It’s an interesting questions as there are times in my opinion you should AVOID that. Still, no all startups were created equal and there are exceptions.
A couple of weeks ago I had a startup help meeting exactly with this question….
Startup help helps me in many ways. I’ve mentioned before that I’m able to understand entrepreneurs better by striking a meaningful conversation with them for 1 hour focused on them!
It’s good for me because I can then know what problems entrepreneurs truly have therefore write better blog posts and as a result engage better with my audience.
I’ve met Alex from Coucou8 . Their company does singles events for corporates. He even told me that in big companies there is a guy that his title is “singles director” and is in charge of the company’s activities for it’s singles’ crowd. How amazing is that as a niche market?!
Coucou8 also does smaller events for singles that helps them to understand their crowd and develop better activities for their audience.
Alex asked me an interesting question. “Is this the right time to join an accelerator/incubator to grow our startup?”
So what is the difference between an incubator and accelerator?
Incubators unlike accelerators are slower pace organizations. It’s a long term commitment for an organizations that helps you grow. Accelerators do that as well but on steroids. The point is that the time to go to such programs is when you are at an early stage or made a major pivot in your startup which practically means you almost start all over again.
In my opinion (you are entitled for your own), when you are at the point that you found your product market fit going to an accelerator or incubator is not as lucrative. Here is why (Loosely quoted from Steve Blank):
Finding your product-market fit (which in simple English means you’ve found a product or a service that people will pay for or buy at the right time) is hard work for a startup and this is why we have this wonderful thing called pivot (Startups pivot, and sometimes pivot a LOT).
Anyway, after you have pivoted for a couple of times and start to get clients by going through a repetitive process over and over again, your next steps are:
1. Building a sales funnel
2. Scaling up – increasing the number of sales.
At these steps in your startup what you need is funding to scale up. I’m more in favor of growing it organically but there are reasons to look for an investment in other cases, such as:
1. You are stuck and know that if you get a significant investment it will bring you to the next level.
2. You wish to accelerate your growth and move faster at the same direction (You investors will demand that. Scale up fast!)
Back to Cuocuo8
Cuocuo8 is a small startup, but one that managed to have significant number of client in the last 4 years.I thought that their best way to go is to scale up with the same successful business model by getting funded.
I help startups and give free advice. I have 4 time slots open in my schedule every week (2 for meetings in Beijing and 2 for Skype calls).
If you need help of some sort I’m more than glad to help, book your time slot here
Moving entrepreneurs are the new entrepreneurs
On a slightly different note. If you are a moving entrepreneur who can help others move to your city and be part of your echo system, please join our moving entrepreneurs community.
If you wish to open a meetup group to welcome and help other entrepreneurs in your town please let me know.
Now over to you
What is the biggest problem in your startup? What are you struggling with? Share it on the comments I’d be glad to help or just book a meeting time slot.
Image credit by solo with others