Ways a Venture Capitalist Can Contribute to Your Success Beyond Direct Financing

Ways a Venture Capitalist Can Contribute to Your Success Beyond Direct Financing

The following article is a guest post.

The most common reason entrepreneurs aim to partner with venture capitalists (VCs) is because they need capital to take their businesses to the next level.

It’s natural if you’re mostly focused on the financial side of things. But don’t forget that a VC can fuel your success in other ways that are not directly tied to money.

Tips for Future Investment Rounds

It’s never too early to start thinking about raising more money through future investors. Your VC may have worked with some of the same investors you’re thinking about approaching soon. And might be able to give you advice on the kinds of things those all-important people will expect from your pitch.

Additionally, a a venture capitalist can lean on his or her own experience and tell you tales of seeking capital. This will allow you to learn from those personal successes or shortcomings.

Before you start approaching new investors though, ask if you can present your pitch to current investors and get their feedback. Many entrepreneurs miss out on the chance to do that. They don’t realize the resultant feedback could be invaluable and make it possible to avoid issues that might reduce the likelihood of success.

Growing Your In-Person Network

Meeting new people comes as naturally to a venture capitalist as breathing. In most cases, their success depends on how well they can get to know other individuals and build rapport with them.

You can feel confident that any venture capitalist you work with will have a larger network than you do.

Even better, that person knows people that you don’t. By partnering with you, he has shown a confidence in your product or service.

That means that if individuals have put their trust in a VC who has partnered with you, they’re also more likely to have good impressions of you and your business because they know the VC believes in it.

Mentorship Opportunities

One of the smartest things you can do as an entrepreneur is to show an openness to receiving the advice of individuals who want to mentor you.

In many cases, your VC will serve as a mentor. But people the VC knows who haven’t met you yet might also dispense valuable insights.

When you simply make it clear you’re ready to learn from people who are willing to pass what they know onto you, the knowledge gained as a result will likely be instrumental to your success.

Tips for Gaining Social Media Traction

One great thing about social media is it gives you nearly unlimited chances to connect with people and make positive impacts on them even if you never meet. Besides making your in-person network more substantial, expect that your venture capitalist could increase the size of an online social network, too.

Chris Sacca, the founder of Lowercase Capital, has funded numerous startups and provided the respective entrepreneurs with worthy advice. You can learn by example while looking at Sacca’s Facebook feed.

It’s followed by thousands of people, and Sacca regularly updates it with diverse content. In Sacca’s case, it’s not necessary to only talk about things that matter in the investing world. This professional resonates with his audience by bringing up matters that are important to society at large, thereby increasing his reach and establishing himself as a thought leader.

Hiring Assistance

Perhaps you’re at the point where you’re trying to build the upper-level management team for your startup and having some trouble convincing one of your most desirable candidates to take the job. In that case, your venture capitalist could come on board and give a big-picture perspective of a company while describing why the individual you’re courting is perfect for the job.

It also helps if your VC has clout due to being associated with several famous companies or people. The VC demonstrates by association that he or she thinks what you’re doing is very worthy and will likely result in major profits.

When a job candidate sees that an experienced VC thinks your business has what it takes, that person may realize that the option of working for you and helping to steer the establishment in its future direction is quite an appealing possibility.

Recommendations for Business Advisors

Maybe you’re in need of a lawyer, accountant, or another member of your business team and are feeling overwhelmed about which person or company to choose. After all, doing a Google search to find service providers is typically not sufficient.

However, you could let your venture capitalist know you’re ready to grow your business team and want to get in touch with people who may become your new advisors. Hopefully, the VC will have directly worked with professionals who possess the kind of knowledge you need, allowing you to feel more equipped to contact them and explain the situation.

As you can see, the things a venture capitalist can provide span beyond financing. That’s why it’s so important to deliver a polished and earnest pitch that makes a VC eager to partner in your success.

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Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

E-commerce is a booming industry and will only continue to grow in the coming years. That’s why it’s not so surprising that there are plenty of people who want even just a small slice of the proverbial pie.

But whether or not you are looking to establish a full-blown online store or would simply want to supplement your income by buying and selling items on the side, you have to pick a product to sell that would, well, sell.

With the right marketing strategy, one can argue that anything and everything can be sold online. However, the real challenge is finding a product that is conducive to success. How do you find that product? Here are a few pointers.

Finding The Ideal Product to Sell

1. Target Hobbyists and Collectors

You’ll be surprised by just how much money hobbyists and collectors are willing to spend to fuel their passions.

If you have a knack for finding rare items, you’ll be a big hit with collectors. Whether they’re interested in action figures and toys, lapel pins, first edition books, stickers, sports cards, or even antique dinnerware. Just make sure that everything is legitimate.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of hobbies on which people willingly invest their time and money.

Some of the more popular ones include biking, fishing, knitting and crocheting, calligraphy, model building (including radio-controlled vehicles), and handicrafts. Look for a leisure pursuit where you can act as the product-based solution and you’ll easily enamor yourself to these customers.

2. Something Hard to Find or Can’t be Bought Locally

There are some things that can be easily found in a local grocery store or a specialty shop — say gardening or baking supplies. But what about specialty foods, magician’s accessories, eco-friendly products, and fandom items?

Most likely, people will go online to find these. You can enlist the help of Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool to get a glimpse of what kinds of products people are searching for online and use the results as a guide to pick a niche product to sell.

You can also try to sell products that can’t be bought or difficult to procure locally, like Japanese Kitkats, the “three-story” alfajor Oreos, or Asian beauty products. The latter, in particular, is a good place to start since a lot of products are only available in select countries or regions but are available through wholesale Asian cosmetics websites. Do the hard work of sourcing these products (and offer them at reasonable prices) and see just how much your customers will love you.

3. Star with The Accessories Before The Big-Ticket Items

When people buy big-ticket items such as 4K TVs, high-end smartphones, and gaming laptops, they buy them only once. Their next purchase of these kinds of products will probably be in the next two to three years.

These are big investments, after all, and people are much more reluctant to spend huge amounts so often. However, accessories are much more common purchases and people are relatively more agreeable to spending more often on these items. Especially when they’re meant to increase the performance or ensure the longer life of the bigger product.

Think about HDMI cables and switchers for TVs, charging cables and power banks as well as cases and protectors for smartphones, and gaming accessories like a mouse, a keyboard, and a good pair of headphones.

If you already sell the big-ticket items, then it’s a wise decision to add the accessories to your online catalog. If you’ve yet to choose what to sell on your online shop and/or you have a limited capital, you should consider selling these kinds of accessories first.

4. Consumables Mean Customers That Keep Coming Back

Consumables mean that you will have a steady customer base and a rather reliable revenue stream. What’s more, when people need to order products from you regularly, it’s much easier to build a loyal customer base.

Think about specialty cooking ingredients (Himalayan pink salt, anyone?), supplies for arts and crafts, and even cosmetics. Just make sure you’re able to deliver each and every time, since you don’t know when your customers will run out of their stock or order in bulk in advance.

Of course, choosing which product to sell is just one part of a thriving online business, since you should also take into consideration the demand, potential competition, and reliable suppliers, among others. However, it’s also undeniable that finding a saleable item is a huge contributor to your business success. Good luck on your journey as an online entrepreneur!

If you're into ecommerce, you might be wondering what product to sell on your online store. Here are 4 great ideas that are sure to make you money and bring you loyal customers: #ecommerce #onlinestore #makemoneyonline #sidehustle