Your first 100 days as an entrepreneur: Done right
Success and failure aren’t two sides of the same coin. All successful startups share the same fundamental attributes. Unfortunately, startup failure rates are excessive, but they, too, share common characteristics.
The primary reason for startup failure is a lack of Product/Market Fit. While this may be true for some startups that make it that far, most fail before knowing if they have a chance to succeed. These companies tend to cite cash flow problems or a lack of investment as the reasons for their failure. In reality, the root cause was often a failure of the founding team to effectively manage their startup, understand their market, and build an opportunity that was worthy of investment.
Making an honest Go/No-Go decision on your venture is critical to your future. Avoiding it has sent countless startups down a path of failure. Their "I'll do whatever it takes to succeed" approach only makes sense if you have a solid market and a viable business model that allows you to reach your personal goals. The decision is easy if you don't see a large enough market or a high-priority customer problem. No amount of passion or "can-do" attitude will get customers to buy something they don't need or want.
Too many aspiring entrepreneurs take a leap of faith into the world of entrepreneurship, only to end up on the list of failed startups due to a lack of disciplined decision-making.
This often involves quitting their jobs too early and taking on significant financial and personal stress without a solid understanding of the market and the viability of their business idea.
Our mission is to help you avoid these early-stage mistakes and drive your startup forward with the customer data necessary to make critical founder decisions.
We work exclusively with experienced professionals with at least three years of relevant industry experience. Research has shown that these professionals are more likely to succeed when launching a startup.
Founders with just three years of relevant experience increase their odds of success by 85%, while founders typically launch the fastest-growing startups at age 45.
Experience matters when it comes to launching a successful startup. Investors want to back a team with a proven track record, as they know that teams with experience consistently outperform inexperienced founders. That's why we focus on experienced professionals with direct experience with the problem they intend to solve and who have built a strong industry network and general knowledge of their potential competitors.
You take on significant risk by leaving your day job to launch a startup. You have much to lose if you get it wrong, including little to no income for the next few years, strained personal relationships, and financial risk beyond a drop in income. These factors motivate our clients to take decisions seriously, build the right team, and move quickly.
What you can expect
Your preliminary position of strength comes from your professional working experience, industry network, and a strong connection to the problem you'll solve. Our role is to help you build on this by helping you make critical founder decisions and accelerating your timeline.
You already set yourself apart from less capable founders. In practical terms, this involves refining your vision, knowing your market, and understanding your customers. We'll guide you through the tough decisions too often avoided by founders: how to validate your market, use your business model as the foundation for defining the right team, when to add cofounders and the practical options for splitting equity.
Our objective is to help you as a founder go from describing your concept to validating your market in 60 days by accelerating your data gathering and unbiased analysis. From there, we expect to help you determine the viability of your business model, related team design, and development roadmap in the next 40 days. This assumes you are all in and prepared to do the work, but we know from experience that this schedule is achievable.
We typically meet 2-3 times per week. Between calls, both sides will continue to work on the details, data gathering, and performing analysis. We're all in, no matter your location, as an interim team member without diluting your equity.
How we work
While workshops, seminars, and business books can introduce you to the tools, terminology, and concepts of entrepreneurship, they do little to prepare you for your new founder role. We understand that entrepreneurship is learned on the job, so we take a hands-on approach to working with our clients.
Customers only buy what they need or want, and no amount of passion, drive, or can-do attitude can change that. You remain in control and define the priorities while we work with you to validate your market and make customer-focused decisions. If we determine that you are unlikely to find a large enough market to become sustainable or reach your ultimate goals, you'll need to decide whether to pause, pivot, or walk away.
If the market looks attainable, we will help you design and validate a business model that demonstrates the viability of your startup. Generating revenues doesn't guarantee business viability. You must be comfortable with what it will take to become viable, and if you're not, you'll have to decide whether to pivot or walk away.
A note on funding and investors
We don't solely focus on helping you get funded. The goal is to help you first assess the potential of building a sustainable business. Based on your market and business model, there are many possible paths toward funding. You can't succeed with a product that no one wants. We'll help you explore the paths best suited to your startup and desired outcomes.
It's a common mistake for startup teams to try to raise money before they have developed a viable investment opportunity. Contrary to popular belief, investors don't fund ideas. Investors only care about investing in opportunities that can generate an investment return.
Even if you can demonstrate you can, you need to convince them that you are the right team. If the fundamentals are there, the most significant risk any founder and investor take is building the right team for the job.
You sell to investors the same way you sell your product to customers. Customers want you to solve their problems or fill their needs. Investors are buying your concept and the ability of your team to deliver their investment goals.
We can help you discover and understand your options, evaluate those that make sense for your company, and help prepare your pitch.
If you are interested in working with us and have at least three years of relevant industry experience, contact us to book a free discovery call.