Building and running a successful startup is hard work. It takes tenacity, perseverance, planning, and promotion. It also requires raising growth capital. In PLAN COMMIT WIN: 90 Days to Creating a Fundable Startup, Patrick Henry reveals the truth about what investors are looking for and presents a three-part plan that enables startups to move beyond bootstrapping and attract the capital they need to expand rapidly. It is the same process that he has used to raise over $200 million in funding for his companies, and execute over $2 billion in M&A transactions. Patrick Henry also took a company from pre-product and pre-revenue to over $100 million in quarterly revenue, a successful IPO on NASDAQ, and an eventual $1 billion valuation. Below is our interview with Patrick Henry, the CEO of QuestFusion:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your book: Plan Commit Win?
A: In PLAN COMMIT WIN, I share examples from my own experience, as I go step-by-step through my formula for success. It takes about 90 days to implement the PLAN COMMIT WIN™ methodology end-to-end, assuming you are starting from scratch. It can also be used as a screening process to see what components you may be missing from your process, plan, or pitch. Not only does my three-part process help articulate future goals for the company, it also provides investors with a clear understanding of where the business is now and where it is going.
The PLAN COMMIT WIN process includes:
PLAN – Having a plan is essential to any business. I explain how to perform an in-depth analysis of the market, customer needs, competitive landscape, and industry structure. In addition, I reveal why a month-by-month plan with key milestones is essential.
COMMIT – Once you have a plan, you must commit to it. Without execution, strategy is useless. The next step in the PLAN COMMIT WIN process is demonstrating to investors that the company is able to get things finished on time and on budget, while meeting all the key requirements of the customer. To do this, you must assemble a team of the best people that you can get – a group that will work well together and have a common set of goals and values. I show readers how to find the right people for their teams.
WIN – The ultimate outcome of the PLAN COMMIT WIN process is to be able to attract the right investors. These are individuals who will not only provide funding, but also have the expertise to help propel the company to its next level of growth. With my guidance, your plan will be as effective as possible.
If you follow the process outlined in PLAN COMMIT WIN, you will establish a stronger foundation for your business, increase your chances of getting funded by the right investors, and ultimately drive business success. If you seek a strong business mentor, then you will improve your chances of success even more. Based on feedback I’ve had about the book, many consider it essential reading for anyone starting a business. PLAN COMMIT WIN provides practical tools that will increase the chances of creating a company that endures.
Q: Could you tell us something more about your upcoming Webinars?
A: QuestFusion webinars are a FREE resource, like our blog posts. We currently have a Webinar about once a month, and a recorded version of the most recent Webinar is available to those who have registered for one week after the live event. Our webinars are based on decades of experience managing, running, buying, selling and investing in startup companies.
In our next webinar on October 11th at 9:00am PDT, I will be interviewed by Larry Kesslin who is an expert in establishing mastermind peer groups. Larry is Chief Connector at 5 Dots and Co-Author of BreakPoints: Where Businesses Get Stuck…And How They Get Unstuck. We will be talking about the value of peer groups for CEOs. Some of the key value for startup CEOs includes peer guidance on:
Scaling a Business
Exit Strategies: M&A and IPO
We will be taking questions from the audience and providing some guidelines and resources that you can use if you want to find a mastermind peer group.
Q: What is a PLAN COMMIT WIN™ Member?
A: One of QuestFusion’s most valuable services is the PLAN COMMIT WIN Membership. When you become a PLAN COMMIT WIN member, you get access to the Virtual Coaching modules that bring to life the concepts contained in my book, PLAN COMMIT WIN: 90 Days to Creating a Fundable Startup. These modules include customized video tutorials, checklists, spreadsheets, and workbook materials.
In addition to the virtual coaching materials, the PLAN COMMIT WIN membership site will include collaborative groups, video coaching sessions with entrepreneurs, and exclusive interviews with startup experts and successful entrepreneurs.
The PLAN COMMIT WIN membership is all about building a successful company. Great companies with solid business models and strong teams get funded. These companies are eventually able to go public or get sold for a significant premium.
The PLAN COMMIT WIN Membership will improve your chances of business success, dramatically improve the chances of getting your business funded, and position your company for a successful exit, whether that be an IPO or though an M&A transaction.
The processes contained in the PLAN COMMIT WIN membership is designed to guide you through an annual process of translating your vision into an actionable, strategic plan, an annual operating plan, and a budget. It will also guide you in many other aspects of running a company including building a team, driving product development with accountability and empowerment, and raising needed growth capital.
The ideal client for Virtual Coaching is an entrepreneur looking for ways to test the market validity of their idea, a startup founder and/or CEO looking to raise capital for his or her company, or a small to mid size business owner.
Q: What are your plans for the next four months?
A: I am always on the lookout for promising companies that can benefit from my advisory and coaching services. I am also always hunting for the best startup companies as investment opportunities. Aside from that, I have three key initiatives over the next few months.
First, I am going to form a few mastermind peer groups comprised of startup CEOs that either plan to raise capital or have already raised capital. They plan to take their companies public through an IPO or a Reg A+ Offering, or eventually sell their company in an M&A transaction. I am a big believer in mentorship, and also in peer support, especially when it is structured.
Second, we have a plan to revamp and update the content on the PLAN COMMIT WIN membership site. This includes the virtual coaching materials, and a number of videos with startup experts that will only be available to PLAN COMMIT WIN members. We are also considering a discount membership for college students that are interested in entrepreneurship.
Third, we plan to hold more group seminars to evangelize the concepts in PLAN COMMIT WIN. These are usually in the form of breakfast meetings that take a few hours. We will be doing outreach to startup CEOs and leaders of growth companies that we think can benefit from the PLAN COMMIT WIN methodology.
Q: What 3 tips would you give an early stage startup when trying to raise capital?
A: First, you need to be prepared, so do your homework. Understand your market, your customers, your competitors, your products unique value proposition and your sustained competitive advantage. Why you? Why now? Why your team?
Second, take time to really know your audience before presenting to them. This is the case with customers, partners, investors and suppliers. When you do this, you can speak in “their language”, and use relevant stories to convey and support your key concepts.
Third, treat raising money like a process, not an event. It takes most companies about six months to raise a Seed round or a Series A round of financing. You will have multiple touch points with investors over that period of time, and you will want to demonstrate your progress toward key milestones.
All of these concepts are covered in my book, so if you are an early stage startup, I suggest that you read and implement the PLAN COMMIT WIN methodology as soon as possible. If you need more hands-on support, you can contact me through my website, or via email at email@example.com. You can find me on Twitter @QuestFusion. I absolutely love working with entrepreneurs and watching their success grow to new heights along the way.