How to Raise Money for Your Startup: Create Milestones and Money
Two of the most important things an entrepreneur needs in her business are goals and revenue. If your company isn’t making money (or raising money) then you are not a business. But knowing the right milestones and goals to pursue that positions your company for growth and investment can be confusing. When I first started my company and made projections of how much money I wanted to make in the first year, I started with basic goals like sell to 100 schools and make $250,000. However, I had yet to identify the specific actions I needed to take, the resources needed for those activities, and how much money was necessary to accomplish all of this. Once I started to understand how to create Revenue-Generating Milestones™ and tying them to action items and dollar signs, I was in a much better place to position my company to be attractive to investors. To help you move further along, here are five tips and a FREE quick guide that will help you create Revenue-Generating Milestones™ and money.
Identify specific activities
Come up with a list of activities you need to do that will put your company closer to generating revenue. Identify what people, marketing, and sales activities you need to do to help you reach that goal. As you are coming up with your list of Revenue-Generating Milestones™, all activities should be broken down into categories, such as:
- Product/Service Development
- Sales & Marketing
Create a list of resources needed for each activity
Each activity requires resources in order to accomplish the goal. For example, your Facebook campaign may need a graphic designer and a social media specialist to test content and design for optimal results. You also need to have a budget for advertising to run the campaign.
Create Realistic Revenue Goals
Determine what revenue goals you can reach every month based on the resources you will have. If you can’t bring on a marketing or sales person for another 9 months, then your sales and revenue will be slower until that person comes on board. Really take your time to figure out how many products you can sell and when.
Figure Out Associated Expenses
Now figure out how much it’s going to cost you to acquire these customers and sales. What sales and marketing campaigns need to be launched? What software, service, or person is needed to handle customer service?
Seek a Mentor
I highly suggest having a mentor/coach who is an experienced entrepreneur. Aligning yourself with someone who has successfully raised money or generated revenue for their company will better position you to identify the proper milestones to track. A mentor can also help you to dig deeper to pinpoint specific activities needed to meet your goals or consider alternative opportunities that you had not considered.
This Milestones and Money exercise can help you raise money in two ways: 1) generate revenue (the best form of fundraising) and 2) be more attractive to investors. When you have a clear, laid out strategy of how you are going to attract customers and make revenue, your company will be more successful and investors will feel more confident in the entrepreneur. Put these tips into action by developing your own Milestones and Money for your company.
Dive deeper into making and raising money! Download this 14-page workbook to learn How to Raise Money for Your Startup. Receive examples of the type of milestones to consider and worksheets to write down your goals and associated costs.