Updated: Dec 1, 2022
To put it bluntly, the journey from seed to series a is when shit gets real. Any mistakes you may be making need to be addressed ASAP- you must dot your Is and cross your Ts and take a serious look at your operations. This includes checking you are not breaking any data laws, you are hiring correctly, your accounts are in order and that you have the capacity for growth.
During the seed stage, your start-up's main goal will be to show that there is a demand for the product or service you offer. Also, during this time you will be building a core team that will go on to lay the foundations for a successful company. The keyword here is scalability. you must be laying the foundations for scalability, enabling your rapid growth in the following stages of your business. This means having a good GTM (go-to-market strategy), a good acquisition strategy, and above all paying strong attention to the Golden KPI at this stage: Retention.
With an increase in funds, a capital injection in the bank account can make you complacent. Keep an eye on your burn rate. Keep an eye on your revenue. Keep an eye on your growth rate investors at series a stage will be most interested in your core team your recurring revenue and your projected growth.
So how do we put the wheels in motion for Series A?
If everything is in order, your company is generating good revenue, you have a good growth projection and a good core team. It shouldn’t be difficult to attract investment. A good place to start is your current investors, they most likely already have a plan for series a, whether it’s a strategic investment coming from a bigger company in the same space, an investor with experience in your industry, or indeed themselves, the most likely already have given it a lot of thought.
Your core team.
Once the wheels are in motion for Series A it’s imperative your core team understand the responsibility they now hold. They must practice good corporate hygiene in all areas. Paying special attention to social media platforms, as well as LinkedIn. Investors are nosy, they will poke around, and they will question everything and everyone so make sure your core team is aware that they are most likely being watched in every way possible. This doesn’t mean they should be fearful, just aware. It’s so easy to put off an investor by saying the wrong thing so make sure they are abiding by your company culture and leading by example.
The financial side of your business will come under scrutiny, understandably, so make sure everything adds up. Make sure your future projections and burn rate don’t contradict. Make sure your bills are being paid on time. Ensure your staff have no legal issues and keep your bank manager on your side. Financial projections for an early-stage business can be surprisingly fluid what investors are wanting to see is that you have good projected growth a good month-on-month (MOM) revenue growth and good plans for expansion. They won’t necessarily hold you to the figures you put, but they still need to make logical sense of projection is exactly that, it’s your guess, your hopes, of a number you will achieve at some point in the future.
Call in favors, and use your resources.
It’s very likely that at some point, you’ve joined a group, and Excelerator program, a community for start-ups. Your network can help you don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to call in favors, and don’t be afraid to cash in on that offer you had of help. Founders and CEOs can be extremely helpful, asking for help from these people likely reminds them of when they first set up their company and it’s unlikely they will turn you down. Always remember when you ask for help and help is given to carry forward that gesture and help someone else when they need it.