So, you just secured a new round of funding. Congrats! (Cue the celebration emojis and a well-deserved glass of champagne). Of course you’ve earmarked a good portion of funds for capital expenditures such as hiring, technology upgrades and perhaps even moving out of the proverbial garage and into a sleek new HQ. But beyond the obvious, what else should the savvy entrepreneur be doing to take his or her company to the next level?
Below are four strategies for maximizing your most recent round to drive a multiple that will make competitors envious.
Your company may be the best idea since cloud computing or the the electric car – but does your idea really matter if no one knows it exists? In the hyper-competitive world of startups, a compelling brand can be the difference between thriving or dying. A strong brand, rooted in your core values and organizational purpose gives your company direction in turbulent times, serving as a strategic true-north for all major initiatives, not just marketing.
One of the most common misconceptions about branding is that it only applies to a logo design or advertising, but this view is short-sighted. Good branding serves as the public-facing expression of your business strategy, tying together all mission-critical efforts to help you develop a bullet-proof investment thesis – one that sets the stage for success during your next raise.
Most entrepreneurs dream of coverage in the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company, but understand that such “Tier 1” coverage doesn’t just happen. While blog posts and tweets are great, entrepreneurs “in the know” understand that a well-rounded and consistent corporate communications program will deliver significant, tangible ROI.
A strong PR program not only yields positive headlines, but helps tie together your corporate strategy, sales and marketing priorities, ESG investments and other areas of your operations to communicate a compelling public narrative highlighting your vision and growth strategy. Done well, investments in PR and corporate communications directly translate to positive corporate reputation and increased equity value.
Successful founders and their teams are able to build game-changing products based on intuition alone. But what happens when you hit a roadblock, and need to know more about how a consumer is actually using a product, or how a customer feels about your service? That’s where insights come in. Insights can take many forms, but the key is simply asking the right questions, and asking them often. Quality customer insights lead to better messaging, more authentic connections, better marketing spends, and a stronger innovation pipeline.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Customer Experience (CX) isn’t a point in time, it’s an ongoing journey. Developing and nurturing that journey takes consistent effort, but the investment pays for itself in happy, returning customers. New customer acquisition is always more costly than keeping existing customers, and strong CX along all touch points of your business is key. Once you’ve gathered key insights, identify signature customer touchpoints that will make the most impact, and invest in perfecting those experiences. Your climbing active user numbers will confirm your money was well spent.
A new funding round signals to the broader market your continued success and growth, with the promise of more to come. In today’s market, growing brand equity is directly linked to top-line growth. By taking your branding, corporate communications, consumer insights, and CX efforts to the next level, you stand to set a new valuation record for your category.
If you’re looking for a partner to guide your growing company through any of the above, you can get in touch with Spectacle at Info@spectaclestrategy.com.