04 Jun 2018
We rise by lifting others
Not long ago I met some incredible women and had a rather life changing experience. I am currently one of eight female entrepreneurs chosen to take part in the 2018 Australian Springboard Accelerator program.
Springboard offers an accelerator program for female founders who are looking to grow and scale their businesses. Over the course of a week, my fellow entrepreneurs and I were able to give our businesses a comprehensive health check, assess the way we present as founders, connect with potential partners and investors, and clarify the direction we want our businesses to take.
Out of dozens of lessons learned and experiences shared, these were just three of my top takeaways:
Know thy numbers
That you must know what you’re talking about when it comes to your company’s financial position is not news to me, and nor will it be to any founder. It’s a part of the business that I have always relished being on top of. But what was so useful about the Springboard experience was the way it reminded me of how quickly things can change in a business and how, in turn, those changes impact on your numbers. Indeed, this has been our experience with Prezzee as we have fast tracked its shift in focus to the corporate market. That shift is a game changer on every level, not least on the company’s financial projections. The requirement to be constantly adapting to those changes is a tough one but a crucial one. After all, what is the point of financial projections that are not current and accurate? They are no good to us, to investors, or to potential partners.
Show me the money
There aren’t too many environments where entrepreneurs can speak out loud and clear about their financial goals. At Springboard, it wasn’t just encouraged, it was expected. It was liberating and constructive to take the opportunity to have that discussion in a supportive environment where there was no judgement (perceived or otherwise) about your right to make money from your business.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all pitch
Presenting my pitch at Springboard was tough. There was none of that gleeful tearing-you-to-shreds nonsense, just a systematic deconstruction of every point of your pitch. Fortunately – probably like most founders - I’m up for that because I know the pay off is worth it and getting advice and feedback from market leaders is an invaluable opportunity. The difference between the pitches that were presented on the first day and those that we all did on the last was dramatic – we had all vastly improved. Part of that process of improvement was really nailing down who the pitch was for: an elevator pitch is completely different to an investor pitch which is different again to a customer pitch. With Prezzee currently focussed on making and developing partnerships, getting help to fine tune my pitch to meet that need was worth every moment of hard work and feedback.
Sometimes being a founder can feel like jumping off the highest diving board at the pool. The chance to stand on a springboard surrounded by support and expertise took the fall out of that jump and made it feel like a big leap forward. The mentors and advisors that run and partake in the program are all without exception - exceptional! Not only have I tapped into a network of incredible founders and advisors - I have formed life long partnerships with my fellow cohort and mentors.
With over two thousand cohorts I can now call on from all over the world, access to specialist advice on everything from legal to tech, and being in the company of like-minded, impressive, ambitious, and creative individuals was a unique and fabulous experience. It was demanding and giving in equal measure – just as running your own business is. I for one wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Claire Morris, Prezzee Co-Founder and MD