Glossary of Marketing Terms

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Self Funded Reward

Self-funded rewards refer to incentive programs where the rewards are funded by the savings or benefits generated by the participants' actions. These programs are designed to motivate specific behaviors that ultimately lead to cost savings, increased revenue, or other measurable benefits for the organization.

What is self-funded reward?

A self-funded reward is an incentive earned through your own efforts or resources, rather than relying on an external source like a company budget or an outside investor. Here are a few ways self-funded rewards can work:

  • Employee rewards: A company department might set aside a portion of saved funds from successful projects to fund employee bonuses or team outings.
  • Personal achievement: You might reward yourself with a nice dinner after completing a challenging personal goal, using money you've already earned.
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What is the difference between self-funded and bootstrapped?

While the terms self-funded and bootstrapped are often used interchangeably, there are some subtle differences in their meaning and approach. Here's a breakdown to clarify:


  • Focus: This term emphasizes the source of funding – your own money. It can involve using savings, personal loans, or income from other ventures to finance something.
  • Scope: Self-funding can apply to various situations, from personal endeavors like a vacation or education to starting a business.
  • Resource management: The key here is using your own existing resources without seeking external investment.


  • Focus: Bootstrapping goes beyond just the funding source. It emphasizes a resourceful and lean approach to business growth.
  • Scope: Bootstrapping is primarily used in the context of launching and growing a business.
  • Resource efficiency: Bootstrapped businesses not only use their own funds but also focus on maximizing existing resources – reinvesting profits, minimizing expenses, and potentially utilizing free or inexpensive tools and strategies.

What are some of the benefits of self-funding?

Self-funding, often referred to as bootstrapping, offers several advantages for starting and growing a business:

  • Maintain control: You remain the captain of the ship. Without investors, you have the freedom to make decisions based on your vision and long-term goals without pressure to prioritize short-term gains for external stakeholders.
  • Focus on profitability: Bootstrapping inherently promotes financial discipline. With limited resources, you're forced to be resourceful and focus on generating profits early on. This can lead to a more sustainable business model in the long run.
  • Increased motivation: When you build your business using your own funds and sweat equity, there's a strong sense of ownership and pride. This can be a powerful motivator to work hard and see your vision come to life.
  • Flexibility: Bootstrapped businesses are often more nimble and adaptable. Without the bureaucracy that can come with investor involvement, you can quickly adjust strategies and pivot when needed to respond to market changes.
  • Building a strong foundation: The resourcefulness required for bootstrapping helps you develop a strong foundation and a deep understanding of your business's core operations.

What are self funded reward examples?

Self-funded rewards don't have to be limited to business. They can be applied to personal goals and achievements as well. Here are some examples:

  • Celebrating a milestone: After completing a challenging course or training program, you might treat yourself to a nice dinner or a weekend getaway using money you've saved.
  • Reaching a savings goal: Hitting a savings target for a down payment on a house or a dream vacation could be rewarded with a celebratory experience or a small splurge on something you've been wanting.
  • Completing a personal challenge: Sticking to a fitness routine for a month could be rewarded with a new fitness tracker or a piece of workout gear.
  • Team incentive: A team that consistently exceeds their sales quota might pool a portion of their commissions to fund a team outing or a celebratory activity.
  • Department recognition: A department that saves the company money through a successful cost-cutting initiative could use those savings to fund a team lunch or a departmental retreat.

Is self-funding better than venture capital?

Here's a breakdown to help you decide:

1. Self-funding (Bootstrapping):


  • Control: You maintain complete control over your business decisions and strategy. There are no investors to answer to, so you have the freedom to pursue your vision without outside pressure.
  • Profit sharing: All the profits belong to you and your co-founders. You don't have to share them with investors who took a stake in your company.
  • Alignment of interests: When you're self-funded, your goals are fully aligned with the company's success. There's no conflict of interest arising from investor expectations for high returns.
  • Lifestyle business: Self-funding can be a good option if you're aiming for a lifestyle business that generates a steady income without the pressure for hyper-growth.


  • Limited capital: Growth can be slower due to limited resources. Scaling your business might be difficult without additional funding.
  • Slower pace of innovation: Limited capital can restrict your ability to invest in research and development,potentially hindering innovation and making it harder to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Limited expertise: You might lack access to the specialized knowledge and networks that venture capitalists often bring to the table.

2. Venture capital:


  • Rapid growth: Venture capitalists can provide significant amounts of funding, allowing for faster expansion and market penetration.
  • Expertise: VCs often have experience and connections in your industry, which can be invaluable for guidance,hiring, and potential partnerships.
  • Validation: Securing VC funding can be a strong validation of your business idea and can attract top talent who are drawn to high-growth companies.


  • Loss of control: You give up some ownership and control of your business. Investors will have a say in decision-making and may push for strategies that prioritize rapid growth and returns over your long-term vision.
  • Pressure: VCs expect a significant return on their investment. You'll be under pressure to deliver high growth and profits, which can be stressful.
  • Equity dilution: With each round of funding, your ownership stake in the company gets diluted.

3. Choosing the right path:

Here are some factors to consider when deciding between self-funding and venture capital:

  • Stage of your business: If you're in the early stages of development and validating your concept, self-funding might be a good starting point.
  • Funding needs: If your business requires significant upfront investment for things like manufacturing or research,VC funding might be necessary.
  • Your risk tolerance: Self-funding is generally less risky as you're not beholden to investors. However, it also comes with the risk of slower growth or even failure due to limited resources.
  • Your desire for control: If maintaining complete control over your business is paramount, self-funding is the way to go.

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