Creating a Startup That Sells: Lessons on What Works From an Expert

Last week, the Promeets team had the opportunity to present an event featuring Matthew Le Merle, entrepreneurial expert and author of the book Build Your Fortune for the Fifth Era: How to Prosper in an Age of Unprecedented Disruption. During his keynote address, Matthew shared invaluable startup tips for the audience that could help guide them toward building a business that would be attractive to investors and choosing the ideal exit strategy to maximize financial gain.

Matthew’s presentation focused on three major areas of how to grow a startup and much of what he discussed provided a fresh perspective for those entrepreneurs who had have been coached to believe they need venture capitalists involved in their startup to succeed. After discussing why now is the perfect time for tech entrepreneurs to launch a successful business due to the unprecedented number of innovations arriving at the same time and place, Matthew’s laid out his advice for the audience.

Focus on Building a Business Plan that Other Businesses Want to Buy

Matthew cautioned entrepreneurs against thinking they could single-handedly build a world-changing company and ride it to high levels of success and fame. Instead, he suggested a better route: build a business plan that will attract larger companies. By focusing on niche markets or specific features, startups can effectively sell their work to companies who have the resources to take it to the next level.

Too many startup founders believe they can attract venture capitalists (VCs) with a big, bold business plan and gather enough startup business resources to compete on a large scale. However, Matthew pointed out that VCs are typically only interested in larger companies that already have a proven track record and have little interest in small startups. A better approach, he reasons, is to go after angel investors who are willing to take a chance on new companies.

Only Raise the Capital that is Needed

Many startup entrepreneurs operate under the ‘go big or go home’ school of thought and believe that the more capital they can raise, the better. That’s why they set their sights on pie in the sky venture capitalists instead of focusing on more attainable funding sources such as angel investors, crowd funding, and incubator programs. What they don’t realize, Matthew said, was that any capital raised over $1 million actually diminished the startup founder’s shares of the business and his eventual rate of return. This is why he suggested a strategy of only raising the amount of capital needed to make the business cash flow positive instead of trying to gather as much capital as possible.

Exit for a Modest Gain

Competing against huge tech monsters like Google and Amazon is near impossible for the small startup, which is why Matthew’s final piece of advice to entrepreneurs was to exit their business as soon as they could realize a modest gain. Though many startup owners have visions of creating the ‘next big thing’, Matthew says this is most likely a fantasy and that the smart entrepreneur will know when to get out and use their gains elsewhere.

Matthew closed with a story about Steve Jobs, who he had the opportunity to see speak. After listening to Jobs’ powerful presentation, he was tasked with writing down the three major points in the Apple founder’s speech. The first was that we are the luckiest people in the world because we are living in the most innovative time in history. The second is that it is our job to wow customers and create a product, service, or experience they will not forget. The third is that it’s your choice whether you choose to play in this game rich with opportunity. Or, in Steve’s words, “Do you want to change the world or do you want to sell sugar water?”

It is Promeets’ pleasure to provide access to startup experts and excellent speakers such as Matthew Le Merle. Interested in schedule a meeting to learn more from the expert himself? Click here to book a meeting today:

Also, if you’re interested in our next event, please visit our website to see what we have on the schedule.


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