Three of the most important things startups need to focus on / demonstrate if they are raising money, want to grow or just plain want to be successful:
1. Gaining customers (or if no proof of concept then a list of qualified customers)
2. Showing they know how to grow their business
3. Demonstrating profitability and ROI
These points may sound easy to achieve and you may be saying to yourself, ho hum, I don’t need to read further.
Point number 1 – gaining customers is something that many startups and small businesses don’t focus on. They fall into my Lie #1 – If I build it, they will come. Investors (and actually the company owners should feel this way too) are looking to see where your market is – are you marketing? And startups, even marketing startups, often get lost in this space. Ask yourself: Would I invest in a company that can’t show me their market? The customers lined up to buy the product as soon as it’s available? A list of beta-testers? ANY INTEREST AT ALL?
More and more I’m seeing startups and small businesses flounder in this area. Forget for the moment Michael Moore’s crossing the chasm…these businesses aren’t even getting the early adopters. Take heed and show the market interest.
Here’s some interesting related points: