Money is not the only measure of success when it comes to new businesses
Angel investors, boot-strapping, and seed money — unsurprisingly,
a lot of startup jargon centers around cash.
Raising money is considered a crucial measure of success for any
But it’s not everything, says Nicholas Miller, the co-founder and
CEO of service industry software Gather.
In 2012, Miller left his job as a senior associate at Bain &
Company to launch his event management software startup. Four
years later, he raised
$2.5 million in Series A funding. But, despite successfully
raising these funds for his own startup, Miller
says focusing too much on this step can be a serious
mistake for entrepreneurs.
“I think a misconception is that funding is the be-all-end-all of
success,” he tells Business Insider.
So, what should people launching their own small businesses focus
“People focus way too much on raising money and focus a lot less
than they should on proving product market fit and getting their
first 10 unaffiliated customers,” he says.
According to Miller, whose Atlanta, Georgia-based company now
employs around 50 people, startup founders should also focus on
their own leadership development early on.
“You learn a lot about yourself during the early stages when
you’re just struggling to grasp at straws and find something that
will be the path forward,” he says.
So, instead of constantly fretting about funding, focus on your
own development as a manager too.
“When people romanticize growing businesses, they forget that
it’s really so much about the people you have at the company and
making sure that you not only bring the right people in, but
develop them over time,” he says. “You have to feel confident
that becoming a better leader or manager is something you’re