For Day 4 of Week2Work, our one week Investment Readiness sprint with SeedLegals, we were joined by Sarah Norford-Jones, Co-Founder at YEO Messaging, Jo Living, Co-Founder Aura Fertility and Megha Prakash, Investor at Forward Partners for a discussion on fundraising, product roadmaps, what business model is right for your consumer facing business, how this may change as you grow and how investors view the different options.
Here are their top tips for nailing your business model…
Don’t fall in love with your product, fall in love with your vision “The first version of my product was amazing and we never had to change anything! Customers just loved it!” - said no founder, ever. Don’t romatincise what you’ve currently built, as you’ll inevitably have to change it. When you’re dead set on bringing your vision to life, it’s much less painful to admit your product needs a few tweaks which makes it easier to iterate (and grow!)
Your network is your net worth The famous phrase holds true. While not everyone is in a position to raise a friends and family round, we all want to make the most of what we have access to. This may mean stalking your friends’ LinkedIn accounts, seeing who they know, and asking for a warm intro. Whether it’s an angel check or crowdfunding, your network is a tool to make this happen.
Be open to everything and learn when to say no As a founder, you’ll get loads of feedback and suggestions, and it’s your job to know what you should listen to and what is just noise. Having this level of conviction is super difficult, and you’re not always going to get it right. Give yourself a bit of grace (and a budget) when your instincts aren’t right, and keep moving.
You’re marrying your investor, so get to know them well Ask them questions, similar to how you’d ask a potential partner. You need to know what they’re looking for from your startup in the next 3, 5, 10+ years, and whether or not you’re aligned on vision. While they may have the cash, you still need to ensure they’re the right fit for you. Never underestimate how important that is.
Cold outreach can work Jo shared how Aura Fertility’s first angel cheque actually came from a cold LinkedIn message (yes! It can actually work). By managing cold outreach strategically, she found an angel who had invested in a company in a similar industry via a crowdfunding platform and sent them a message. Be prepared for a lot of no’s but trust this process actually can yield positive results.
It’s easier to sell a painkiller than a vitamin When selling to consumers, it can be easier to sell something to remedy a pain they're feeling right now. The need for instant gratification is part of human nature, and can make it easier to increase sales fast.