Arman Eshraghi, CEO and Founder of Qrvey, hosts a podcast, “SaaS Scaled.” Our latest episode featured Seena Mortazavi, CEO, Chronus, the leading enterprise mentoring platform. You can watch or listen to the podcast here and we’ve covered some highlights of their discussion below.

If you Started a Company in the Future, Would you Focus on Marketing or Product? 

“I think the first thing is product-market fit. That is, in my opinion, the number one factor because building a long-term business, you’re not going to get very far if you don’t have product-market fit, no matter how many dollars you pour into sales and marketing.  “It does come down to a personal decision, but in my case, I would try to bootstrap the company for as long as we could before getting to a point where I could see putting gasoline on the fire versus trying to figure out how to make the fire.  “So, when you’re thinking about go-to-market, you want to be in a position where you have some data and some wins that you can repeat and scale before you take outside capital. Because once you take that outside capital, the clock starts ticking. You don’t have to have everything figured out, but if you’re not far enough along in your go-to-market journey, you may end up spending a lot of cycles and resources trying to figure out what’s working, your ideal customer, and all of those factors.”

What Kind of Investors are Best in the Middle Phase When you’re Ready to Scale?

“I’ll give a little bit of a cheeky answer, but I recognize it’s not exactly what you’re asking. And the answer is your customers. “In my opinion, if you’re solving a big enough problem, you can actually get your customers to help fund your development. You have to be thoughtful about IP and everything else. And the benefit of that is, whether it’s crowdfunding or large enterprises, they have a stake in seeing you succeed. They’re exactly the customers you want to get. And their capital is pretty cheap because they’re not looking for equity typically and they just want the product, which you can then take and sell to lots of other folks. So, if I could, that would be my number one option.” “Number two, if I had to go with a more traditional response would be certainly some of the smaller investors out there, whether it’s friends and family, it depends how much you’re looking for.” 

What is the Best Time, if Any, to Bring in an Investor? 

“For us, the best time for the investment was where we had reached an inflection point. What happens is you go through different chapters of your journey. So 1 million is very different than 5, 10, 20, 50, 100. And the skills, the team, the investment you need is very different in those different chapters. Typically, when you’re at one of those inflection points, one of the key questions you have to ask yourself is, ‘What do I need to get to the next level?’ And in our case, what happened was we reached a point where it was just getting unsustainable to maintain our growth rate without making a significant investment in the leadership team.”

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