You have just left your desk job, with an idea in your head that you believe you can make happen; backed with a few friends and angel investors. You setup your home office, dreaming of what your idea could lead you to. You invest your heart and soul into this, with a side of coffee, and get going. KPMG’s Accounting and Finance advisory team has embarked on its own journey to help startups scale up their businesses with what they know best; accounting and finance select services. Throughout the course of our initiative, we have noticed a few recurring trends that we think you should be on the lookout for. Here are 5 key things to consider if you want to take your idea to the next level:
- Stick to your story. While it is understandable that you will pivot a few times down the line, keep your angle as focused as possible. The more you brainstorm and talk to other people, the more you get inspired. While it is always healthy to ideate and get new insights on how your business will shape up; focus your business purpose and make it truly clear. Your investors need to know exactly who you are, what you do, and why you are doing it. The problem you are trying to solve needs to be relevant and specific. Having an investors’ pitch dry run will help you mitigate this issue. You will get a real feel whether your pitch is clear and concise enough; leaving investors wanting to learn more, rather than leaving the pitch confused lacking a clear understanding of what you do.
- Say the same with your numbers. Your numbers need to align with your story. Your punch line while important, investors will be more interested in drilling beyond your charisma and get into your figures; a coherent financial model is vital. In some cases, as your story line evolves, you would miss translating that into numbers and most importantly – impact. Invest your efforts in drafting your financial projections.
- Find the right balance. While you worry about operationalizing your business, finding the right people and the right tools to bring your idea to life; your assumptions to build your financial projections and your business model can get blurry. Challenge the assumptions you take at least three times. The first, you will be as optimistic as possible (it is your business, and you want it to succeed). The second, try to step away and emotionally detach, then critic it as if your life depended on it. The third, get your assumptions to a middle ground, between optimism and pessimism. Make them attainable.
- Know your value proposition. Know your selling point and do not shy away from it. As you move along your journey, you will find a lot of potential parties that will be interested in what you are offering, making you deals sometimes you cannot refuse. Understand the why and what does that mean to you. You could be blindsided by a value proposition you have focused on so much, while the market and your users are seeing other opportunities. Be attentive to those who come to you, and with what. You might unlock great insights and produce innovative ideas that transform into greater solutions for better problems; you probably overlooked.
- Focus on branding, networking, and culture. Your startup will need a face; most likely yourself. In your initial stages, you will need to focus a lot on your branding. People around will need to know who you are, what is your background, so you build that credibility. Once established, your networking will need to be activated. The more you network, the better your chances are to speak to people that will benefit you and your business. As you carry on these two efforts forward; your startup will shape its values that will define your organization’s culture. You must attract the right people that will be interested in you and your company.
We believe in the growth of this ecosystem and are keen on being the trusted advisors of the businesses of the future. Startups do not always make it, most fail for various avoidable reasons. If any of the above considerations triggered something happening right now with you, reach out to our KPMG Accounting and Finance advisory professionals for a chat and learn how we can help you scale your business, to reach your fullest potential.
To reach out to one of our professionals, please contact us at Aefirstname.lastname@example.org.
“FortyGuard were given 5 hours to work with 5 KPMG partners; equivalent to 5 years of experience and acceleration in our startup age. They were sharks! They challenged us, and disagreed. They listened carefully and gave us their ears and hearts. They got inspired and were tremendously creative in their creation of thoughts. The partners received us as if we are a KPMG startup, and banked us with opportunities we never thought of.”
“We greatly appreciated that KPMG provided an experienced team for our financial projection analysis, especially as we were considering a fundraise. Their team’s ability to provide thoughtful analysis in compressed timeframes was tremendously helpful for us and our investors.”