I had the pleasure of speaking at this years Founders' Network Summit. A whole day of content created for startup founders. As a Founder myself, it was great to be able to spend a day with like minded people and even as a speaker at the event, to learn so much. I was even able to 'swipe' my very own Founders' Network Hoodie!
The day started with a fantastic keynote by Alex Depledge who built and sold the UK cleaning market place Hassle.com. She was everything I would expect from a UK entrepreneur - driven, knowledgeable and has the ability to make stuff happen. There was lots of talk about raising money, whether from the Angel Investor route or VC's, the key point being do you really need VC money, as it really changes the rules of the game.
We must also not forget that the person sitting across the table negotiating against you can soon become a partner. Therefore we should always remember "It's not just about planning for the wedding, you have to plan for the marriage!"
My personal view is that growth is great, but don't chase it at all cost as profit is also great!
There were several workshops during the day. The two I participated in were around sales and people.
The sales workshop was delivered by Gerald Vanderpuye from Buyer Deck
- Use Uberconference as a great tool for not only quickly organising conference calls, but it will also measure the percentage of time you speak v. your prospect. Great sales people listen more than then speak, especially during fact find calls.
- Build small qualified pipelines which you can obsess about every day.
- Build a matrix of your ideal terms and deal breakers and use this as a tool to decide whether you pursue a deal. This could be contract length, value, size of client or time taken to make a decision.
The people workshop was delivered by Peter Smith who co founded Song Kick
- Someone in the business needs to be spending between 50 and 100 days per year developing talent, going for those coffees and building a subs bench for your future recruitment needs.
- Every organisation should design a team that will be able to solve the problems that a business is facing right now.
- If you want to get internal referrals for new team members then you must continue to keep asking for them. Not only who your current team know, but also asking them 'who is the best person at dev/sales/hr that you know?'
The last session of the day was my panel discussion. It was a chance for me to tell my story along with two excellent other Founders, and for the audience to ask us questions.
It was a fantastic day and I will hopefully be speaking again next year.