Have you ever attended a presentation or workshop that’s blown your mind?
When I first started writing about entrepreneurs and scaleups I made a point of attending events. It was such a fast-moving space – I wanted to learn as much as possible while meeting as many people in that world as I could.
One workshop stood out. It was delivered by an American angel investor called Susan Preston and was called “An introduction to angel investing” – though that turned out to be a misnomer. In the space of an hour, Susan explained how to set up, scale and sell a company.
I walked out of there feeling like I’d just been shown the keys to the jewel room – she even promised to email me the 27 page presentation.
I think it was the inclusion of so many real life examples and details that made it so memorable. It was a practical guide, delivered by someone who had lived it. It made me feel like it was possible.
You’re interested to know what was in that magical PowerPoint aren’t you? Or perhaps you’re scoffing into your MBA certificate…
Well, not every business owner enjoys the business side. I’ve interviewed several amazing entrepreneurs who would rather get on with the operations or the marketing and leave the figures to the accountants and FDs. So here are some gems.
*The ideal company addresses a significant market pain, that’s priced competitively – for example people still won’t buy “green” at 10% to 15% premium.
*In order to attract investors, companies must have understood and articulated the Total Addressable Market (TAM), have good return potential (typically through an exit) and have a market access strategy that’s clear and realistic.
*Involving venture capitalists, as opposed to angel investors, adds approximately five years to the time of exit.
I think the most interesting element was the advice that the goal is capital gains, not high salaries or annual bonuses. That takes an entrepreneurial attitude and the focus on building wealth through ownership.