The Pros and Cons of Having Investors with Rachael McCrary

My guest today is Rachael McCrary, the Co-Founder of RxBra, a medically effective bra with health benefits that’s also comfortable and cute. As a serial entrepreneur, primarily in the lingerie industry, Rachael has successfully raised venture capital, won 15 pitch competitions and is an all-around seasoned startup founder. 

Here’s the breakdown of my chat with Rachael:

[04:18] The RxBra was needed because the only medical bras on the market were uncomfortable and not cute. Many women after an injury or post-surgery (ex. mastectomy) want to wear something cute right away, but it could cause issues. This bra fills a market void.

[05:46] Failure is a good thing. Rachael doesn’t see failure like others do. It works out for awhile, and then it doesn’t. Experiences are how you learn the most.

[06:34] Partnerships in business are important to carefully consider. You shouldn’t rush into them. Take time to talk about their ideas and vision and the contracts to make sure everything is clear upfront.

[08:32] When you’re getting feedback, you need to be aware of what is good feedback and what is bad feedback. You should listen to all feedback, but you don’t need to act on all of it. But, if more than 10 people tell you the same thing, then you should start to pay attention to that. Stay flexible and coachable.

[10:10] Marketing is everything in a small business. You can have the best product or service, but if people don’t know about it, it doesn’t matter. Start with quick marketing avenues (ex. blogs) to get the social proof rolling in.

[11:26] Faster turnaround times are key at first, like blogs. Use these media hits as social proof to use in your advertising. A large scale marketing agency with a year out strategy doesn’t always work for small businesses.

[12:35] Entrepreneurs need to understand contracts; Find a legal team that understands early-stage businesses. Don’t just go with a friend lawyer.

[13:28] As a founder, it’s important to handle your marketing in the beginning so you understand what to delegate down the road. 

[14:45] For RxBra, Rachael built it more like a side hustle while working other businesses. But the business hit all the benchmarks it needed to with very little focus, so she decided to put more focus into the business to further grow it.

[16:36] There are pros and cons to bringing investors on board. The benefit to not having investors is that you don’t have the pressure to make things work right away. You are able to grow it slowly, watch the numbers and see how things are going. But, the benefit to investors is that you could scale it quickly. 

[18:49] With RxBra not having investors, it allows the company to have more freedom to make decisions. Having investors may mean you have a lot of people with experience to help you. But it can be too many viewpoints for the company to make decisions.

[20:00] Investors often want to call and chat and give their opinion at all times - which can be stressful. 

[21:17] A company that would be best for investors is one that is surviving and thriving. The cash infusion gets the company more revenue faster and would theoretically get the investors a return on their investment quicker. It’s to scale things, and multiply channels. 

[22:05] Investment typically is not for a company that is dying or brand new. Tech companies sometimes are an exception to this rule. Very early-stage companies should seek out seed money from family and friends, or self-fund. 

[22:53] When you pitch, people want to hear about your team and the traction you may have. If you’re looking for investors, it’s crucial to have a strong team. 

[23:21] When you are starting a business, it’s important to know your niche. RxBra was a specific niche for what people needed and couldn’t find on the market. When you have a wide audience, you have a wide amount of competition. When you have a niche product, you can speak to the exact audience who needs your product. Try to see if you can find the niche for your product to let it grow.

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The Pros and Cons of Having Investors with Rachael McCrary

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