Most startup entrepreneurs focus on one thing throughout the lifecycle of their company: bringing in CASH. C-A-S-H. Cash through investments, revenues, borrowing from F&F, VCs, convertible notes, deal terms, angels, etc. All of these things are magical words to early stagers. I attend and host many meetups and conferences for startups, and consult to several startups, and every founder is inevitably talking about Cash. Cash on Hand, The next Round, we just need $XXX,XXX. Cash, Cash, Cash.
A different way to improve your cash situation is the indirect one – reduce Friction Costs in your ecosystem with peripheral influencers.
In Silicon Valley, Boston, Boulder and a few other places, the growth of the startup world has vastly been enhanced over the past 10 to 30 years by professionals who are not VCs or developers or entrepreneurs – they’re the Accountants, Attorneys, Consultants, Professors, Marketing firms and others who have tremendous influence over VCs, Angels and prospective customers. They are trusted, fairly impartial, focused, big picture and practical. They’re also critical to the processes of business.
If you want to make money rain from the sky, nurture these people with sincerity over long periods of time, not just when you need them. They decrease the friction in doing business by connecting the right people, finding the quickest path between 2 points, making warm vs. cold introductions and telling entrepreneurs when “it ain’t gonna happen”.
So find some of these people and get to know them – here are 10 things you can do:
1. buy them a cup of coffee
2. be real with them, when you don’t need anything.
3. Help them out with something they’re working on.
4. Read What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis.
5. Join my meetup group; you’ll find many of them there and can connect no matter where you live: meetup.com/Startup-Workshops/
6. Invite them to speak at an event you’re hosting.
7. Contact me and I’ll help you find and meet the right people.
8. Create something very cool, nothing gets attention like that.
9. Be a connector. Connect 2 people without any self interest; I do this almost daily.
10. Become an authority on the flow of cash in startups, a very valuable skill.