Let me demystify this complex, confusing strategy they call: Startup Funding Rounds. Yeah, you’ve heard the words thrown around before. “We’re raising our series B”, and “I’m looking for a pre-seed angel investor” or “We’re gearing up for an IPO”... They may as well be talking another language, right?
“Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not”. This is a quote from my latest Escape Velocity Podcast guest, Marvin Liao, formerly a partner at 500 Startups. 500 Startups is a venture capital fund that runs an accelerator in San Francisco and invests in seed rounds for tech startups.
If you want to start a new SaaS business in 2021 without tearing your hair out, my advice is: Find a co-founder. You shouldn’t have to do it all on your own… and it’s better that you don’t.
How are angel investors different from venture capitalists? Both invest in businesses. Both can write you big checks. Both have the power to help your business growth with a cash injection you otherwise would never get. Are they the same? Heck no. I found this out the hard way...
Many founders throw money at new employees hoping their business will grow... Only to find they don't know where to ‘put’ their new employees, and they end up wasting cash on salaries for an under-utilized team. Ever experienced this before? I definitely have. See, I believe a successful founder doesn’t just build a business...
Back in 2012, when I raised $1.6M in funding for Clarity.fm, I insisted on squeezing more out of my investors. When I put together the final cap table, I made it clear that I also wanted introductions with other investors and businesses on their portfolio. They told me, “Dan, you’re asking a lot here…” But I put my foot down.
I believe that great SaaS founders stay ahead of the curve. They’re the trendsetters, not the trend-followers, willing to try something new that makes waves in the market. The problem is that I’ve encountered many cutting edge SaaS businesses whose marketing efforts are too far behind the times.
If you want consistent, predictable revenue for your SaaS then there’s one thing you’re going to need to build: A killer sales team. Don’t roll your eyes yet… Let me set the record straight.
Here’s a word that either makes you cringe… or sigh with relief: “Networking”. If you’ve had a bad experience of it, you’ll get that icky feeling of trying to schmooze through fake smiles for business. But if you’ve had a great experience, you’ll think of life-long friends sharing war stories about their businesses and helping each other out. Networking done right is invaluable.
I can tell if your business is going to scale successfully by asking one question: Do you have a business coach, mentor or advisor? If your answer is no… I’m worried for you. Hear me out. Succeeding in business means making the right decisions frequently. I’ve seen small companies dominate in niches that were owned by big-business giants simply because they made better decisions.