Fundraising sucks! If you are a solo founder who needs to play CEO and fundraise…You have a shit life till you close It’s just that simple!
Ideally, you have a co-founder or two that you trust… in this case you don’t. So you need to find key people on your team and manipulate them so they pick up the operational slack and ensure they prioritise things that move you up and to the right and no disasters that undermine you.
YOU, the CEO, yes you! You need to FOCUS on the raise. It’s a total pain in the rear, but you need to get this done. There is no messing about, it’s a binary outcome… well, there is a scale to not achieving your full raise, but that sets you up for a life of ‘we never had quite enough $ to hit our milestones’… which is a death spiral which is hard to pull up out of. I’ve seen this (portfolio company).
I highly recommend Pareto to-do lists. Don’t pitch to very VC. Know who is likely to invest. Focus! Spend time on those that are likely to convert, like customers. That saves you a lot of time. Have an action plan and follow it. Close the best prospects.
Do not get swept up in a startup unless you are CODE RED. There is so much to do in a fundraise…DD, data room, answering questions etc.
It’s a shitty time, so put your head down, communicate to all staff what and why you are doing this, trust them (let them step up, for the benefit of the company etc.) and deliver on your end.
It’s best to start your fund raise as a solo founder when you are about to have a growth spurt or benefit from seasonality. This will keep your growth ticking over, or illustrate things going well as you show metrics.
I also recommend starting a soft fundraise before you go ‘hard.’ This way you have developed trust and those people may be easier closes.
It’s going to be painful, so get it done! You chose to be a solo founder, so deal with it.
[This post by Alexander Jarvis first appeared on the official website and has been reproduced with permission.]