Kerby MeyersStrategic thinker and communicator, author
Bio

Differentiation consultant: How do you stand out? Does your messaging reflect your uniqueness? How are your vision and your business aligned? How do your ideas resonate in the marketplace? I've worked with dozens of founders and I'm the author of "Persistent Grit: Candid insights into the startup journey." #persistentgrit



Recent Answers


Hi:
Now that you have some experience under your belt, you know what you like and don't like about a relationship with an accountant. You also know more questions to ask before you start your next engagement, such as:
* What do you base your fees on?
* What do you provide on a monthly basis for your standard fee? On a quarterly basis? On an annual basis?
* How often do we review the contract?
* How much extra is doing the book keeping?
* How do you help ease the money management pains of running my business?
Once you've found an accountant who answers such questions to your satisfaction and determined what rate you'll be paying monthly, assess the time the accountant will work on your business, calculate the hourly and compare that to your hourly. If you're comfortable with that difference and with the fact that a professional will be overseeing your finances, then it makes sense to sign on with him or her.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


Hi:
Your rationale here is decent, but you run the risk of trampling all over copyright issues. And ending up in a legal soup as a result.
Giving credit does not absolve you of profiting off someone else's creation. And just because it's available for free doesn't mean there's no copyright protection.
Sorry.
Given all of that, consider a pivot for your business idea that involves working with the creators of these videos and podcasts to generate transcripts.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


Hi:
Not sure how well you know the market you're targeting, but to best know what you need in a partner, get a strong handle on what the target market needs.
Who is your ideal customer? What pain points does she or he have? What is your solution to those pain points? Is it unique (so you need to educate)? Or is it a variation on an existing solution?
Once you have a handle on that and you validate it with potential customers, ask how their current providers handle the relationship. Dig into those likely competitors and learn what you can about their business models. What are their commissions based on? How do they manage the business while conducting business development? What's the most valuable aspect of the business?
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


Hello:
Great point to ponder, especially as you're eying raising money.
Assaf offers some excellent advice which I would complement with:
* being realistic about the amount you're raising, the venue for the fundraising and your company's niche in the marketplace is essential for keeping perspective
* raising money is a full-time job -- if you do not commit the time, your efforts will falter
* a concise, well-constructed pitch helps get to a quicker "no," which can be just as valuable as a drawn-out "maybe."
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


Hi:
Sounds like you have a compelling idea, but I’m wondering about the validation work you’ve done?
Have you talked to people in the market segment you’re targeting and confirmed that there’s a gap that needs filling? Confirmed that current alternatives aren’t doing the job to their satisfaction?
Once you’ve done that, for your initial MVP, do a very basic one (I’ve talked to people who did one on PowerPoint) and take it out and show it to people in your community. Ask them what they think of it, what’s good, what’s bad and what’s needed. Then, ask them to be part of the founding member group — with some modest incentive.
Then, do the same with your beta — ask real people to check it out and give you feedback — and loop them in as founding members.
Then, once you release to the real world, you have a collection of founding members who can reflect interest and validation of your idea.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Cheers,
Kerby


Hi:
Congrats on getting this rolling. Hopefully you’ve already done enough market validation to determine that it’s the right time and place to open a drive-in theater in your hometown.
As for a crowdfunding campaign, as JC mentioned, it will likely be most useful to you as a “community interest” piece — a way to demonstrate likely customer support.
So specifically to your timing request, it should occur before you reach out to potential lenders or equity investors. Then when it’s successful, you can point to a likely business base and some startup capital.
Some key elements to consider:
* a robust contact list is essential before you start — start building your list of names now and really focus on those who will visit the business once it’s open
* be realistic about your fundraising goal here — a percentage of your outreach at $x per commitment
* think through some tiered premiums (4-pack, season pass, free popcorn all summer, etc.) to give people good, varied options to get in
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Thanks,
Kerby


Hello:
That first toehold in the market can be the toughest to get. Especially when you’re working two sides of the street.
Validating your idea is essential, but that means you’re in a listening phase more than a selling phase. Don’t simply write a blind email or two and wait for a response. You are the key to winning business in the early stages—your idea, your passion about the idea and your drive behind starting the business.
So on the university side, zero in on a handful of schools—ideally nearby—and get face-to-face meetings with relevant people. Go in ready to hear what their pains are—based on your question perhaps around connecting with corporations? Work some queries around the space you’re addressing within your conversation but do not pitch your solution.
Similarly on the corporate side, connect with relevant individuals—is it those in charge of training? You’re right, they’re busy, so a face-to-face might not work, but cold calls certainly can. Develop a concise script that focuses on listening (broad, open-ended questions) and start dialing. It is a numbers game, but you can help yourself by approaching mid-sized and smaller companies as well.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Thanks,
Kerby


Hello:
Great that you have some traction in this marketplace. Now you’re looking to grow.
Your best resources for determining where expansion makes sense are your current customers. They know you, know what you offer and hopefully have a level of comfort with your business.
So reach out and:
* conduct a brief (3-5 question) survey on their needs outside of office/desk space
* talk to your best clients personally to discuss their office-related challenges
* meanwhile, are you doing everything you can do to build up your client base?
Lastly, given the knowledge you’ve built up around the office/coworking space, perhaps it’s time to explore acquiring your own property to run.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Thanks,
Kerby


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


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