Kerby MeyersStrategic thinker and communicator
Bio

Differentiation consultant: How do you stand out? Does your messaging reflect your uniqueness? How are your vision and your business aligned? Sitting at the crossroads of purpose and profit, I ask challenging questions to help find your path to sustained success. I'm a fan of Certified B Corps and benefit corporations.



Recent Answers


Hi:
It can be tough to focus on a market niche at first, especially when you believe in your solution. Yet your best results will come from focus--and you can expand later.
Key considerations for you as you make your choice:
* Where have you gotten the most customer validation for your platform? In what segment does your best customer reside?
* Where are the market shortcomings? If there are already a number of SME options cluttering the market, why jump into that space first?
* Where does your team have the most expertise? Less learning about the target market means more time to deliver what you've determined is in demand.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Thanks,
Kerby


Hi. Great you have an opportunity to meet with an interested investor so early in the game.
Your initial meeting will likely not result in a "yes" or "no," so view it as an information sharing session for both you.
Given that, you should:
* present the market need you're addressing
* convey your competence and expertise
* stress the uniqueness of your venture and the product
* offer well-reasoned financial projections on revenues and profits for the next three years--ideally a good pro forma
* explain what $ you need and what you plan to do with that $
* propose what the $ will get the investor (e.g. equity, debt note) and the structure around what that looks like (e.g. share of the company, interest rate, conversion opportunity)
In turn, you should learn the following:
* the investor's sophistication in investing and their understanding of risk
* the investor's skillset and willingness to lend a hand in those areas if needed
* connections that the investor is willing to make
* a sense of why they're interested in investing
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Thanks,
Kerby


Hello:
It sounds like you're early in working on this, which is good. Ultimately, it's smoother to grow from a successful niche (narrow and deep) than from a broad base (wide and shallow).
Why?
- When your resources are limited, you can tailor your initial product/service development to that target market, which you will know much better than an entire industry.
- Your messaging will be focused on addressing key headaches that this select group has.
- You can fully focus your marketing efforts on the niche, raising the prospects of solid ROI on those efforts.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Thanks,
Kerby


Hi:
Not sure what you're taking to market, but congrats on getting to this point.
Some foundational elements to your marketing plan should be built around the following thinking:
1. Identify your optimal customer and the problem you're resolving for that customer.
2. Research the pathways your product has to get into that optimal customer's hands.
3. Develop a promotional plan for each of those targeted audiences based on where you can best reach them when they're in the mindset of needing your services. A B2B-focused outlet differs from a retail-oriented medium.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Thanks,
Kerby


Hi:
Ultimately, this is between you and your tax preparer, but given that the 1099-MISC includes a section for rent paid, it certainly reinforces this key expense as a distinct cost of doing business.
Meanwhile, the nonprofit will appreciate being able to point to non-donation revenue.
Good luck.
Kerby


Hi:
Taking a spin through the website your product does appear to have some promise. But then again, I'm not your target market.
Before you pull someone in to help you with this, you need to do some legwork:
* Who do you envision your ideal customer to be? Where do they work? What role do they have? What headaches do they have? How do they currently do the job that your product handles?
* Then connect with some of those ideal customers. Face to face is best. Don't ask them about your solution, but ask them how they do their jobs. What headaches do they have? How do they navigate different data buckets when working with Excel? How would they envision a solution?
* Compare your findings to what your product does.
* Complete the Business Model Canvas (https://www.strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas) to get a great handle on how your business might work.
Once you've completed these steps, you'll have much more of an idea on how your product might fit in the marketplace.
And once you bring someone in to help you, you'll have a much better story to tell about your company and its product's potential.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


Hi:
Sounds like some great progress, especially since there's been interaction with potential customers.
Frankly, the best route for pre-seed funding would be friends and family. The team will learn how to develop a pitch and give that pitch in a somewhat "safer" environment. Plus, after they land the investments, they'll be able to point to fundraising success when they do eventually go to angel investors, who will be more receptive to a more advanced business.
Another option is getting into an accelerator program, which will ideally teach as much about building the business as it does in providing $, but that will take a separate commitment of time and resources to apply, get in and complete the program.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


Hi:
Without knowing exactly what your product is, the quick answer is "it depends."
Many regional and national retailers do allow for some portion of local discretion in their product mix, but they handle it in different ways. Some have local buyers, some have regional buyers and yes, some have you go through HQ-based buyers.
If you're just starting down this path, work the stores in your surrounding area:
* Walk the aisles to get a sense for whether they carry local items and how they display them
* Talk to the store manager to discuss how such relationships work
* If possible, talk to some consumers to gauge their interest in alternative products ("Excuse me, I notice you're buying X, do you try others?")
If you already have some traction in local stores, have a fresh conversation with the buyer you've connected with to determine how they handle other markets or the region. If they know and like you and your product they may be willing to make introductions.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby



Hi:
Good job tackling this important exercise. There are many entrepreneurs who shy away from it.
That said, if you're in the US, check out SCORE (https://www.score.org/). The organization has chapters around the country or you can connect virtually. This is the perfect type of project for their counselors.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


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