FFWD.me is the leading fast forward program for startups looking to raise funds, develop a winning product and build an accelerating go-to market sales machine. Our team of serial entrepreneurs has a track record of over 20 years in building world class companies, from early stage technology ventures through hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and on to large exits. Over the years we have worked with many different companies and in the process have raised over $100m for startups at all stages of growth. We have come to understand what makes startups succeed and also why most of them fail. The FFWD.me program is the first program to target the critical success factors and address the key problems that might lead to failure. Successful startups build a repeatable sales transaction around a winning product. They are "duplication machines" that repeat a sales transaction over and over. Investors are attracted to companies with such "sales machines" and most of the hard questions you will face are the result of them trying to understand just that - why and how you will scale and how will you keep the competition away. “Better in execution” is not a good answer for a startup. You need to come up with a fundamental, credible idea and with a plan for success. That’s what the FFWD.me program is all about.
At the core of successful companies there is a powerful differentiating idea. The idea is easy to understand and immediately "positions" the company in the mind of prospects as fundamentally different from the competition. Such an idea is called the "positioning" of the company. It is an essential building block of its "sales machine". The best army of sales people will not be able to sell a bad idea. But when you have a strong competitive positioning presented as a simple to understand idea, this is where the sales magic starts. A good idea is easy to spread around. It moves from person to person. It will "flow" over the internet as simple text. It almost seems to have its own spreading power without much advertising or marketing. It is easy to build a sales machine around something that just sounds right. All of a sudden things feel as if it is about customers buying rather than about your company trying to sell. You cannot overestimate the importance of having a clear positioning. Without it, the lack of a sales machine may be just a symptom for your other problems. Your company will have no direction. Efforts will be invested in R&D, marketing and sales with no clear guidance. Priorities will be impossible to set. Customers will seem to always have the upper hand in pulling you in every direction with their requirements. Without a focused positioning idea, failure is just around the corner. The positioning idea is even more critical when you are trying to raise funds. To win an investment you must be able to simplify your story to a single winning idea and show a team and a plan that can execute. With customers, your product may compete with 5 others products. With investors, your startup competes for funding with a 100 other companies and the team with the better idea and a plan to execute it is usually the one that gets the money. At FFWD, positioning is our passion. We have developed a unique methodology for startup positioning, focused at finding the idea that will maximize your chances of success and will protect you from a fundamental failure.
Successful companies duplicate a sales transaction around a winning product but in order for the sales machine to work, the product must show the idea. It must be "built tight" around the positioning in a simple and intuitive way. Any demonstration or usage of the product should clearly show how the product and the positioning are one. In many cases this simple observation is ignored. The potential investor or prospect is asking to watch a demo of the product and there it ends. The audience is lost in all the features and technical stuff and fails to see the idea. The product must be designed as the vehicle to present and sell your idea. Otherwise, sales people will have a hard time explaining the differentiators. Consumers will not "get it" on your web site. Investors will doubt that you will be able to scale since they know that if the product does not sell your idea, the idea will not easily spread. When ideas don't spread, sales don't scale. Your product does not have to include all the features that customers ask for but it must be tightly designed around your positioning idea and act as the transport that sells it. With this concept, your product provides the basis for building a repeatable transaction and a sales machine around it. The FFWD.me program will enable you to define product priorities and what you should build in order to truly enable a scalable model. We do that by looking at the product in connection to the positioning and the design of the sales machine, following a unique methodology that we have developed over more than 20 years of experience.
One of the hardest things for companies to do is change their go to market way. The distribution channels, sales process, pricing and the services and support around the product are the least flexible part of a company as they deal with customers who are used to do business in a certain way and are reluctant to change. Therefore the way that you sell your product can dramatically increase your differentiation and expand the barrier to entry for competitors. In the program, we focus on finding ways to leverage your positioning idea into your go-to market strategy. We design your repeatable transaction and sales machine around your unique competitive advantage. The program builds a detailed sales operating plan using a bottom-up approach that starts by modelling your sales transaction, showing how it scales and building the organisation around it. This concept is fundamentally different from the top down, budget oriented models that companies typically use, which fail to provide insight into the business. Overall, you will get a whole new level of understanding of the business and a tool for building and managing a scalable sales machine. At the same time, it provides a uniquely powerful tool for fundraising. It allows you to communicate with investors through a credible execution plan focused on your sales transaction and its scalability.
The FFWD.me program is executed with our team in an organised process. It runs over 90 days in weekly face to face meetings in our beautifully designed offices, with ongoing offline preparation and review of materials. We only work with two or three companies at a time which enables us to dedicate the time and effort to work with you and really understand your business. If the program's focus is on fundraising, we capture our progress into an evolving investor presentation. If the primary focus is on the go to market phase and accelerating sales, we focus on the core messaging that will build your sales presentations. In both scenarios, the sales machine is developed using our proprietary tool with the final results exported to Excel format. We recognise the fact that while executing the program, the company must continue to operate and meet its obligations and the program is designed around that fundamental requirement. With a proper notice, we will be able to adapt to your travel schedules and will be flexible in scheduling the meetings to reflect any changes in your availability, provided that the program must be concluded in 90 days.