“The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles.” – Zig Ziglar
Seeking the Right Assistance: Embarking on a journey to raise capital requires the right guidance. However, not all avenues of help are equal. It’s crucial to understand the categories of assistance available and discern which are truly beneficial.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
Debunking the Finder Myth: The notion of finders introducing you to investors is often a mirage. These individuals usually lack credibility and influence. If someone claims payment for an introduction, their credibility diminishes due to a conflict of interest. Instead, rely on warm referrals—recommendations based on genuine confidence in you and your pitch.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
The Investment Banking Terrain: Investment bankers play a role in raising capital, but their interest is piqued around larger amounts, usually starting at $5M or even $20M. This option suits established companies with revenue, a strong team, and a proven product. Startups without revenue may find this avenue inaccessible.
Navigating Financial Expertise: Financial and CFO experts can be valuable, but choose wisely. Many financial professionals lack experience in raising capital. CFOs specializing in early-stage companies can be worthwhile, though expensive. Balancing cost and value is crucial in this realm.
Crafting Financial Projections: While a CPA or accountant may be necessary, don’t solely rely on them for financial projections. They excel in history, tax laws, and accounting practices but may not possess an entrepreneurial spirit. Build a “Financial Simulator” with key variables, enabling real-time adjustments for accurate projections.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
Unveiling the Consultant’s Role: Consultants specializing in capital raising offer focused expertise. Yet, not all are equal—some add minimal value, while others can magnify your chances of closing a deal exponentially. Choose consultants with firsthand experience in the specific funding source you’re pursuing.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
The Consultant Selection Process: Like hiring any professional, the key is to select the right consultant—one who has successfully navigated your desired path multiple times. The ideal consultant has firsthand capital-raising experience, ideally as a CEO. Consider their track record and ensure it aligns with your company’s stage and needs.
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller
Growth & Scaling Workshop Series for $1M+ Company CEOs – Learn How the Top 5% of Entrepreneurs Succeed at Influencing $10M, $50M and $100M+ When Only 1 in 400 Companies Reaches $10M in Sales, and 1 in 6,300 Reach $100M
Evaluating Deal Closures: When assessing a consultant, focus on their history of closed deals. This measure indicates their ability to orchestrate the entire process. Match their expertise to your company’s development stage, as startup funding vastly differs from established companies’ capital needs.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
Mastering Funding Strategy: Capital raising is not only about expertise but also about strategy. Choose a consultant who can not only advise but also execute the process of approaching investors and sealing the deal. Experience across various sources of capital ensures a comprehensive financial strategy.
“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – Mark Twain
Learning from Experience: Experience begets wisdom. A consultant who has helped secure over a hundred deals with approximately $1 billion in funding is a valuable asset. Their seasoned insight can accelerate your learning curve and empower your capital raising endeavors.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
Navigating Diverse Avenues: The funding landscape is vast, encompassing diverse categories. By understanding the avenues available and seeking guidance from those who have tread these paths, you’ll be well-equipped to secure the capital needed to nurture and scale your dream company.
Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur, CEO and investor who founded six companies with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors for a 25X ROI. Two others are still in development. He has trained, consulted and advised thousands of Entrepreneurs, CEOs and boards since 2002. ™. Mr. Norton works with companies to 2X to 10X growth rates and valuation using AirTight Management™, the world’s most comprehensive Leadership Operating System™. He also helps companies raise capital to fund growth. He is also the Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship University for early-stage companies that have not reached product-market fit and $1M ARR.
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