Many businesses like you have brought to our attention that the Catapult method of accelerating business growth can be summed up in a really simple 4-step model:
It doesn’t need to be pointed out that the revenue is key. It pays the bills, your future business plan, your advisers and your long-suffering partner. More importantly, you can rapidly learn if the business works or not from revenue growth, which is suspected why many do not embrace it-it reveals the cold truth!
And that is exactly why you need to start here!
While most clients have the definition of their customer roughly right, you often need to start with:
However, once revenue growth gets underway, things can start moving really fast.
This could be in the form of equity, bank loan, crowdfunding or a government grant – whatever floats – as long as it fills your coffers. The aim of the game is to fill up on cash, build a war chest so that as you roll out your marketing machine, you have lots of juice available to run that machine for as long as is required to win the battle.
If you are going to the bank, you can expect it to be all done in two weeks. If you are raising equity capital, you have to consider 6 – 10 weeks. None of this will work unless you have your homework ready. Your best bet is to first understand what type of funding is right for you.
Establishing a Board
A board is important. They are certainly not just for raising capital or making your business look good. They generally come in three variations:
Within a week after starting Business Connector, I put together a sounding board. Many of those people are still around and part of the sounding board two years later. Do not expect formal advice, but do ask for unfiltered opinions and insights. Nobody gains anything from being ‘nice’.
Whether you choose to establish an advisory board or a formal board of directors depends on a series of factors. The more formal you make it, the more you will get out of it. It can be compared to getting a family member to help in the business versus hiring a full time staff member.
Financial Model/Business Plan
All the great cash flow and revenue models you might have seen, start with the basics: How is every single dollar made at the level of the individual transaction? From there it builds up, aggregates, takes in expenses, and shows the staff growth. You have to start with the basics and look into how every sales dollar is transacted.
When you write your business plan, you should focus on proving just two things:
Do not worry too much about mission, vision and fluff. Do not pain over whether your illustrations are perfect. There will be no illustration more beautiful than the one showing your revenue growth over the last three months next to the list of great advisors or board members you have supporting and believing in your business.