My partner and I have built a mobile platform to connect renovation contractor and home owners. We have already launched the app for about 5 months, without any marketing, currently we have about 500 users, the app is pretty stable so far, but it is growing really slow, we are wondering if we should have a business partner at current stage? We need someone to help us to brand ourselves, let more people know this platform and start to use it. We also need to pitch investor to get funding and realize our next milestone. Any advice? Thanks.
OK - it seems that you need to produce some specific results:
Presumably you are considering a business partner because you do not currently have the capabilities to produce these results. So:
It sounds like you need some work done. Is taking on a partner (paying with equity) the best way to pay for it?
Good Strategy / Bad Strategy mentions that advertising is often a threshold problem - no amount of thinly spread activity can make a difference.
This is why in the early stages (unless well funded) entrepreneurs tend to target a specific niche, customer, or geography - and then work out a way of reaching that market thoroughly before broadening.
A startup I've invested in called Wriggle has found this. They need a critical mass of customers to buy the food offers, and outlets with quality offers. They have therefore identified that small "trendy" cities like Brighton, Bristol and Cardiff have favourable market size at both sides of the business model to launch with their marketing budget and they are expanding to other cities. They hope to reach a critical tipping point where they can go after the mass-market. ( See https://www.getawriggleon.com/ )
With two founders already, I think you don't need another partner until perhaps reaching friction stage (10k consumer users, 10k paying contractors). Not sure how much you follow the construction industry the last 25 years but there has been MANY of the same type of businesses. Take a look at why most of those models eventually failed so that you're competitive advantage is indeed unique.
No, we can pay for the business partner, but I think what i am really asking is that I am not sure if this is the stage that we should get a business partner...
I don't think you need a partner, what you need is a workforce.
So, I would recommend to find a project manager to create a strategy and his first task would be to get funding. When it's done, he can perform his strategy and build a team he needs to succeed. If he fails during the first step, he should be replaced, and the contract have to indicate it from the beginning. There are plenty of things to be done, and single partner will not solve the crisis. if he invest the money and believe your idea, he is going to expect getting it back shortly, he's not going to actually work, and your marketing abilities after the slow start are questionable. Yes, good service costs, but you expect the same from you customers, aren't you?
Train the pitch over and over again and try to sum it up with as short time as possible.
Have you used any research of how big the market is? Are you going international and so on?
Are you using social media? Use multimedial thinking to grow faster and use one of the different plattforms as much as you can. I have talked to a soical media expert here in Sweden who gave me the advice to only focus on one social media plattform, where I think my target group is.
Hope this helped you can PM if you have questions i might be able to answer
I would like to see how the app functions.
Think and think hard about taking on a partner. Understand that this person is essentially "married" to you and divorce can take its toll. Ask yourselves if you really need a partner, or is this a person you could "hire" who you could also sell equity to at a reduced cost for services. If you do decide you need a partner, make sure you get a lawyer to help you craft the MOU or agreement. And make sure you understand what everything in that agreement means. Also, have a very clearly stated exit strategy with this person at every stage of development.