Congratulations! You’ve earned your first real investment, but what are the next steps to ensure your investors are satisfied and your business thrives? Below, we’re sharing some of the most pressing, immediate next steps so that you can amplify your investor’s ROI, as well as business success.
Maximize the business relationship with your investor
There are two sides to every story when a company earns its first investment—the investment works toward the benefit of both the business and the investing firm. It’s the company’s task to maximize the investment to exit and it’s the investor’s responsibility to help the company achieve its goals. The business should take advantage of the assistance investors can provide—like help with building teams, leadership expertise, help with executing on deals, and more. The founding members of the company and the investors must establish a mutually beneficial relationship to where the investors add value, and the company meets or exceeds business objectives.
Change your mindset
Your company earned its first round of funding, but the hard part isn’t out of the way. To maximize on the investment, the leaders need to shift from creating a startup to scaling and operating a growing business. . With this shift comes more structure, stronger processes, and better strategic thinking. A couple of things can’t change though—maintaining a lean operation and successful execution.
Focus on building a strong team
One of the most important factors of company success is the team building in the background. To show the company’s dedication to executing on set goals, it’s imperative to have employees that believe in the vision and values. Investors want to have confidence in the leadership team having competency, commitment, honesty, and trustworthiness, to name a few characteristics. Another key trait is having a leadership group that is coachable in addition to being able to manage their own work. The business is only as strong as the leaders behind it, so focus of effort should be applied to finding the right people that fit the need. Pro tip: start small and lean.
It’s thrilling to achieve the first foundational steps of starting and running a business. Once funding is secured, leaders of the company need to quickly shift gears and focus to ensure they execute on the plan ahead. Stay focused at this milestone mark and beyond so that you don’t lose steam, and you can charge full speed ahead!
Happy Mother’s Day. Whether we’re celebrating wins in the home, outside of the home, or in business. Moms everywhere make impactful strides to the betterment of the community through technology, so we’re highlighting some of our favorite tech-inspired startups created by inspirational mom-preneurs.
When Manisha Shah and Sonia Chang reconnected in 2018, they grew closer by sharing each other’s parenting “ah ha” moments—all centered around the importance of incorporating play into their children’s lives. Shah discovered the importance of interactive play while caring for her premature newborn, and Chang realized play’s impact on her children’s development. Together, the mothers cofounded Playfully, an app that assists in cognitive development through evidence-based, research-backed, age-specific activities.
By downloading the app, parents can open new doors to tips and tricks for easy, convenient ways to promote children’s healthy progress. Makeusof noted Playfully as one of the top five apps to track your baby’s development.
Founder and CEO Ariane Goldman found herself puzzled when she couldn’t find the style of clothing she was looking for during her pregnancy, putting somewhat of a damper on a moment she believes should be magical. HATCH came out of this what-to-wear challenge in 2011, and offers chic, elevated maternity and wardrobe solutions for soon-to-be moms. HATCH also offers safe beauty products so moms can feel good about the products they’re using. Even better, HATCH is more than clothes—the brand offers a community through digital engagements and content. Moms everywhere can check out the company on Facebook, Instagram, and Zoom for an ongoing series of virtual events.
Co-founding moms Mary Fallon and Dori Graff came together along with CEO Dug Nichols to simplify buying and selling kids’ clothes everywhere. In 2011, the co-founders launched Kidizen, an online resale marketplace for fashionable children’s clothing. Their unique approach to business—community over closets—shapes their online platform into more than a store. Customers can browse, connect with other parents, share styles, and more.
Extra Crunch reported that in 2016, Kidizen saw 100 percent year-over-year growth and reached more than a quarter million registered U.S. users. The success led to the company’s 2017 achievement, when Kidizen partnered with Chicago-based Origin Ventures to raise $3.2M in Series A funding.
What’s better than sharing your photos on Instagram? Sharing your baby’s photos on Tinybeans! In 2012, Founders Stephen O’Young and Sarah-Jane Kurtini enhanced O’Young’s first version of a website and app to track his children’s milestones into Tinybeans. The platform makes it easier for parents to connect with their family and share their children’s journeys through photos, videos, and messages.
The app took off quickly, and by 2013, Tinybeans saw its first one million memories uploaded by users. By 2019, Tinybeans hit three million users, was featured in NY Times, BBC, and Forbes, and was named “App of the Day” in the U.S. App Store.
Hanna Chiou and Anne-Louise Nieto found new challenges to tackle after becoming moms, and decided to do so together. Driven by their children and to simply do something that matters, both women left their corporate jobs to start their own company. Founded in 2019, Habbi Habbi is centered around accessible, intentional, educational products and makes it easier for parents to raise bilingual children. Kids can learn Chinese or Spanish through a combination of books. More interestingly, the founders wanted to create a tech product without learning from a screen—insert the Reading Wand. Along with the books, the Reading Wand dictates words, phrases, or sound effects. Kids everywhere now have access to learning another language through play-based learning.
As we look forward to this special holiday, we love to think about the meaningful work mothers contribute to our society. We appreciate the creativity moms bring by thinking outside of the box, and the many startups, gadgets, apps, and sites that come from their thinking. To all the mom-preneurs, thank you for your valuable impact!
As business begins to pick up momentum again, companies everywhere are looking for a fresh start. Many venture capital firms shop company websites and their online presence as the first steps for funding consideration. As you look to revamp your digital footprint, consider these five tips and tactics to get started.
Market your professionalism on your website
Your website’s presentation will provide insight into how your business is conducted. Having clear information, a nice design or look and feel, and proper formatting play into the professionalism you convey. If you want investors to take your business seriously, make sure you’re showcasing a well-thought out and structured website to them.
Showcase excellent branding and messaging
Anyone looking at your website, including venture capital firms, will want to see on-point branding and product marketing. Important details to think about is your color scheme and font, product or service naming, and your content—including copy, videography, and any other content. Are you painting a clear picture of the product or service you’re providing? Is your branding on par with your mission and values? Are you telling your business’ story? Thinking through these and other related questions will help you create a visual story across your site.
Easy lead conversion or purchasing process
Make your site easy for your customer to use! Along with excellent professionalism, branding, and messaging, your site should be organized to easily convert leads or clients, or to sell your product. If you bury your purchase link on pages that are hard to find, you won’t easily sell your product. If you make it difficult for readers to find your contact information, they won’t be able to get in touch! Show your investors that not only is your site designed well, they can trust that it’s set up in a way to convert.
Take advantage of your social media presence
“If you didn’t tweet it, take a picture of it, or post it, it didn’t happen.” This is an accurate narrative of today’s relationship between people and social media, and its applicable to businesses, too. Social media has become somewhat of the digital Yellow Pages, and provides companies and customers mutual access to each other. Facebook can help you promote your business with its own Page, Twitter can help your business share its narrative, Instagram allows you to visually capture important moments, and so much more. To make an impactful point on social media, research each platform first to determine which ones are best for your business’ success.
Strong paid media campaigns
Investors want to know that the brand you’ve built is being sold to the right audiences. Paid media—like Google Search ads and Banner Display ads, lead the way of advertising. Having these types of campaigns are imperative to capturing the audience you’re wanting to build and then targeting them in a way to achieve conversion. If you haven’t explored paid media campaigns for your business, you can find a digital marketer or strategist that can help you get started.
A great way to showcase your business is through its online presence, especially if you’re on the market for funding. There are free tools and resources online to help you revamp your digital footprint. Never be afraid to refresh!