As you build a new product for your business, be sure to conduct pre-launch customer discovery interviews to validate your ideas from the start, saving you the time and money by not building (or re-building) something no one wants. Here are the steps to successfully conduct your pre-launch customer discovery:

Step 1. Select Your Customer

Reach out to a small, yet diverse group of customers and set a success metric early.

Target the customers — Aim for 20–30 customer interviews. …

When your company’s offering is ready to “go-live”, it is important to create a Go-to-Market (“GTM”) plan before launching publicly. A GTM plan is a comprehensive strategy that details how your offering will reach customers. Here are the 4 main components used to build a GTM plan (most applicable to B2B & B2B2C companies with medium to long-term sales cycles):

1. Define a Target Market

Identify the attributes and persona of the customers who will receive your offering. For example, region, demographic, spending habits, usage, and benefits. Having a target market helps you pinpoint outreach to save time and allows you to refine your messaging…

At this time, racial violence and threats of injustice towards Black people are pervasive — and sadly, this has long been a part of our society’s history. The people of color in your network may look like they are ok, but they are not. They are hurt, and frustrated, and restless; especially after witnessing the killing of George Floyd and many more at the hands of the police.

The response you deliver at this critical time can make the difference between Black people around you feeling safe or feeling deep distrust [1]. Below are meaningful actions you can take to…

As your business adapts to these ever-changing times, survival is everyone’s first priority. When the economy begins to recover, you will need to adopt new tactics to succeed. Outside of the more obvious transitions to virtual/digital platforms, there are other important areas to address across Sales, Operations, and HR. Here are strategies to ensure your business thrives post-COVID-19:


As in-person meetings aren’t possible, embrace the opportunity to use acute problem solving and content to drive your sales.

  • Share Useful Content Only — Send industry-specific content that *solves a problem for customers right now* during these times of COVID-19 — even…

As a Fund Manager looking to raise capital from institutional investors — a pitch deck is a necessity. Pitch decks serve as a quick overview of your fund, your strengths, your investment thesis, and your plan for the fundraise. This allows you to communicate clearly and succinctly with potential investors, while also forcing you to streamline your internal messaging. As Foundry Group Principal, Jaclyn Hester, put it “Fundraising is story-telling… managers often struggle with building a compelling narrative that makes LPs want to dig in and learn more. Your job in the first meeting is to get a second meeting”.

Financial awareness of your business is a critical part of tracking your performance. Once equipped with accurate financial information, you can make important business decisions that can mean the difference between a healthy company or failure. Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know about your business’s finances:

Cash Flow & Balance Sheet

Cash flow statements monitor the capital going in and out of your business. In addition, a balance sheet displays your assets, liabilities, and capital on hand. Use cash flows and balance sheets to understand if and when you will run out of money. …

Service provider relationship management covers a wide range of operational tasks from finance to legal to technology. For many businesses, it is more effective to outsource certain operational tasks to third-parties and vendors (“providers”), than to handle in-house — especially if your team is small. By leveraging expert providers, you can save time and money where the task can be performed at a lower cost externally. Here are the common providers you’ll want to enlist to streamline your business.

1. Primary Operations

Your “Primary Operations” are generally expenses needed before you launch or expand. …

Starting a business can be a daunting yet rewarding endeavor for an entrepreneur. Begin with a checklist to ensure you stay organized and hit the right milestones from the beginning. Follow this checklist to guide you through your business’s launch:

1. Vision

Your vision is the long-term outcome desired for your business. Setting a clear vision ahead of your launch helps align your team, holds you accountable, and sheds light on the resources needed for your strategy (see #2).

Set Aspirations

  • What is the future state of your business in 5-years, 3-years, and working backwards to today? (revenue, locations, notoriety)
  • What will…

Managing your investor relationships is a critical part of running a business. After completing your fundraise, begin regular communications with investors to build a long-term relationship with those who believed and invested in you. This article describes the reasons to send investor updates, their components, and an example investor update (below):

Why Send Investor Updates?

Keep your investors regularly updated to build trust, allowing you to lean on them for resources as you scale.

  • Trust — Builds connectivity with your investors so they can support you in good times, and help you during bad periods. …

Once your business is ready to fundraise a priced round to propel your expansion, be sure to create a clear plan. Raising money for a priced equity round, often called a Series A, requires a methodical approach; and by separating your process into clear steps, you give yourself the best chance of success. Here are the steps to fundraise in 3 months:

Step 1. Prepare

Week 1–2

Preparing for your fundraise is critical in organizing your outreach, to maximize the efficiency of your time.

  • Select fundraising point person (e.g., managing partner, founder, or CEO)
  • Deprioritize all other business activities for point person —…

Kaego Rust

CEO at KHOR Consulting, helping companies build business plans, pitch decks, and streamline their operations. Email:

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