6 Activities that Startups hate, but need to do.

6 Activities that Startups hate, but need to do.

Why I have nearly stopped asking for Investment:

Many of us have online businesses; it’s the evolution of media. Many of us will be doing well in our ‘own back yard’ and have grown a relatively decent audience, however, when you start thinking about getting your online business to the next stage where you need some cash, this is where many of you will hit a brick wall so high that Donald Trump would be proud of it. You will start to hate investors and everything they stand for!

Startups have so many hoops to jump through and you had better be ‘dog show fit’ for it because it will try the most patient of souls, first of all:

1.They ask to see your Team

This is, to me is counter-productive as you have clearly demonstrated you don’t need a team. Now they want to invade your living room with suits and people you don’t know, to start dismantling something that is working and turn it into a money making machine! Well that’s the nightmare that you have to overcome in your mind anyway.

Whatever happened to “Create something amazing and the money is automatic, just don’t think about the money!”?

Traditionally businesses have teams. We cannot all be great at every aspect of  business. You need a CFO to take care of the money, you need Marketing, you need Sales etc., but most of us only need to scale what we have, and this is where we start to lose investors interest.

Investors and V.C.’s have template based minds, and soon as you start talking outside their template you have lost them.

Your founder probably has an outsourced team, many of us have, and we have extremely lean business. We have to and be able to eat as well as work. It is a testament to our skill to find great people online and their costs are purely in what they do, not the usual business costs associated with hiring people!

My Team,…what??

2. They want To See Your Investment Deck

Apart from my old Technics turntable what do they mean by a ‘deck’? Are we playing poker and the winner gets investment? No, none of the above. They want a fancy Power point or PDF which you need to spend months designing with power colours and words to demonstrate you are funky and hip and to think you made a business around inventing better hedge trimmers. Now you have to learn a whole new career in graphic design and branding. (I can hear you screaming “Get a team Alan!”, go back to the previous paragraph)

My Deck… what,.. again??

What I am saying is there must be someone out there who has the innate ability to overlook the odd typo and realizes the founder, probably on his own, has spent all his time and whatever money he could developing what he has and needs you to hold his hand from here onward and say; “OK Alan let’s take it from here, well done, relax; we have a team for you now!”

In my mind, it matters not that your product could change the world as we know it. Most investors think, ‘well you had a typo, and people who miss-spell stuff cannot invent anything cool surely’!

3. Have you tried Crowd Funding?

Personally, I particularly hate this one. Most of us who have been seeking investment for what seems like eons are long in the tooth and we know that the corporate bigwigs are all over the crowd funding sites now, offering to get the first 10-1000 people to pay to get your project going to avoid people not wanting to be the first to pay, or to do the fancy investment decks, and a social media campaign with thousands to see your project, let alone the cheeky ones who go and ask the general public to get them out of their own made debt!

Smergers is one such site I went online and tried, and to my horror they have strict charges all the way even to talk to someone who expressed a passing interest. That’s like Miss World paying to read emails from all her Indian fans after her last trip to Mumbai!

All this leaves a genuine inventor type/ entrepreneur totally bewildered when it comes to finding cash to get his product known to the wider internet. He looks at the types of projects online and the ones that stand out, have slick, expensive made videos, but now require further investment as all their money was spend looking for investors.

Shed Inventor with Prosthetic Limb he made

I understand, it is business, but stop trying to be the answer for the small guy, the shed inventor, the granny who knits a nice jumper or two. We know you have gone beyond us now!

4.Free Social Media Is dead!

I have garnered over 300,000 active real people in groups and pages since 2009 when I became really active online with co admins on all social media accounts. The old way was write a great altruistic blog, be yourself, an individual, craft compelling headlines, great images, SEO the page, use power words, and have a fantastic call to action, then share on all relevant groups on social media.

I used to be able to get 300-500 to read a blog with no ad spend with this method but now I am lucky to get 100! So the average person has around 1,000 friends and groups on social media but if 300K reach gets around 0.02% ‘clicks through’, what will you get for the time and effort this takes with 1,000 reach, let alone all the learning you have to do each day to stay on top of social media trends?

Bottom line is you need cash to make any headway on social media now. Ask any Facebook Shareholder and he will tell you!

Anyone with just a good idea or new product with no budget who has been excited by what social media can do for the small startup, will still have the wounds to show for their efforts.

5.The Family Network.

When I read Richard Branson’s autobiography and got to the point where his aunt chipped in a sizeable amount of cash to start his Virgin records empire, I lost all interest as I could not relate. Maybe, like me, you have a family who think you are mad because you left a corporate job to work for yourself, and you get sat with the Amway guy at family parties and told to shut up about what you do or at best lie, because your family see you down there with gangsters and drug dealers. 

Really dull stock image …sorry!

I relate more with Gardiner, the subject of Will Smith’s movie, Pursuit of Happyness, (before you say ‘I’m not investing in this illiterate twonk,’ that’s how it was spelled in the film title) where he came from less than nothing, when it came to an entrepreneurial education.

6.Private Investors

There is a vast chasm between thousands of people who have built a decent online business and only need small ‘bunk up cash’ and Investors who won’t even open an email unless it starts at $5,000,000.

So without trying to sound like a M.L.M. net worker, you approach your wider network and have countless meetings with the bourgeoisie of money, the retirees who fall asleep during your proposal, his wife hastens to add ‘it’s his siesta time, it’s not you”, the odd-bods, the associates from work whom you would rather avoid but you find yourself presenting your business idea to them because you only need $10,000 to go massive, and after being bored to tears listening to their life stories over countless hours in coffee shops and idiots who just don’t get your business after they have looked at your website just once, and the chancers who pitch you with their projects under the guise they were interested in yours!

Then your closer friends who promise you money when they sell their house so you pray silently each night for them to sell their house and wonder why you now have two problems instead of just your own!

Is there anyone out there who can honestly say they have vision to see beyond a typo and the odd image that overlaps the screen (on Internet Explorer by the way I mean who uses IE?) and get out of the template frame and not come back to me after a day and say I just don’t get it when you know they spent no more than ten minutes on your website?

I have a business matching website that will change the internet from being full of sellers who are just good at SEO to being buyers who genuinely want all sorts of B2B and B2C products and services each day. If you are interested I will set you an exam to see if you really read this blog then we can talk! Contact me for your bio metric test today!