Startups, I’m here to save you. Venture capitalists, I apologize for what may come off as slander — not my intention. Entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, listen up. Most of you are totally capable of starting small and growing organically and quickly with a bit of guidance and some constructive criticisms here and there. Not all small businesses need large or even small capital injections. Rapid growth can happen without debt, without equity partners, without a great big board of directors. The problem is that not all startups can afford consulting, some startups are insecure, other owners believe the only way to accelerate growth is with more cash. Truth be told, growing too fast can be a problem too (I’ll address that at a later point). Either way, this is where incubators come in. Venture capitalists start circling. Angel investors start listening. A few bucks and some business expertise and all of a sudden they own 25% of your small business. As far as I’m concerned; unfair. You can do it on your own, and may be better off doing so.
Specifically I am speaking with those of you that have a business with sub ten million dollars a year in revenue. Once you get past that point some debt or equity may be appropriate, things change there. It’s kind of like a new territory. But this is for all you guys out there with no revenue, or for those of you with maybe a hundred grand a year, or perhaps per month. Not that you all should be lumped in together. I just want to demonstrate that you very well may not need that capital that you think you need. Organic growth is the most beautiful thing in the world. Slowly ramping up your business, testing little by little different marketing mechanisms, learning from your own experiences. So much of success in businesses is derived from the journey. Many would say there is more to be derived from the journey and struggle than there is from the obvious financial rewards.
Startups, you need some guidance. Of course. Your young, your new, and as some “Angel” Investors see it. You are venerable. If it helps at all, I’m available, for the time being, no charge. But you really don’t need me either. You just need time and patience. Look how far you have gotten and how much you have done up until now. It’s exactly that which investors see. Investors are putting their money behind you, not the idea. So if they would believe in you, you should too. And if you aren’t sure if they would believe in you, start believing in yourself, and they would.
I don’t mean to be overly critical of Angel Investors or Venture Capitalists. They can bring huge value to the table; large networks, vast amounts of money, creditability, and experience. I simply wish to say that it isn’t always necessary and you should have some confidence in the business you are building and in yourself. Organic growth exists. It genuinely does; Backed by hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. Whatever the question is, If I can answer it I will. Consulting, feedback, and direction shouldn’t cost 5, 10, 20% of your business… your baby.