Startup communities work to grow business

Jun 13, 2018 by The . Topics include , , , , ,

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Every week entrepreneurs in our community gather to talk about their startups and learn from each other how to grow their businesses in a program we call Founders Circle. For the last 6 months we’ve had a good core group and have been able to really get into discussions of strategy and accountability. The businesses are at varying stages of development and maturity, but we’ve been together long enough that everyone now has customers and revenue. So it was really exciting today to focus our discussions almost exclusively on sales. What are our strategies? How many calls should we make each week? Should we invest in product  development and service, or sales? Can we provide leads for each other? and ultimately, what were your sales in the last week?

The consistent realization is that entrepreneurs tend to focus much of their efforts on the things they think will make it easier to sell and deliver their product. They invest their money in product development, and other capacity building strategies to build the confidence to sell, but often find they don’t invest enough in actual sales. By gathering together and sharing our experiences, we begin to see that those 20 leads we haven’t followed up with are the real area where we should focus and our friends can call us out on how little time and effort it actually does take to pick up a phone and call a potential customer. Together we can joke about how the times we are most serious about improving our product and delivery processes are when we have actual sales that we need to deliver to customers.

It comes back to three of our core values:

  • Risking boldly as entrepreneurs to chart our own path and create careers that best fit us.
  • Honoring commitments that we make to customers
  • Knowing that the trust our customers and partners give us is the most valuable currency we have so we must be worthy of it

In adhering to these principles and gathering each week to learn from and support each other everyone has grown. In fact, as a group we had a big week. Collectively, these startups reported $78,900 in revenues this week at Founders Circle:

Ring the cowbell with us and celebrate the wins as we grow the startup ecosystem together!

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Located in a historic 1802 Schoolhouse, our space is divided into two wings. One for learning and prototyping, and one for coworking and business incubation. Our membership comes from a wide variety of backgrounds that all consider themselves some measure of hacker, maker, and doer. I am an architect. We have entrepreneurs, business people, teachers, engineers, designers, artists, and Jacks and Jill’s of all trades, and of course many software and hardware developers.

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