When is the right time in your business to get sales traction? I’m Mimi Evans, and I’m going to talk about how your business evolves, and when it’s the right time to go for the sales traction. Every business starts with an idea. From there, it becomes a project.
Your Project Is to Create Your Minimum Viable Product
This is the place where you’ve decided that you want to start working on your idea, and you put your own time and energy, maybe some money, maybe some other people’s money, and you’re fleshing out your idea, and you’re creating your MVP: minimum viable product. Now you’re at the project stage and you’re entering the most difficult phase of your business.
I call it the experiment phase, and this is where you’re about to take that MVP and launch. And literally launch it into the world to find out if the little airplane is actually going to fly or crash. Which by the way is why this is a difficult time in your business, and it requires a lot of courage and energy, and a lot of people delay this phase. But this is where you really need to start putting in your sales traction.
Sales Traction Attracts Investors
This is where traction comes in. And by the way, traction is what the investors are going to care about, because you have to have traction in order to get attention. So what this experiment is going to do is it’s going to prove out two things: one, does your product or service does what you say it does, and two, are people really going to use it or buy it?
These are the two critical hypotheses that every experiment is proving out. And now, hopefully, you make it to the next phase of your business, which I call the business phase. It’s defined by a graph, and it is where something has to be going up. It’s either the number of clicks, it could be the number of users, likes on Facebook, or it could be paying customers – hallelujah, that’s good!
Growth Demonstrates Sales Traction
If you make it through the business phase, and that’s what you’re looking for, that’s what investors are looking for, and that’s what we call sales traction. Now you have traction. So of course the final phase of your business is to become a sustainable company, meaning the money coming in to your company is greater than the money going out. That is your sustainable business.
About Mimi Evans
Mimi Evans is currently CEO and Founder of Fast Turtle Ventures, dedicated to helping startups get their first traction and cross the chasm to success. This includes all aspects of financial fortitude (sales, fundraising, business development, and financial organization).
In addition, she currently serves as a ‘scout’ for Beacon Angels and other angel groups looking to fund early stage entrepreneurs.
Prior to founding Fast Turtle Ventures, she was the Co-Founder and CEO of Salesquest.com, a technology-driven company that provided data to high-tech companies; such as EMC, IBM and Microsoft; in order to boost their sales, marketing and CRM systems.
After a successful exit to OneSource Information Systems, she is now focused on helping the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston and Cambridge.