Cash – The Oxygen of the Start-Up (…or the Advisor Garage Re-Launch)

About four years ago, I worked with a smart group of people to design and build Advisor Garage.  At the time, dating websites were growing exponentially – it seemed even my postman was about to set up his own version of match.com.  But Advisor Garage was not a dating site to help people met the partner of their dreams…

Advisor Garage was set up to help entrepreneurs ‘connect and date’ advisors and mentors.

This is how we (as tried and tested Entrepreneurs) thought about it…

No Entrepreneur is an Island…Like a great beer – Start-Ups often require a multitude of ingredients…:

A GREAT idea… A plan of execution… Motivated People… Money… A place to do business… Legal support… Marketing… Technology… Money… A Channel to market… Prospective customers with a need… Sales expertise… A Product or Service… Did I mention Money?

…and the list goes on and on.

What about bootstrapping you might ask? Sure – bootstrap – but you still need the above list…and more, you just somehow manage to get them for less. Bootstrapping doesn’t mean no resources – it means cheaper or, if you’re lucky free resources (but remember that saying – you usually ‘get’ what you pay for…).

Pulling all those (and more) elements together can take months – especially for the newbie Entrepreneur – so Advisor Garage was created. The Goal…help ‘connect’ entrepreneurs with advisors with a wide variety of expertise and contacts so they could save themselves weeks and months they would usually spend to find and pull these pieces of the Start-Up jigsaw puzzle together. 

Let me say that in a slightly different way – Advisor Garage’s goal:  Help entrepreneurs shave off months from Start to Market to CASH!

Cash is the oxygen of a new business – Again – Cash is the OXYGEN of the business. ALL Businesses. No exceptions. Private or public sector – for profit or not-for-profit.

Cash keeps the lights on – the people coming through the front door – the computers humming and the telephones ringing. Everything is about CASH. Without it, you can’t service the customer, be a Green company, employ people or yourself or whatever your own, specific, world changing goals for your Start-Up might be.

CASH IS THE START AND END OF A BUSINESS. If you don’t believe me – Go ask General Motors! 

During the three years Advisor Garage was live – over 1000 advisors joined! That’s a THOUSAND Advisors with enormous diversity of contacts, experience and access to resources to help entrepreneurs cut weeks and months off of the cost and time it takes them to start and build their businesses. 

By plugging into great advisors could mean shaving months off the time it takes to bring a business to market. So what?

Those saved months could be critical in terms of securing your first customers…getting ahead of your competition…building your brand and market – but bottom line – it gets you faster to the cash!

During those three years building Advisor Garage I was lucky enough to meet and connect with some great Advisors and entrepreneurs and about six months ago I woke up one morning and had a ‘Eureka moment’…

Advisor Garage had been growing day by day but my Eureka moment told me there was a better way to help entrepreneurs…I felt a broad smile spread across my face as it all fell into place inside my head. 

That day I took down Advisor Garage and began to focus on the Advisor Garage re-launch – a re-launch which would completely change the product /service Advisor Garage delivered but which would offer SIGNIFICANTLY MORE VALUE to entrepreneurs and multiply their chances of successfully launching and growing their young business!

So – We haven’t set a re-launch date yet as we’re still working on it and want to make sure it’s ‘just right’ but if you are interested in finding out how Advisor Garage can SIGNIFICANTLY enhance your chance of Start-Up success and shave months off your time to market and to cash then head over to Advisor Garage and sign up to our mailing list.  We’ll tell you all about our re-launch just before the BIG day!

Next post I’ll tell you a little bit about Advisor Garage’s sister sites that we are also busy developing – Angel Garage and VC Garage…by all means ‘comment’ if you have any ideas about what they may do or even better – what they could do for you and your start up.

Here’s to YOUR Start-Up Success!

Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • June 29, 2009

    very useful post Andrew,I completely agree with the ‘ingredients’ you listed in the post and I believe they must be present in good amounts for a start-up to be successful Personally I work with new entrepreneurs and startups by first time entrepreneurs. It’s often ‘near impossible’ to secure VC/angel funding except you have some connections so I preach bootstrapping. What do you reckon are the chances of securing these funds if it’s your first time, and what are the best ways to get funding if you are a novel entrepreneur?

  • June 29, 2009

    Tolu – great question. The interview I just had with Eric Hjerpe from Kepha Partners touches on that. Take a listen. But I truly believe that VCs are looking for great new businesses to invest in – my personal view though is that getting ready for investment is a multi-step process – its about being ready for investment combined with knowing how to demonstrate it – When I went up and down Sand Hill Road the first time – I met with my least prefered VCs first – pitched, pitched and pitched again and each time – learnt and improved both the message, the tools and my confidence – by then I was pitching those VCs I wanted to get. So – an Entrepreneur needs to BE investment ready and know HOW to show it – being a new entrepreneur doesn’t preclude either part of that equation – but I’d still recommend hooking up with someone who has been through the process a few times before to reduce the time to cash. Do you agree?

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