In this edition of FinanciElle “Statements”, I got the chance to talk with Lise Snelgrove Co-Founder and CEO of This Space Works, a service that provides inspiring meeting and workshop spaces, owned by innovative businesses.
Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?
Lise: My career started off in a corporate environment so raising money for This Space Works has been a new experience for me. There is a lot to learn about how to position your business to investors – how to show them your business is successful and get them to believe in your growth plan.
The greatest lesson for me was realizing that after three years in this market, growing our revenue and our customer base, I know my business better than any investor who has looked at it for less than an hour.
Don’t alter your pitch to fit with their ideas. Welcome advice and feedback but don’t let it throw you off, be confident in your plan.
Eventually the right investor will find you, until then keep generating revenue so you can be selective.
Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?
Lise: As entrepreneurs, it is our nature to change up the status quo, yet there seems to be a recipe in our industry that entrepreneurs are expected to follow. It lists the ingredients you need and a defined process on how to create a successful and scalable business. I spent too much time looking at and figuring out how we could fit in to this recipe. I wish someone had told me earlier to just ignore it.
The best way to start your business is to listen to your market. Your customers and your sales are the best guidance you could ask for.
Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?
Lise: I would love to learn how to build and understand all of the elements of a proper cap table, I’ve had a hard time finding good resources on this. It’s important to understand the future impact investors have on company ownership and a cap table is a great tool to forecast and model different investment outcomes.