Congratulations on the fund-raise. The pressure to grow with decent unit economics is actually a blessing in disguise because it will ensure you build a sustainable business. Here’s one way to think about this. Group your costs into the following buckets:
- Operational costs like team, infrastructure, product development etc
- Marketing costs required to build a brand and acquire customers
Move as quickly as you can to achieve break-even / profitability on the first bucket. It is a well-established fact that as you find traction, your marketing costs as percentage of your sales will start a downward trend over time. You should be able to show that this likely to happen with your business. There are several ways to do this:
- Is your cost of customer acquisition constant / decreasing as your sales grow?
- Are your marketing spends bringing you customers who will stick around and deliver value beyond one transaction?
- What happens when you cut marketing costs? Do sales collapse or do they only dip and settle at a level that is higher than the pre-marketing one?
My advice would be to worry less about the investors and the market and focus sharply on running a super-tight ship while giving customers what they need. That’s how great businesses have always been built.