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The Ecommerce Issue September 2023

Building a customer-oriented ecommerce business through better human interaction

Building a customer-oriented ecommerce business through better human interaction

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Values-driven fundraising tips

First steps and resources for founders fundraising with purpose

Start here: Values-driven fundraising

The following advice and resources were pulled from Fundraising for the Reluctant Founder, a five-week email series from Help Scout's founder and CEO, Nick Francis. Get more details about the series here, and sign up to learn how to fundraise without sacrificing your company's values.

If you’re a founder considering the long, sometimes exhausting fundraising process, there are a few key criteria to consider:

  • You've built a successful business that doesn't need funding to survive.

  • You believe the market potential exists to build a business worth more than $100 million.

  • You'd like to bring in a permanent partner who's motivated to help you grow the business.

These criteria make it easier to align motivations among stakeholders and prioritize your mission and values. They also highlight why venture capital (VC) isn’t a good fit for most businesses. In some cases, you may only need some initial angel or friends and family investment to get the business off the ground and operating profitably.

For those of you who meet this criteria and are ready to dive in, here are a few helpful places to start your journey.

  1. Intro to Finance: A resource that helps founders discover less dilutive sources of capital relative to VC.

  2. Never Take Money From a VC: A three-part video series by Chris Moody, a VC and member of the Help Scout board. The title is tongue-in-cheek, but the content is genuine! Chris outlines valid reasons why founders should tread carefully into VC. 

  3. TinySeed: A startup accelerator for promising, profitable businesses that aren’t keen to get on the VC ride.

  4. Venture Deals: A book about building relationships, the legal aspects of financing, and understanding stakeholders’ motivations. Making sure your vision aligns with investors’ success measures is critically important.

  5. Other founders: This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to get a sense for others’ experiences with the fundraising process. Interview your peers about what they might do differently and how things have gone post-financing to get valuable firsthand insight.

For five weeks’ worth of helpful tips like these, check out Fundraising for the Reluctant Founder.

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