When we spoke with Zane Tarence of Founders Advisors for The Structured Start-Up podcast, he shared his three best pieces of advice for entrepreneurs, and they were so good, we had to share them on our blog, too.
In addition to his role as Managing Director and Partner at Founders, Zane is a serial entrepreneur, having successfully created and sold two technology businesses in his career. Zane has also led and completed over 87 technology deals and literally wrote the book on what you need to get your technology business funded: 17 Reasons Your Company Is Not Investment-Grade and What To Do About It. In addition to his business successes, he is a speaker and conference founder with Silicon Y’all.
Here’s the advice he had for aspiring titans:
1. Don’t shy away from partnerships.
According to Zane, partnerships with established brands and individuals can open doors and provide credibility to fledgling companies. Zane launched his first business with the help of IBM, and thanks to that association, he was able to book more meetings and close more deals than he could have without a big name tied to his work. He feels it’s especially important for entrepreneurs to look for partnerships that can provide the boost and the early validation start-ups need to grow.
2. Have an amazing salesperson on your team.
Every team needs at least one person that can ring the cash register, per Zane (he also calls this person your company’s “Hound of God”). No company has ever succeeded without revenue, so there must be someone that can rack up sales. The best teams have a gifted salesperson to keep that revenue coming through the door. If you don’t have someone on your team that can sell, Zane recommends that you find that person as soon as possible.
3. Get help on pricing.
In addition to having a gifted salesperson, it’s vital that you understand your pricing and value your offering accordingly. Zane recommends all entrepreneurs seek help when pricing their product. The most common mistake young companies make is underpricing their offering, and when more sophisticated advisors get involved with a company, they almost always raise the prices. A solid pricing structure will help entrepreneurs reach their goals more quickly and grow revenue.