50+ Companies, >$2B Raised, 4 Public companies, Held all C-Level Positions, Tech-Finance-Ops, Cloud, and hyper-growth, Global Markets, and have built fastest growing companies in the world.
You need to know you have something that will be of value to them. So, do your homework, read the annual report and look for things in their strategy that you solve. Listen to earnings calls, and correlate you business to needs you hear on those. Pull a strategy together that is a direct use case from their position on how they make money with your help. Then reach out to the CEO, CMO, Strategy leads on LinkedIn and make the connection with the items you KNOW are of interest to them. Expect this to take 9-18 months, and a lot of meetings, cost, and time. You should also have exactly what you want "The Ask" in the deal, and present that earlier than later, because a "NO" answer can be more valuable than a "Maybe".
Validate, Validate, Validate, and Validate one more time. Score for positive sense of idea/concept
Gut feel is .25
Your Gut Feel and a Inside Industry Peer is .50
Outside Peers = .75
Potential Clients = .90
Potential Orders = 1
Real Orders = 110%
Get to a score of 1 or better and you may have a winner if you can execute, to execute you will need resources, Money, People, Materials, Intelligence, and a Ton of Energy.
You will also need to be able to take rejection well, and also under stand the rule of 9. Rule of 9 is the multiplication of; it will take you 3x the time you estimate, and 3 times the cash to get to a steady state of running. So you will need 9 times the energy, force, passion to get to where you want to be.
I have utilized a Platform approach via the WEB to accomplish generational Marketing. I use this term to recognize that various geographic/ethic areas are more advanced than others in regards to messaging, methods, modalities, and overall purchase habits. If you would like to discuss, just setup a call
MVP, MVP..... Go as simple as possible, and make small changes often. Add feedback functions to keep the buzz, and include your clients in the process, they then get the pride of ownership... Think Pre-Launch, MVP0.1 Launch MVP1.0, timely revisions on feedback, build tightest customer engagement ever. I run a platform company that has nightly Revs on Apps, weekly revs on workflows, all customer driven.
Media and buzz are good, clients are better!
So you have a multi-variate of Business Innovation issues at this stage. At 200 people your own success and people become your #1 Enemy, and #1 Asset. Change will be very hard, you cannot capsize the machine to overhaul it, and you cannot take it into dry-dock either.
You also may need to graduate, from a coding company to a Platform Provider. Coding is going the way of the Dinosaurs. I know I have built many platform companies, and ran many coders, and now no coders :)
I can mentor you through all of this, I have 4 IPO's, Technical, Marketing, operations, and Finance backgrounds, and built a couple of the fastest growing companies in the world.
So a few options, you could create a phantom tracking stock and never give any equity away, and this can structured like a contract, with profit sharing, exit sharing etc. Or if you really want to give equity, make sure to come to an agreement on the percentage, and that they will be diluted with new shareholders. You should issue 100% of the shares up front, and make them forfeitable or cancelable if they leave, under-perform etc. You can pull back that equity. And they get the benefit of lower base cost, less accounting etc. Options are the worst, and warrants may be a good method also. Or find yourself a company to JV with and add some serious horsepower to your plan. We do this with Startups to jump-start them into platform businesses.
How much your site content is updated is most important. We receive about 300 pieces of new content per month. Each new piece drives a new sitemap into all the search engines, so they crawl us 4-10 times per day. We are always #1 in search priority. FYI, keywords are dead from a Marketing perspective, focus on page tags, content tags, and new content placement and site-mapping, More important is social trend and behavior management.
These are all highly automated today, knowing the behavioral engine logic, and the monetization engine logic and having them in sync is primary mission objective for today's marketing. BTW, most people do not even have a clue on these engines :)
You should plan on dynamic pricing tied to Audiences, Persona Groups, and Personas, we build platforms that price down to an individual pricing unit per user.
Do the extra work and make your service price flexible, and always start at the top of the market.