Entrepreneurs looking to get their hands on someone else’s lucre need to do more than just slog it out for hours on end.
They need to demonstrate clear signs of progress or, as blog Startup Professionals Musings puts it, traction. SPM’s chief executive Martin Zwilling provides a number of tips that can help start-ups convince would-be backers they’re getting ahead.
- Document your business plan – A product description is essential but it’s also not everything. You need to show a clear idea of our you’re going to execute on your dream.
- Set realistic milestones and hit some – Write down targets but make sure they’re realistic.
- Build a well-rounded team: “If you are strong enough to surround yourself with a strong team, that’s great progress toward success,” Zwilling says. So getting hold of a CEO with a track record is one sign of “traction”, he adds.
- Build a qualified advisory board – Pull together a group of advisors with expertise in your domain and knowledge of your business.
- Ship a minimum product – If you can’t test your product in the market, you can’t know if it will be successful.
- Get a real customer and real revenue – “Real customers give you real feedback,” Zwilling says, so selling something sets a start-up on the path to proving if its product, pricing, distribution and support has traction.
- Show personal investment – If you have some skin in the game you’ll have a greater chance of showing prospective investors your start-up is more than a hobby.
- Become a visible expert – Work events in your product area, as well as the press and social networks, to establish yourself as an expert in the market you’re trying to address.
For more head to Startup Professionals Musings.