Several elements need to be in place and ready before seeking investors. We help you get all these in place before approaching investors. These include
The Idea Behind the Business
Early-stage Investors look for clear, concise idea and founders that can think and communicate clearly. Founders not only need to attract investors, but also attract and recruit top talent and attract customers by selling the product/service. Therefore, the idea behind the startup needs to be clear before embarking on journey to spread the message.
We help startups position their business as new as opposed to something derivative. Most successful startups started with something fundamentally new. We help you position your business as something that 100x better as opposed to one of five other companies that are starting the same thing. Investors and new employees will want to partner with you and join you if you are creating something new.
The Product or Service
You need to have a great product or service in place. What is a good product? A simple question that often gets the wrong answer. One way to get the right answer is to ask your existing (or future) customers and figure out exactly what they need, where to find them, and what makes them buy what you are planning to offer.
We help you understand your users well in order to better define your great product. Our approach may include starting with a product or service that doesn’t necessarily scale and recruit initial users one at a time, until the right offer is perfected. We help you build the product that end-users want, one brick at a time.
Proof of Concept and Growth
If you don’t yet have a proof of concept, you need to break the problem into small pieces, and iterate and adapt as you go. Most common mistakes founders do is try to plan too far out and launch everything in one big batch release.
We help you start with something simple at first and launch it soon, then talk to users and watch them use your product, figure out what parts are sub-par, then gradually improve, then repeat. The faster the repeat rate of this cycle, the better the company usually turns out. We help you get this cycle right, you have to get very close to your users. Literally watch them use your product. Building a simple product first to test the hypothesis.
There are three ways to conduct proof of concept.
The first is if you are building a consumer product which you could test by launching a simple product fast and see what happens. The second is for enterprise product in which you try and sell the product before you build it. The third is for products that require intensive R&D such as biotech and hardware companies, the way to test an idea is to first talk to potential customers and then figure out the smallest subset of the technology you can build and test first.
Another aspect of proof of concept is to have proof that you will be able to monetize your product. As such, growth and momentum of growth are key. To achieve this, both signups and retention are essential for sustainable growth. It’s fine to have bad unit economics at an early stage, but you have to be certain that unit economics are going to work out positively later.
Once proof of concept is behind us, we help startups keep all growth metrics in check and optimized. We avoid treating the symptoms, and focus on identifying the root causes that are blocking growth metrics come up with targeted initiatives address them.
Competitor and Market Awareness
Once you have a great product and proof of concept, it begs the question, what is the addressable market? How big is the addressable market and how fast is the market growing? What is the market going to be in 10 years?
We help you develop backed up assumptions as to why the market, and why it’s a good market for a startup to go after. We help you frame your business plan within major technological shifts that are just starting but most big companies haven’t realized yet. We help you establish a business model that gets more powerful with scale and that is difficult to copy (quasi monopoly).
With such business model, competitors (primarily copycats) become less of a worry. That said, most disruptive startups end up failing from internal issues and problem (suicide) rather than murder (by external competitors). Therefore, how you run your company, Team, Focus and Execution are key to success.
The Founding and Managing Team
At the very least, Startups Teams need to be equipped and skilled with 1) ability to build the company’s product or service, and 2) be good at communication and have the ability to talk to end-users and investors. Other important skills include flexibility, willingness to learn new things and being responsive. If the Founding Team lack these skills and traits, you need to consider these adding team members.
EGNYT can help coach existing Teams and support you during recruitment by evaluate anyone you might work with better with more data, and you really don’t want to get this one wrong.
Being focus is hard for entrepreneurs, because founders that start companies are typically the sort of people that always like doing new things. One reason some startups fail death is doing too many things even when it is doing the right things.
Company should not start doing the next thing until they’ve successfully conquered the first thing and it is running on autopilot. One thing we help entrepreneurs do is focus on priority things. Equally important to setting the company’s strategic priorities is setting the founders’ tactical priorities. We coach entrepreneurs to become decisive, which is hard when managing a startup and you will get a lot of conflicting advice. Great founders listen to all of the advice and then quickly make their own decisions.
As a successful startup, you have not succeeded until you turn your product or service (that you worked hard to build until this point) into a great company. To do so, startups must rely on their limited resources and existing skill sets to get all that done successfully. Hiring experienced managers to fill in the skill gaps does not work as you cannot insource all the work needed by hiring. Furthermore, you cannot outsource the needed work for a long time. Therefore, there needs to be balance to increase your chances of success. This is where we step in, we support you by giving the targeted support you need to cover skill gaps when you need it most, and when hiring someone to bridge the specific skill gap is neither possible nor financially sound. We act as an extended member of your Team to give you the right support when you need it most and when hiring external people is not an option.
- We help founders get to profitability as quickly as possible so they can control their own destiny early-on and are no longer at the whims of investors and financial markets
- We act as an extended member of your Team to give you the right support when you need it most and when hiring external people is not an option.
- We provide founders with the needed coaching and support needed which includes key success factors such as recruiting the right team members, ensuring focus and improving communication skills
- Understand what drives company valuation in your sector and steer your company’s business model positioning to maximize value to the founders and investors alike
- We assist in defining the product or service by making you understand your users well which may include starting recruiting initial users one at a time, until the right offer is perfected
- We help you achieve proof concept and drive growth by bringing the right product to the market under the right business and operating model, and help you monitor and collect the right metrics to validate market opportunity, growth and proof of concept
- We help you organize to build the right business model and reinforce your capabilities to cover all basis for successful fundraising effort
EGNYT’s approach is grounded in the following guiding principles:
- Putting People First: Organizations don’t change, people do. To get results, employees must take ownership. Therefore, we help you identify the vital behaviors that drive results, and reinforce them with positive feedback and we help you invest in coaching to develop individual capabilities
- Crystalize Vision: The vision will need to inspire deep commitment. We help you develop a clear vision while ensuring leaders are aligned on and committed to it.
- Proof of Concept by Creating Immediate Value: Transformation plan will need to be realistic and have quick wins. We help you ensure that the organization is able to implement change and establish a governance structure to ensure efficient decision-making and management mechanism to measure progress and capture value
- Sustainability of Change: We help you establish the organizational enablers and adapt the process and technology to support the change. Build-in a feedback loop and response mechanism to ensure enduring results.