More customers to support, more capital needs, bigger budgets to manage, bigger operational needs, and certainly more employees, all present significant challenges in how you run your business against expected financial outcomes.
At IMG Venture Group, we believe that all start-up vendors will follow similar stages in its life cycle. We have organized these ideas in a Founder’s Growth Cycle.
Growth strategy development is a key IMG offering.
We help Founders build business processes and strategies in these key functional areas:
SALES STRATEGY - PRODUCT Development - CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT - BRANDING & MARKETING - business & Financial modeling - Capital investment
– Founder's Growth Cycle –
The Founder creates the idea, involves advisors or partners, tests the market, and starts framing a product or service.
Make It Real
They build a business plan, incorporate, and copyright or patent the product or service. The Founder starts spending more time and investment, while building a prototype.
Founder Fully Invested
The venture becomes The Founder’s total focus, investing more time, funds, and even friends and family capital. Expenses build as the company assembles products and acquires its first customers. The Founder is “burning their pile” in an all-out commitment to growing the business.
The company is now responsible for delivering product, and evolving the product under customer pressure. More customers begin to validate market realization through revenue and cost discovery. Sustainable revenue validates the business model. The “dogs are eating the dog food” and there is a real business!
Strategy for Growth
A strategy is formed to drive, scale, and expand sales into target markets. There is an increase in capital burn, as more friends, family, and angel investors become involved.
These injections to the business introduce OPM - Other People’s Money - and The Founder is no longer alone. Expectations and responsibilities increase, and accountability becomes critical to shareholders and customers.
Culture Trumps Strategy
Culture and team personality extends from The Founder to every single new employee. The business churns through growth, pushing the envelope of capital needs. A Board of Directors is formed, and Angel investors become more essential to success. Intelligent and industry-related investors become the most important OPM. Picking strategic investors and partners becomes vital.
Plan & Expand
Sound Plan, Sound Business
The ability to execute the plan successfully – including margins, growth metrics, and accelerator elements – becomes the foundation of value-added investment. Business rarely grows organically from this point, making Venture Capital partners a potentially valuable option.