I am finally putting the final touches on my business plan and have begun looking for seed capital for my project.
In recent weeks I have come upon new data about the startup capital of some of my direct and indirect competitors. I have tried to make my project as lean as possible but am worried about being under capitalized. One of my competitors had a startup budget 3x my own and another that just launched has one that is 20x mine.
Am I being too spartan and putting my project at risk by underfunding it or am I being a responsible, boot-strapping sort of entrepreneur?
While startup capital is important, I see little value in comparing your own level of capital with that of a competitor, if the key to success was simply a case of raising the most capital then business would be easy, right?
Instead of worrying about other companies, worry about yourself and your potential customers, speak with them and become a part of their community, You simply can't buy that you need to earn it.
If you can do it for that amount then you are in better long term shape than the other guys. But you may have overlooked something:
Here is a basic costing sheet for a software startup:
Each salary has to be paid for 2 years to start with, then have 30% on costs per person on average. So you have
= $890K in raw wages per year x 30% for on costs x 2 years approx $2.3M for a small team.
Then you have costs
Then each specific business has its own unique issues / troubles, they all cost.
... i have 8 developers 1 key sales, 2 support and me in 2 companies ... we sell through Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US ... $1M goes out the door pretty quickly each year.
As a CEO you need to have enough money to spend in order to build, if you are always paused waiting for the next dollar you may not get the momentum you need.
You know the budgets of all your competitors? Then you are one lucky dude. Chances are these numbers are not that reliable, you have other known competitors with unknown budgets, and even more unknown competitors.
Rather than get insecure about your business plan based on such dubious information, look back at what it is that is making you nervous about your plan by looking within your plan. Can you defend your decisions and assumptions? If not, work it out. If so, relax and get to work.