I received an email from a techie with some good business questions about a startup. His team has built a couple of products beneficial to companies who are excited about them. The questions in the email was in essence, "What do we do with our products? Can we make a business out of what we have? What do venture capitalists want to see? What should we do next?"
This is a common situation in the world of startups. Technologists see a problem to be solved, build one and sell it, and then another one and get excited because the first two customers give rave reviews of the product. The first flames have begun, now what?
Here is my response:
Your good start tells me that it is time to test the water: I recommend you and your team draft a quality business plan and in doing so, it will tell you (1) what the VCs want to see, (2) how large a task it will be to make a business out of your first products, and (3) what you are missing to get the money.
I wrote my second book The Power of Unfair Advantage for people in your shoes. Parts I and II will help you a great deal. Unfair Avantage is what VCs and top business people are looking for in startups.
I wish you the best.
There are a lot of good things you can read out there besides my works. They are about what investors want to see in a startup. Reading is private, can be done when convenient to your schedule, and generates a lot of basic advice, quickly. And you have a reference to come back to.
If your business has started without a bplan, you will find few investors willing to take time to help you address the key issues that you must address before they will give you money. At least a draft of a presentation of a complete business plan is strongly advised. Reading them (I have a bplan for free on my web site) will give you a more realistic view of what you have to do to get your money.
BOTTOM LINE: If you wonder what to do to make a business out of a prototype after a couple of successful sales, consider reading about what you must do to prepare a quality business plan. As you do, you will quickly answer a lot of your questions about what to do next. That realism is the door to open that will help you be wise with your decisions. I wish you the best.