Bob SchwartzBuilding Great Companies! Enabling Others Success
Bio

Serial Company Builder: $2 Billion+ in exits. Raised $100M+ in Venture funding. eCommerce, technology & consumer-facing internet companies. Board Member, Advisor, Growth Coach Current: 47B CEO - Growth Advisory & Board; Wpromote, Sundance Group, Matilda Jane Clothing, Island.co, Good360.org, Temando * Magento (commerce technology) Founding President: built from 30 people to 350 & to 30%+ global marketshare in few years w ~$200M sale to eBay, and then Adobe ~$2B;  * GM/Founder NORDSTROM.com: VC$ and Spin-off and roll back (currently multi-billion $/yr in sales) * Advisor, Coach & Mentor to many (and loving it) * EIR: Clearstone Ventures (VC) * Youngest VP Packard Bell Computers * Interim CEO & Advisor LiveBid (Sold to Amazon), Portero, Vivre.com *Fees support non profit Good360.org



Recent Answers


Easy - start upside down... your last value proposition point is something that you could easily do and is interesting to penetrate today noisy world -> travel design experiences.

In todays wickedly noisy world, you need to execute with quality BUT THAT IS NOT ENOUGH - you need to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY ... you need a 'tip of the spear' message /brand to pierce the noise of the market.
* travel design experiences* this is interesting and you could easily make this happen and create a site and sell limited availability to fun and well planned unique access all around 'design' - it could be obvious or just mind opening creative events/places etc (Go to X city, and meet w ABC design experts, and see XYZ museum or artist or fashion person and show rooms and ...)

And with THAT brand "travel design experiences" you then would be able to create really cool content for a blog and IG and perhaps sell items you find along the way (or host a marketplace).

Start Here -> "travel design experiences"
easy, fun, low cost and commitment and informs all the rest....
Bob

PS: "Think like a Challenger" to break thru the noise.. if im not clear enough above you can watch me scream about this in this 1 minute video I did for Wpromote (we built it from 50 to 475 people top performance marketing agency - all around 'thinking like a challenger')
Wp Challenger 1 min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFYrCE9coCY


PR is a great weapon for the right product /company and time. OK perfectly you'd be Elon Musk and announcing your new anti gravity device and press lines up. But I will assume you aren't Elon (yet) and though you might find your story compelling it might not be "anti gravity' level exciting to the press.
SO Whether you use an agency or not, the key to real PR success is look at todays HOT news items - the press is searching for stories that fit into TODAYS hot news.
How do you, your people, your product, your company, your service fit into todays hot news.. it doesnt have to be direct fit - but can you create an interesting unique angle...

IE today:
* Macy closes 125 store = doesnt have to be about retail but could be about people, employment, training, locations, culture, old v new, ecomm, brands, .... etc...

* Coronavirus outbreak = doesnt have to be about Rx and cures or masks, but it extends to people, culture, HR, travel, work place, virtual meetings, economy, ....

Just see the press as hungry lions, and you just need to convert your thoughts into red meat ;-)


Marketplaces can be wonderful but they are a challenge as you face Chicken V Egg.... you need supply and you need demand. Typically supply (product/ services) are easier if you keep the 'cost' really low (time, effort, content, set up, charges) as they are all looking for new sources of revenue and customers... the real challenge is CUSTOMERS.
If you could wave a magic wand and be successful at just one of these - I would pick customers... as IF you have customers the vendors will be there..
So focus on the customer - why they need or want or find value in your decor marketplace vs other options. And if you figure that out then next is thinking thru a strategy to make customers aware you even exist (as you now have a great value proposition). In todays world best (especially local) is if you can get a customer or anyone who likes what you are doing to share (socially).. could be something they saw or something fun etc...
Bottom line: figure out if the consumer wants, needs would find enough value in your concept - if you figure that out then the vendors will line up. Then the only last part to look at is the value equation - can you create enough value to consumers and vendors to enable you to BUILD and maintain a successful ($) business (IE: consumers or vendors may love it but enough to pay a price to fund your efforts)


Not clear on the type of software you’re looking to get this info on but go here and it’s likely going to have data you want and i think you can also pull reports / lists for a fee. Lmk if this works.
Enjoy! https://builtwith.com/


Quick look at your site... interesting proposition - and kind of fun approach.

"Traction" - you define as 'make sure its seen', Yet I would suggest that what is really important at this early point is converting.

I know, you want both. Prior post have some good 'traffic' suggestions (and you seem to have good grasp of rogue marketing yourself w your question placement here on Clarity Answers ;-)

OK - to my point of conversion --> your site needs credibility.. as you are selling advice, expertise etc.. but the site has no credibility elements.

best way is if you and your team have credible backgrounds then add those to the site.. or 'case studies' or logos of companies you've helped, or quotes from founders or some other content that create trust in value to the traffic you do get...

....because traffic doesn't mean squat if you can't convert it..

Also your footer, to me subtracts credibility as it signals that perhaps you are not committed enough to the success of the business as you are using a free template (with 3rd party template company promo footer)

© 2019 CultureBoom. Built using WordPress and OnePage Express Theme.


Not exact science and so so so many variables based on many things.

Here is one approach that might help you get to a framework to adjust from. Remember since you are a pre-existing company, it is really about share of value creation in the GROWTH of the company not the whole company.. that is CURRENT VALUE is the starting basis and so the question is how will the new partner help deliver the value above that current basis and how should that be shared?

- start w a value for the current pre-existing business. this value can certainly include value for where its is heading as is

- next, how would the two of you split things up based on expertise, experience, etc if you started a NEW company today... would it be 50/50? or do one of you bring more to the table than the other

- use that as one variable as a starting point of equity split of future added value.

- then look at other variables to add in or subtract out.. the company is not risky so the other partner is joining w less risk in the future, how is the new person being compensated vs you, is someone adding in capital or someone taking future capital risks, will you both be in full time, how stable is the company, etc..

- then you can also prescribe part as 'to be earned' (vested) based on certain targets for the partner or for the company...some of this is obvious '20% of your equity will vest based on you delivering Y.." but some is less so "I know the company, without you or someone else, would be worth X more in the next years, so I'll share a small part of that, but share a larger part of any value above that"

The idea is:
- current company value
- how do you see value split for new partner in creating new value to Company
- how risky is it / and who is bearing risks now and into the future
- criteria to vest "earn' part of it

hope that helps you some..

..... schwartz out


12% is a real number! Ok on a Financial basis you need to think as follows
- 12% for $15,000 that values your company at $125,000 : does that seem right to you?
- if you think that feels wickedly low then key is how much value will you receive beyond a $15k discount and how do you get that part as clear and confident as possible.
- once you understand and have confidence in total contributed value you can better understand if its in the ballpark of value for you
- and then look at your other options to gain the same value (paying $15k more in cash and how else you'd gain access to investors etc).
- then due diligence as 12% is a serious impact on your future.

- one question that isn't here is $15k discount on what size of total project? It's not unusual to gain some discount off core Dev rates based on project size wp giving up anything.

Epilogue: My take on this is: without knowing all the details. It's sounds really really steep unless it comparable in total and real value to an incubator like effort (tech Stars) but even at that at 12% they better have a strong track record of delivering this type of added value time and time again. If you feel it is a incubator model than it's not about 12% for $15k, it's really about a whole lot more and you need to make sure that is well defined and agreed and or set double trigger vesting on a bulk of the 12% allocation (double trigger : time vest and action or milestone - i.e. They get some basis for the deal but earn up to the 12% by actions and results ).

- schwartz out


Sales comp can get messy as you need to be careful it's outcome incentive is truly aligned with your Company goals and more revenue at all cost can be good for commissioned but kill a company, culture and product - and P&L.
Most common approach is OTE On Target Earnings with a 50/50 split.
So it goes roughly like this:
Your OTE is 120k
Your base is 60k (50/50)
The 60k incentive can be earn by achieving this ..... metrics and goals and could include % but better being payments Hitting Targets (at $25k deals you get X, and 50k you get X+, )
and because we are new at this we can review this quarterly to make sure we are aligned. On Target Earnings means this IS the target I want to pay you for getting us X.
You can also define this, and should, for ability to make above OTE amount.
It's simple but if you want more, just google OTE SALES or ON TARGET EARNINGS there are a lot of great articles on this.


I read your question not about valuation but about control and fear of loss of control.

So it Less about equity % and more about provisions and type of equity. That is you could own 1% but have control of majority of voting shares.
Also provisions can be structured that say "if this than this". That is "if the business is bleeding more or not hitting # for x period or or or ...then capital partners have rights to take controlling vote"

Money in will want assurances to take actions if things aren't going the mid and long term direction it needs (they should know short term varies). When you take invested capital especially from professional money, VC, they have to be responsible for that money as it's often not theirs. When you take money you have decided to take a partner in your asset.


You have limit time and resources so you need to think what I call "FIRST DOLLAR" approach. If you look across different modes to sell and target there has to be a few that would be the optimal. Focus only on those first don't look elsewhere - put each next dollar of effort into these (or this one) until it's optimal then target the next bucket to attack until you get momentum to broaden.
There has to be a few or one area that would harvest better or best results w you time. The idea here is to get the sales/revenue flywheel turning w focus or richest buckets of opportunity to create revenue momentum to allow you to scale.

1. Partnerships with those who sell into doctors - preferably similar Catagory (tech. IT. Time optimization. Software).

2. Work your customers and fuel the flames of referrals with those Dr using your product. Ask them "is there some one you can suggest that might also benefit from this?" A warm referral is sales gold. "Dr xxx suggested I show this to you".

3. hire college interns.

Congrats on "going after it


Contact on Clarity

$ 8.33 /min

4.98Rating
Schedule a Call

Send Message

Stats

20

Answers
Calls


Access Startup Experts

Connect with over 20,000 Startup Experts to answer your questions.

Learn More

Copyright © 2020 Startups.com LLC. All rights reserved.