9 Ways Grow to Your Business
THINKING ABOUT LAUNCHING A VENTURE OR LOOKING FOR WAYS TO BUILD UP AN EXISTING ONE? THESE FOUNDERS HAVE SOME ADVICE
01 Show, don’t tell.
“If you’re selling something the people you’re pitching to have never experienced, they may or may not believe you. Every single round, I have made a video showing real users explaining the benefits of our platform and how it works. That’s been insanely powerful.” ▸ CHRISTINE MOSELEY, founder and CEO, Full Harvest
02 Talk to anyone who will listen.
“I would say yes to everything and anything, talk to hundreds of people, go to every conference, every networking event. I would then go up to these huge panelists right after they spoke and connect with them. Some of those people are what helped me get my business off the ground.” ▸ C.M.
03 Build a brain trust.
“Put together a few people who are either other entrepreneurs at the same point as you or ahead— advisers and mentors who can be your support system. It took me many years to figure out how critical it was to have this, so it was a very lonely journey as a solo female founder.” ▸ C.M.
04 Become impervious to “no.”
“Winston Churchill said: ‘Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.’ That’s a great description of what I was like in the early days. [Launching a business] requires a lot of resilience and not giving up.” ▸ APRIL KOH, co-founder and CEO, Spring Health
05 Keep improving your pitch.
“Change your pitch after every pitch, based on when you observe people leaning in, when you lose them, the questions they ask. Your deck should be different for every pitch because you’re always optimizing and tweaking.” ▸ A.K.
06 Be uncompromising in your mission.
“Only 2 percent of venture capital funding goes to women so understand you’re going to hear a lot of nos. You can’t let that discourage you. Try to really communicate your purpose and your reason—that sticks with people most—because you need to make a lasting impression.” ▸ ALLYSON FELIX, co-founder and president, Saysh
07 Read the room.
“Different people care about different things so tailor what you say to the audience. My pitch to investors is not the same as it is to a general audience. Balance your brand story with compelling figures. Having a great story is nice but you need to back up why what you’re doing is important.” ▸ KAYLA CASTAÑEDA, founder and CEO, Agua Bonita
08 Cater to your customers’ taste.
“You are making products for other people, not for yourself. You might want things a certain way, but if the consensus is saying we want it this way, you have to listen. At the end of the day, we’re in the business of making other people happy. Yes, it starts with us, but it ends with them.” ▸ K.C.
09 Rely on your own resources as much as you can.
“There is a lot of pressure on new entrepreneurs to secure funding. But there is a lot you can do without fundraising. Try crowdfunding, using Kickstarter, selling preorders. I chose to continue bootstrapping because I didn’t want to compromise how we grew the business for the sake of returning someone’s money.” ▸ KAYLIN MARCOTTE, founder and CEO, JIGGY