Issue #34 You Won’t Believe What We Invested In

As you may know, I am a co-founder of the Westchester Angels investment group. I have learned a lot about creating success through working with startups.

One of them is how to build a “20-banger,” like Ocrolus.

We screened Ocrolus a couple of years ago.

They scanned documents for financial institutions and healthcare providers that required a high degree of accuracy.

Yeah, they scan documents.

That is it.

Seriously, listening to them talk about scanning documents with hopeful glee in their eye almost put us all to sleep.

So, we invested.

Our group participated in a $1 million investment in the company at a valuation of about $5 million.

Here is the thing: it turns out that there is a segment of the document world that really needs high-quality scans. And Ocrolus figured out a way to deliver better quality at a cheaper price than the next guy.

It looked like a “no-brainer.”

That was a couple of years ago, last month, they came back to us with the news: they’d just raised $80 million at a valuation of $500 million.

They still “just” scan documents.

It still looks like a “no-brainer” all the way to IPO territory.

Even more interesting is that the companies that do well are the ones that sell a particular product to a specific buyer, and they do it over and over and over…

And that is why we say your business should be a machine. The place to start? Define your perfect customer and make them extremely happy.


Yes, you do, in fact, need an avatar (or be Edward Jones)

Look, you can try to sell to everyone, but everyone is just not buying.

Here is the frigid, unrelenting truth: everyone doesn’t exist. You can only sell to someone.

So you have two ways of finding someone, define who that someone is and ask people if they are that someone (or KNOW that someone), or knock on hundreds of doors until you find someone.

You can do the door-knocking approach. That is what Edward Jones does. If you want to start advising with Edward Jones, they instruct you to knock on 25 doors a day, five days a week, and after a month, you will have a client.

I once thought about joining Edward Jones, but when I suggested that there may be a better way to use human resources than chase a 0.2% close rate, they showed me the door.

Call me crazy, but I really only like to talk to people who need what we are offering and want to buy so that our close rate is over 20% (way over).

So, once you have your avatar defined, check out our Seven Ways to Attract Customers to Your Business.

And save yourself some shoe leather.

From Around the Web

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