Free webinar: The 3 drivers that unlock equity investment

Raising equity investment can seem like a game of smoke and mirrors. It isn’t clear exactly what information investors need in order to make a decision to invest. There is so much you could say but it is cutting to the salient points that get investors “on the hook”.

This interactive webinar will give you clarity on the three drivers that unlock equity investment and how you demonstrate your mastery of these to get investors “on the hook”.

  • Discover how traction speaks louder than words
  • What the “right” level of investment to ask for is – and why that will help you sleep easier at night
  • When to discuss valuation with investors – and how to arrive at a credible valuation

In addition to the presented content there will be time for your specific questions and to hear options for making it quicker and easier to raise investment.

We meet via Zoom – with cameras and microphones on. This is about you getting the answers you need so be sure to bring your questions! A Zoom login will be provided after you register and in a reminder email before the event. Places are limited to ensure a good interactive experience.  Please book early to avoid disappointment and, if you can’t attend at the last minute, please let us know so that your place can be offered to someone else.

Facilitated by Hatty Fawcett

Hatty Fawcett, founder of Focused for Business, has been raising money for businesses and projects since she was eight. She has worked in three startups and raised £250,000 for her own startup (a marketplace).In addition to raising investment herself, Hatty managed some of the investments Kelly Hoppen made when Kelly was a “Dragon” on the TV show “Dragons Den”, making business angel investments.This gives Hatty a unique perspective on raising investment, with practical experience of having raised investment herself as a founder, but also understanding what angel investors look for when they back a business.

In the last 12 months, Hatty has raised a total of £1 million for her clients, with individuals raising between £10K and £350K.

Hatty is a Regional Manager for Angels Den, a Talent Spotter for The Startup Funding Club (SFC) and works with all the main crowdfunding platforms. She is committed to giving founders the clarity, connections and confidence to attract a range of investment offers so that they choose the right offer for their situation.

What people say about Hatty

“Hatty’s webinars are always very informative, giving me a much clearer understanding of funding options and which might be most suitable for my business.” 

“Hatty is a fountain of wisdom when it comes to raising investment.”

“Hatty is a great teacher! The rich content kept me interested and helped me understand what is needed for different types of funding.”

“It was useful to interact with the others and it’s reassuring to hear your stories of fundraising.”

“Your tone and enthusiasm are very motivating. You are a great person to work with because of your know-how.”

5 steps to keep your startup healthy through Covid-19

I recently wrote an article Is Covid-19 killing startup investment? A frank assessment summarising the challenging times facing startups raising investment. It is clear there is going to be less startup investment for the foreseeable future.

But, don’t lose hope. The game is not over – it has merely changed. Cash trumps getting to “traction” right now.

Step 1: Save cash and extend runway

The first priority is to save cash and extend your startup’s runway.

  • Take a long hard look at all payments. Stop all non-essential payments immediately. Then go back and look again. What else could you save?
  • Negotiate payment holidays or reductions on bigger, regular payments like rent/desk space and hosting services.

Step 2: Take advantage of government initiatives and loan schemes

Where possible (and I accept that many start-ups fall between the cracks of the current schemes), take advantage of the Government initiatives provided for the self-employed and small businesses.

Yes, much of the support is offered in the form of a loan that will need to be paid back but – I’ll say it again – cash is king right now. It gives you resource to bootstrap your way through the current circumstances and that may be your survival lifeline. Provided you don’t go mad, loans can be paid back later – or re-financed if absolutely necessary.

Step 3: Focus on generating revenue in your startup

It’s time to get creative with regards to generating cash.

  • Assuming your product is still relevant in the current situation, focus on acquiring and fulfilling customer orders. Those businesses that can generate cash quickly are most likely to survive the current situation.
  • Are there new customer segments – perhaps created by the current circumstances – that you could market to and for whom your existing product/service solves a problem?
  • Think about what resources your business has. Could you adapt these to create a new offering that would allow you to reach new customers? Think about problems customers have in this new world we are inhabiting. Could you use your existing resources in a different way to solve a problem for a new group of customers? Startups are generally very good at “pivoting” in this way as small teams and flexible skills allow you to re-deploy resources far more easily than larger organisations. Don’t be afraid to try!

Step 4: Manage cash over time

Managing cash over time – not just now at the start of this crisis –  is vital. In terms of the economic fallout from Covid-19, we are in this for the (relatively) long haul. Forecast likely revenues, track progress, monitor the cash situation daily/weekly/monthly and adjust accordingly. This is not a moment to bury your head in the sand!

Step 5: Connect and share with other founders to avoid the negative impact of isolation

Whilst we must continue to follow government guidance on self-distancing and isolation, it doesn’t mean you have to go through this alone. Feeling isolated, thinking you are alone with your problems, is not just detrimental to your startup but also to your health.

Instead, connect with other founders and advisers. Share what is working for you – perhaps it might help others? Be honest with yourself and others about how you are doing. There is comfort in knowing that you are not alone when the going gets tough. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is a time for the start-up community to stick together and support each other.

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Startup Masterminds

Now more than ever, startup Founders need to connect and collaborate to support each other through difficult times and focus on the key milestones needed to ensure their startup thrives. Startup Masterminds has been introduced to do just that. Find out more here

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A good read…to refresh and revitalise your business

I love summer! Who doesn’t? With the (generally) better weather meaning we spend more time outside and holiday time spent with family and friends.

However, I really like summer because it offers not just a chance to refresh ourselves physically (I have written about the importance holidays for startup founders and business owners before) but the chance to refresh ourselves mentally too. Lying on a beach or by the swimming pool is greatly improved if you also have the company of a good book – and if that book offers you new ideas, challenges your thoughts and offers new approaches to try, so much the better! 

It’s all too easy to get in “head down” mode, to be busy working in the business rather than working on the business.

I’ve been doing what I do for 5 years now and I really recognise the need to refresh and revitalise my business and I’m taking a 6 week sabbatical to do just that. Whilst I will be allowing myself some time off with my family, I will also be stimulating my business brain through reading.

To develop a wide-ranging reading list (not too focused on the things I automatically lean towards), I asked around my entrepreneurial contacts and founders of other businesses to hear what they recommend. 

In case you’d also like to do some revitalising reading this summer, here’s what they recommended – and why:

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us by Daniel H Pink

Given motivation is at the start of everything, this feels like a good place to start.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E Gerber

The E myth books have been around for a while but they are still an essential read for business owners demonstrating really clearly why you have to have more than a good idea to make a business work.

24 Assets by Daniel Priestly

If E Myth gets you thinking, then this book provides a methodology for building the components that make a business scaleable and sustainable.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel 

Is another book particularly recommended to me for its methodology for startup businesses. The founder who recommended this has used the 7 point thesis outlined in the book to shape his own startup. The book has almost 300 reviews on Amazon (not all positive) but most seem to agree it offers a different perspective – which is what I’m looking for!

Dear Female Founder: 66 Letters of Advice from Women Entrepreneurs Who Have Made $1 Billion in Revenue by Lu Li

I’m really interested in the particular challenges facing female founders so this book had to be included in my summer reading but, looking at the reviews, I’m expecting that some of the insights will cross gender barriers and offer advice to all startup founders.

High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil

If you are beyond the startup phase and going for growth then this recommendation is for you.

Inspired by Marty Cagan 

Is also for those working through the challenges of scaling. It came recommended to me as “a fantastic book on product and scaling” and looks at the role of the product manager and product teams in meeting customer needs, and developing a product that does this. Its particular focus is on software products. Find the book on Amazon

Another software product focused book – but which came recommended from two different sources – is Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps by Nicole Forsgren and Jez Humble. What the person recommending this book liked is that the book uses evidence to create best practise – it’s not just another person’s theory.

ReWork: Change the Way you work forever by David Hansson and Jason Fried 

Is certainly not a new book but in the opinion of the friend recommending it to me it’s “outstanding and important” – and you have to accept the title tempts you to read on!

If you happen to suffer from “long hours syndrome” you might also fancy It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work also by Jason Fried. Find the book on Amazon

Don’t have time to read a full book?

If, like so many founders, you are struggling to find sufficient time to read an entire book why not try some of these shorter blog posts to stimulate the grey cells instead?

The Do’s and Don’ts of Rapid Scaling for Startups by Bob Sutton
Read the blog

Is Drag Holding Your Business Back by Kevin Sheldrake
Read the blog

Traction Is The Very Heart of a Startup by The Startup Team
Read the blog

Why We All Need to Invest in Female Founders by Sacha Waters
Read the blog