My board are criticising my strategy

My startup’s been going for 3+ years and we’ve raised over $3m. This year’s sales are about the same as last year, so we’re not growing much.We’re a commission-based business with an industry-standard take rate — but after discounts, promos, costs and card processing, our actual margin on each transaction is tiny. We have a […]

What to do when funding takes longer than expected to come

We are currently looking to raise. We have some serious leads but discussions are taking longer than we thought and a Tier1 visa investment has been delayed by Brexit, so we’re running out of cash. Is it wiser to get rid of people until cash comes in or to borrow money from personal contacts, or […]

I’m a confident, mid-career founder. Investors think I need investment less urgently than a young entrepreneur

I’m a founder in her fifties with lively presentation skills and a colourful, solid professional background including some excellent brands. When it comes to fundraising for my online (hugely scaleable) start-up, I sense an (unfounded) expectation that I have unlimited amounts of my own money to invest, and/or contacts to tap very easily for funding. […]

I hate my job as a startup CEO, and I want to quit and do something else

I want to quit and do something else. Yet I’m afraid I’ll let down the company, as there’s no obvious successor and I’m the only founder. Plus, it’ll be harder to keep raising. The last round happened only because I convinced investors I’m super-committed. Yet I hate my job, I don’t want to be a […]

How do I explain product-market fit to my team?

We are a well-funded venture but don’t have product-market fit yet. Our sole focus should be on changing that. Yet everyone in the team is obsessed with everything else: more dev, marketing, sales, PR. It’s hard convincing them to wait and not spend time or money on these things, but rather focus on adjusting the […]

How do I onboard customers and retail partners to my MVP without cash?

I bootstrapped a marketplace app twice. The first time we managed to get to an iOS & Android alpha product but never got to test it with real customers and real sellers. I made startup mistakes like hiring people, offices and more too early. The second time, two years later,  I started again from scratch […]

How do I raise funding from investors who don’t believe in the market we’re targeting?

We’re a pre-revenue startup trying to raise funding. We’re launching a product to address an existing market, but investors believe our market no longer exists, despite our target customers telling us they want our product and they would use it. They are even signing up pre-launch. How do I tell investors, who rightly feel they […]