Tag Archives: Presentation

How Do You Create a Roadmap for a New Business? Four Suggestions

Situation: The CEO of a new company is building her business. She has a business plan but is struggling to bring in new clients. How do you create a roadmap for a new business?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Creating a new business is a numbers game. Draft a 3-year plan that will generate $1M in billings.
    • The bottom line of the plan is bringing in new clients.
    • Create a financial template that is driven by how many clients it takes to reach the financial goal in three years. Fill out the annual numbers including where new prospects will come from and set quarterly and monthly goals and activities to generate those clients.
  • Develop a marketing “hook.” For example, in the case of business services:
    • Fixed cost business tune-up – a low-level retainer with limits on time and services offered (up to x hours work per month or quarter on y projects)
    • Fixed fee in-house service for small business – again with limits on the services offered
    • Additional services beyond the limited services will be at the company’s normal rates, possibly with a discount to those on the basic retainer service.
  • Create a list of desirable new clients – the company’s sweet spot. Next look for people who can connect the company with these clients.
  • How to get to the target client?
    • This is a funnel question. To build the funnel take three sources of clients: referrals, current business contacts, networking. How many contacts are needed from each source to generate 10 new clients per year?
    • Make presentations to groups which may produce clients or referrals.
    • Get to know the local business people who make referrals.
    • Write articles for magazines that these business people read. Be an expert.
    • To save money, use student interns from nearby colleges and universities to do some of the basic work – target client research, researching and writing articles (make then co-authors on the articles – looks great on their resumes!) This is an inexpensive win-win for both the company and the intern.

What are the Best Current Avenues for Raising Capital?

Interview with Sandy Lawrence, Past CEO, Therative, Inc.

Situation: The technology sector is growing following a couple of lean years. Whether you want to fund a new company, or a new effort within a smaller company, what are the best avenues to capital? How has the game changed?

Advice:

  • Funding and credit markets are opening but still tight. The bar has been raised because too many people are chasing too few available dollars.
  • The venture capital sector has consolidated. Over 80% of current focus is on technology, software and medical. Under 20% goes to the consumer sector.
    • It is important to target VCs who specialize in your technology, market and business model.
    • Research current VC portfolios.
  • Angels now act more like VCs – particularly structured angel groups.
    • Initial investments are typically under $1 million.
  • If you have a technology, investigate the grant world – e.g., NIH or DARPA. These organizations fund research, but not marketing, etc.
    • Look for specific programs or RFPs that align with your technology.
    • Target your grant request toward prototype development and studies.
    • Search LinkedIn for military people who can introduce you to contacts within programs like DARPA.
  • Investigate SBA Grants, and foundations with an interest in your technology or application.
    • Foundations sometimes will grant funds ($100k) to support the work of individual scientists and researchers.
  • Call on friends and family who believe in you and your work.
  • Whoever you approach, these rules apply:
    • Do your homework. Choose sources that align with your project and profile.
    • Presentations must be crisp and easily understood. Investing in professional assistance is wise.
    • Be able to make your case in 15 minutes or less. The first minutes are most crucial, so have your ‘elevator’ pitch perfected.
    • Your model and financials must support a high multiple exit, 5-10x their investment in a reasonable period of time (~5 years).
    • Team, Team, Team – credentials, experience, presentation – be a team with whom the investor can work.

You can contact Sandy Lawrence at slawrence@therative.com

Key Words: Fund Raising, Credit, Capital, Venture Capital, Angel, SBA, Foundations, Military, Presentation