As a startup, Seed funding is the first step for your business to grow. You may have started a company and suddenly things are going pretty well. You are getting more sales day by day. And your business is expanding rapidly. You can't supply the demand of your customers. So you need money to scale your business quickly. You start looking for investments and luckily you got one. What do you do with it?
It is very necessary to have knowledge about what to do after you get your first round of investment. As your business grows your clients will start to get more demanding, you have to grow your team fast to keep pace and even investors have set up high parameters of delivery. They are asking you about ROI and when will your company breakeven. Your business that you started because you hated your 9-5 Job will keep you awake all night. Your investors will start giving you nightmares. And you will think you were better off without it. But you are committed to grow big. You have a milestone to achieve. And giving up was never a part of your life anyway.
As the startup ecosystem grows there will be a lot of startups and Founders who will find themselves in a similar situation every now and then. The venture capitalist will get more demanding and so do the client. And while early-stage angel investors are good enough to hold founders’ hands in the initial days, scaling up to build a bigger business will be the need for the startups.
The Art of 'No'
It is important as a founder that sometimes you come forward and say no to things. Be it the customer, the investors or your employes. An entrepreneur tends to say yes more often because they think they can do it and secondly they don't want to upset the investors, customers or their employees. They think once they start saying 'no' to people they will cut off the deal and eventually leave. They have the fear of Losing out at the initial stage.
Learning to say no to things is the single most important thing that can help an entrepreneur.
Check's Being Cashed
The check’s been cashed, but that’s not the end of the line. To grow a business, founders need discipline and some strategic thinking. It is not always about money. you need to know how to use that money properly to scale your business to take it to the next level. startups think that once they get the money it will solve all their problems. Wrong. As you get the money new problems will also rise up. You will need to think about how to tackle all those problems with that money. The investors will be happy to see new customers coming to your business but you need to make sure they stay. So you need to start scaling your business and build out to the next level. Learning about how to balance growth with focus is an important stepping stone towards graduating to the next league. It is important to prioritize markets, target audience, and even product versions. How to scale, how to go about the next round of funding are all things people need to prioritize, strategize and then execute on.
Hiring the Experts
As your company grows responsibilities grow within. Previously you were a lone wolf. But as your company grows you need the wolf pack to lead the company with you. One of the most important factors in the success of a company is its core team. You need to hire executives who are dedicated to work for the company day and night. Hire people with good skill sets and who are willing to spend time growing the company. Executives should be people who are work motivated and can carry out any given task efficiently. They need to be focused and share the same vision as the Founder. As a CEO your most important job is to find the right people for the right position.
"The CEO should be asking questions not answering stuff'
The best way of hiring is from top to bottom. Hire your executives first. They will hire the rest for you. Executives are responsible for every action of the company. They need to be responsible and outspoken. They need to have leadership qualities to lead a team and create future leaders for the company. Hiring senior employees who will be able to share a part of your responsibility works much better. The founder also has to learn to let go.
When asked in a conference, IDG’s TCM Sundaram said, “I would prefer a CEO to not be in a position to answer a question. He should be asking questions, and there should be other people able to answer those questions and in charge of departments,” he said.
The Perfect CEO
Talking to investors can be scary while scaling up, but it is important to keep growing with the company. Also, investors prefer founders as CEOs, no matter how much pundits advise about the virtue of specialists for the job.
" Investors always prefer Founder as the CEO'
The founder knows the soul of the company. If the investors look at any company where they think they will have to find another person to be CEO, they would not back it. The founder always knows what's best for the company. He is the only person who is thinking about the company 24/7. The company is their baby. They want it to mature the best possible way.
One Step Ahead
Always stay ahead of the game. One of the toughest tasks – and the most important – is to develop your strategic vision for the company at this stage. You need to be strategic to play with the big boys. Only then you can compete with the goliath of the market. You need to know about your competitors' strategy to make your next move. Remember not to play always by the game. Sometimes you need to make unconventional decisions to surprise everyone. Remember everyone around you will make decisions but as a CEO you are the one to take decisions.