If getting the first round of funding was analogous to breasting the tape at the end of a race, you need to recalibrate the race. It is in fact equivalent to finishing the first section of a marathon! A lot of training, blood, sweat and tears went into reaching the end of the first section on the final day, however, there’s still a really long way to go ahead.
Quite often once you receive that tranche of funding, there is a set of mixed emotions that one experiences. A huge sense of relief and joy and yet an element of self doubt sets in on the capability to deliver on all the promises made to the investors. One begins to wonder if you have it in you to go out and do all that you have said. You need to enjoy the moment, yet gather yourself and put in double the effort and resilience to move forward.
It is important that you have a plan on what you want to achieve which builds on what you had presented to the investors and start implementing it in a structured and planned manner. The temptation on seeing the bank balance is to go out and get that fancy laptop you have been so yearning for, hold that desire a little longer. It is important that the money is used for the right reasons and in the long run, it goes to prove that the investment has helped grow the business in that incremental manner.
This is also perhaps a good time to reflect on your team, the skill sets required to bring the organisation to the current level may not be relevant to take it to the next level. There may be a need to either upskill the existing team or look for employees who bring that skill set into the organisation. You will need to have a firm financial foundation forming the basis for your entire business plan going forward, this naturally requires a regular update provided to the investors who will be keen to keep a track on how your business is moving ahead.
You may also want to individually or with the help of the investors reach out to those mentors who would be open to helping you out in being the sounding board and advisor on how you should take things to the next level. There will be a strong requirement for business development/scaling up and you will draw upon different skills. There may also be a need to pivot the business should the need arise.
As you will have observed, getting the funding is in fact only just the beginning of the journey in a lot of ways. Thus do enjoy the moment of success of receiving the funds, however don’t let the events overtake you either into complacency or losing sight of where you need to go. Use it as a stop and think moment of where have you reached and what do you need to do to get to the next level set for yourself.