WE NYC Master Leadership Conference for Female Founders/Entrepreneurs
Vicky G Creative
As founders/entrepreneurs, we are constantly asked about our funding approach. How much have you raised? Are you expanding? When can you scale? So much of the perceived “success” of a business depends on whether you are venture backed. In this massive business shift toward funding, we are forgetting about the three things that build a sustainable business: customer, experience/product and culture. While the press headlines and many business leaders focus on promoting how much money they have raised and expansion, I would argue that we need to also focus on the quality of our products and offerings as well as profitability and sustainability. Investors and the media care about growth but that’s just one measure. Customers care about the product or service they are buying and the best experience and value.
While I launched Luminary less than a year ago, a day doesn’t go by when I am not asked “who are your investors?” When I explain that I self-funded, that I want to grow my business with our member [customer] in mind vs. maximizing value for an investor, I often receive many perplexed looks. The follow-up question is always around expansion and when I plan to open our next location. There is a significant amount of romanticism around VC backing and expansion that doesn’t necessarily mean a company is or will be a success.
I have had the opportunity to meet so many incredible founders, many of them women, and a significant number of them are bootstrapping their businesses.