where you can support another
person and do you have enough business to pay that person's upkeep
based on doing so?  This is a form of swapping off time (yours) for
money (the new person's salary).  Fortunately if you're growing a
business you won't have time for any expensive hobbies anyway.


Hope this start is useful.
-g