sageinspire

How I funded my business.
Sage are asking business people for their experience of funding their businesses.
Sage UK
Question 4 - @ianknowlson @reiva @TrippBraden @imoyse @mikejulietbravo I wonder what you think? #SageInspire http://www.via-cc.at...

Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
This crops up many times with my clients. Their major concern is that VCs always want an exit. Sometimes they drive the business in different directions and at critical times.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
@sageu Startups to a degree have to know what their own exit is? WIll they want to sell to the market, an MBO or retain it and move their role to Chairman.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
For those in Recruitment I have written a blog about this http://www.sellingsu...
Tripp Braden
Understand what strings mean, how they will impact your ability to successfully lead the organization
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
Absolutely Tripp 100% spot on
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
I think if you use a VC you need to know what their ethics and values are. Are they aligned to yours
Tripp Braden
Learn how to walk away and when to run...To be succesful you must understand where the true value in your business is
Tripp Braden
To many early stage organizations fail to understand what makes their business valuable and to whom
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
I know some V good VCs so I think they are very much worth talking to but startups need to understand what the VCs motives are
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
As @imoyse says some VCs want a quick return... Where as our startup may want a longer 5-10 year business cycle
Tripp Braden
@IanKnowlson That's a great point! Its not about the entrepreneur but many times the agendas of the VCs
Tripp Braden
If you can create synergies with VCs other portfolio companies you can accelerate your growth and funding dramatically
Tripp Braden
Choose your early stage partners carefully because they will be a major part of your success or failure
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
I guess Tripp and I would suggest that StartUps might want to also talk to a #BizGrowth Coach #GrowthHacker too
Tripp Braden
@IanKnowlson Yes but with caution, make sure the coach gets not only your business but who you are. Its an investment... but make sure your ready to work to get great value out of coach
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
#Growth coaches are aligned to the development of the people as well as the business. With Startups and SME businesses this is fundamental as its is hard to growth a business without growing yourself
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
For many startups its about the journey.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
As @jackcanfield & @TonyRobbins often say its not about the $1,000,000 you make its is what you become through going on the journey. The personal journey the entrepreneurs go on to make that million that matters
Mike Briercliffe
don’t go to a VC until you’ve sold something - preferably LOADS
Tripp Braden
@IanKnowlson Who you become is a critical to your growth both personally and professionally.. It will help you create greater relationships with better people helping take your game to the next level
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
@TrippBraden You are so right Tripp. People need to be prepared to work with a coach and prepared to make changes.
Mike Briercliffe
if you can’t give them back at least 5x their outlay in less than 4 years - you’ll get scalped
Tripp Braden
@mikejulietbravo That's an interesting point. Customers as VC is something I've seen work in emerging technologies
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ - So true Mike - But I know a few who are not as mercenary as that but sadly they appear to be in a minority
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
It is Tripp - Disruptive models are all the rage and VCs love them.
Tripp Braden
@IanKnowlson I'm wondering if that's part of their game, disruption is coming, but not soon enough as other forms of early stage funding becomes available
Tripp Braden
@IanKnowlson I've seen a good family office can provide an interesting and stable of funding for the right markets.
Mike Briercliffe
I’ve succeeded !
Sage UK
Question 2 @ianknowlson @TrippBraden @imoyse let us know your answers #SageInspire http://www.via-cc.at...

Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
I found them most unhelpful in 2011. Sadly many of my clients experiences have been similar. There are many other funding sources out there if you have great ideas and "Angel Investors" plus local Entrepreneurs are often a great source.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
In #recruitment Agency sector many use funding businesses like @thinksimplicity or @paystream @askbrookson
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
@sageukSome fund the payment of workers others offer gross invoice funding.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
You can get funders who will capitalise office refurb costs. One of my clients did this 2 years ago and spread the refurb costs over 4 years
Sage UK
What are your experiences of dragons @mikejulietbravo? Could you work with them? #SageInspire http://www.via-cc.at...

Tripp Braden
Developing relationships before you need them, let competition between them work for you. Don't get married to partner to early in the process
Tripp Braden
Learn how to appeal to their agenda, know who you are dealing with. entrepreneurs need to be able to influence who they are dealing with
Sage UK
Question 3 - What are your experiences? #SageInspire http://www.via-cc.at...

Luke Brynley-Jones
This would be "Sharks" for your US audience :) #sageinspire
Mike Briercliffe
dragons are show business
Mike Briercliffe
there are thousands of angels - though multiple angels are often a problem
Mike Briercliffe
typically an angel adopts an aggressive position when their exposure exceeds their comfort level
Sage UK
VCs may have a pot of cash but what are the stings @IanKnowlson ? #SageInspire http://www.via-cc.at...

Luke Brynley-Jones
I agree @mikejulietbravo - unlike Angels and banks, VCs are hell-bent on achieving a huge return, which can override all other concerns. Treat with caution.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
@lbrynleyjones and you are right, depends on their ethics and morals Luke.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
Sadly for StartUps they have to treat most people with caution. It could be said to be the first rule of becoming a business person
Luke Brynley-Jones
@IanKnowlson Indeed. As Mike says, with sales comes bargaining power. That's how to get a 'good deal' from funders.
Tripp Braden
If we know what they want, its a good time to negotiate a way out for them. ;)
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
Yep Luke... Its sad to say but you are right. You must manage your cashflow as was said at the beginning but you also have to have a strong cash income to manage in the first place
Laura Barnwell ✨
What if you're turned down for funding multiple times - should you re-evaluate your whole business plan or keep going?
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
It would certainly make you think so.... Wouldnt it Laura but it depends on your passion. Would be be good to have quality feedback as to why your plan was rejected was it too ambitious sales line or missing detailed costs
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
There are many examples of Entrepreneurs who were rejected many times before getting that winning formula
Sage UK
great questions Laura and such great advice @IanKnowlson
Laura Barnwell ✨
Thanks @IanKnowlson - good to know, I always think of J.K Rowling getting rejected and now look at here. What are the best questions to ask to get feedback when you're rejected for funding though? I'm no expert so would be good to know the core questions to ask.
Ian Knowlson πŸ“ˆ
Well... What did they like, Not/Like about the plan? Was it the sales line? Was it too ambitious? Was it the costs? What bits are realistic what do they think are unrealistic. Is it the levels of risk vs return