One of the things I talk often about with my clients is that a lot of founders who want to scale their business are trying to do it alone.
They might have a team to help with the day-to-day operations. But they haven’t spent the time developing key relationships that will help them long-term.
These are the three key relationships you should be developing from the get-go (even if you don’t think you need them right now).
1. Board and Advisors
I really believe in the power of non-executive directors and having a diverse board because I think it brings so much value to the business.
It’s lonely running a business on your own, and it’s important to bring in the expertise of others to compliment your own strengths and weaknesses.
And a strong board signals to investors that you and your advisors are taking the business seriously. The line-up of advisors acts as social proof for potential investors that your business is worth their time and attention.
Even if you aren’t actively seeking external funding now, if a potential investor shows interest, that’s a relationship worth developing. As you expand your network to meet other founders and potential advisors, it’s inevitable that your business will pique the interests of potential investors.
Back in 2018 Goodsted (a social impact platform) won an enterprise award that got the attention of a potential investor. Founder Selin Yigitbasi-Ducker wasn’t ready for investment yet, but she nurtured the relationship and more than a year later, that investor joined others to contribute £225,000 in funds for the growing the business and continued development of the platform. You can hear more about Selin’s story in this podcast episode.
There are plenty of founders who are further along their journey than you are, and are willing to invest time and energy giving-back to other start-ups.
When joining angel investment networks, take the time to build relationships with other founders who might be able to help you out with their knowledge and experience, or with access to their own contacts.
A mastermind is another great way to connect with fellow founders that are also in the process of growing their business and probably experiencing the same ups and downs and challenges. I’m part of a mastermind and I absolutely love the support that I get and also the support that I can give the others.
Through my work, I coach and mentor founders of established businesses helping them to accelerate their digital growth. I also work with founders of businesses earlier on in their journey as part of a mastermind group – working on digital growth and business development. Do DM me and get in touch if you would like to find out more.