Tristan was originally a consulting manager for product development. More specifically, he was in charge of SaaS products. At the time, Tristan grew his appreciation for the significance of the strategy and planning stage. He created an advisory business to help small startups develop their product.
Simon asked, “What’s preventing small businesses from being more successful?” Tristan found two factors during his consultant career so far.
The first factor is that the more successful business owners have gone through a coaching process. Tristan met with an ecommerce business owner that generated seven figures in sales. He was still keen to learn more from Tristan despite his success.
The second factor is that companies that tend to struggle are more inward-looking in human resources. Connecting with competitors or businesses complimentary to yours can lead to collaboration. It will bring benefits such as increased production or cross-referrals.
The next question was about support for small businesses in Australia. Tristan recommended two government-funded organisations/services that provide digital solutions.
When you go for consulting, it will always start with a general meeting. It is a personalised discussion where you talk about your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Advisors will also help figure out what you need more to move forward.
The next topic was about investing in ecommerce businesses. Tristan said that most companies don’t receive capital. Even if they do, it mainly comes from trusted people such as family and friends. Tristan said you need a highly mature business for investors to be interested in your company. One tip he shared was to involve the right people (investors) in your executive board.
Tristan shared another example of how an ecommerce business could get investment. A certain amount of due diligence would happen before capital is invested. It is especially the case for businesses in their early-stage. They will need to have an execution plan at an investor level to get funds. If they can get the help of an experienced person (such as their startup coach or non-executive director), it will also give a credibility boost.
Lastly, Simon asked for Tristan’s call to action. He advised the listeners to think in terms of who needs to be on their side. Not in terms of how you need to get capital.