I recently got on a call with a potential coaching client who asked me the best way to create momentum during the fundraising process. And it got me thinking… “what’s been true in my own successful fundraising experience… as well as the 150M raised by those I’ve mentored/advised?” Turns out, there were some consistent (and repeatable) markers that can make the difference between a fast and effective fundraising round…
Imagine this… Your SaaS company lands a massive account almost right out of the gates. They start using it. They have feedback… lots of it… almost too much of it. Your team takes it as gospel. Jotting it all down - committing on the spot - holding meetings about those new feature requests -- making plans to push them forward. Before you know it, they’re pretty much writing your entire roadmap for you. “All good” you say. They are, after
My first two companies FAILED hard. Sure, there were many factors at play. But when I take a sec to assess where things really went off the rails, it all came down to this… I had the wrong people on board. And it’s no criticism to them. As a founder (especially in the early stages), you’re ENTIRELY responsible for making sure that you have the right personnel for each position. Where most founders go wrong is that they hire by
I’ll never forget one of the first times I pitched an investor. I was literally pacing in the back alley of a SF coffee shop with one of those ugly pre-2007 cabled headsets plugged into my iPhone. I had a warm intro to the investor. Things were going smooth. But with just ONE single misstep, I got those gut-wrenching words no founder ever wants to hear:
Ready for a shocker? Stalled growth is rarely a product, marketing or sales problem… It’s a founder problem. And more specifically, it’s a failure to think strategically instead of tactically. Yes, tactics matter. But only if they’re guided by the RIGHT strategy at the RIGHT time. If you just keep repeating the same tactics over and over again (or adding random ones to the mix just because it "feels right" and "other people are doing it")...
I recently had an unfortunate Growth Session with a SaaS founder who was running his company straight into an iceberg. … an unforgiving 25% churn rate … about 3 months cash runway … total mis-management of capital Instead of fixing the leaks (churn), he insisted on keeping the sales and marketing engines on full blast. Essentially a great way to crash into that iceberg even faster. 😬 While it’s usually great advice to maintain a growth mindset (I’m all about
Growing a tech company is hard. Growing a tech company with lawsuits being thrown at you left and right is nearly impossible. The good news is, most legal issues that startups face are HIGHLY preventable, and can be sidestepped with just a few simple measures.
Back in 2008, Warren Buffett was approached by a struggling insurance company. He asked them to fax over their financial data to the hotel he was staying in (in Edmonton, Alberta)... Within just a few hours he was able to put together a proposal to acquire them. How did he do it?
We’ve all seen it. The over-enthusiastic startup founder who hands out equity with the same discretion as a pre-teen using their parent’s credit card to buy front-row Bieber tickets. *sigh* And I totally get it. In the early phases of your startup (especially the idea stage) you might not have the cash on hand to cover the major expenses related to developing your MVP.
If I handed you a blank check and a portfolio of five software companies and asked you to acquire one of them by the end of the day… how would you feel? Would you panic? Would you know exactly what to look for to pick a winner? Or would you go off a hunch and risk picking a dud? Evaluating a SaaS company for acquisition is a stressful and intimidating process if you don’t know what you’re looking for.