If you’re an emerging high growth startup, this blog is for you! You may have been working tirelessly for the past few years, working to help your company realize excellence and success. You may have even hired additional support, and your business is growing. Startups reach a point when it’s time to take the business to the next level, and funding is necessary to do so. Here’s how micro venture capital firms can help, and how you can recognize when you’re ready to pitch.
What is a micro venture capital firm?
Micro venture capital firms, or micro-VCs, are smaller investment firms that fund seed-stage emerging growth companies. The fund is typically under $50M and invest between $25K - $500K in startup companies. Unlike traditional venture capital firms that usually fund between $1M and $5M in later company stages, micro-VCs typically invest less broadly and more specifically within an industry or geography.
4 signs your business is ready to pitch for funding
Micro venture capital firms look for several points of success before taking the next step. While there are many factors a firm may consider, below are few ways you can ensure your business is attractive:
Your business pitch is solid
Meaning, you know who to talk to, and how to portray your business. You have a well thought out pitch, with key points on your strategy, audience, product, and measures of success ready to share with potential firms. Your pitch is vital, because you never know when your next impromptu conversation with a potential investor may be.
You have a strong, strategic roadmap
Firms want to understand the possibilities of scaling your business. A roadmap outlines the short-and long-term vision of your company. Without it, you’ll quickly realize the goals you’ve set are only focused on short-term success. It also pinpoints the important tools, resources, equipment, and applications your business needs now and in the future. Having a roadmap prepared and ready to hand over to the micro venture capital firm you’re interested in gives the firm a snapshot of what to expect and where to invest.
Your business has a healthy forecasted financial performance
You should have a firm understanding of how your hard work will pay off in the coming months and years. Ensuring the accuracy and health of your business’ financial performance projections will not only help you acquire investments and funding; it will help your business succeed. Your financial projections combined with a strategic roadmap paints a clear picture to investors: what your company plans to achieve, how you will get there, and how long it will take.
Your business is capital efficient, and you need to prioritize
Micro VCs can provide the value and expertise your business needs to see continued growth. VCs tend to select companies in which they have background experience to invest in, and that may be exactly what your business needs to fill the gap. Like a mentor to a mentee, VCs can help capital efficient businesses make the best chess moves to win.
If you’re confident in these points and you’re ready to move to the next stage, a micro venture capital firm may be the perfect option.
How many of us love a little holiday fun at work? While startups are known to be workaholics, it’s a tad bit difficult to deny the excitement of decorations, costumes, candy, and a ton of festive décor with the holidays right around the corner. Along with everything else, this year’s holiday celebrations will be a bit different due to COVID-19, but the festive season offers your team a fun (virtual) outing to look forward to. Keep your work environment exciting and productive with these 4 tips.
Create a themed project or task for your team members to complete
The task shouldn’t be daunting or super simple – it should be on par with your typical workload, but a little more fun. For instance, if your team delivers a report or analysis weekly, offer an opportunity for each member to share their plans for the holiday season. Or, send each of your team members a festive e-card with the calendar invitation.
Encourage your team to regularly take vacation time off
Nothing is better than a company that’s mastered a healthy balance between “work and play”. It’s easy to get distracted when the holidays start approaching, so ensuring that everyone is on task and meets their deliverables naturally allows for more flexibility. Encourage your team to stay focused while reminding them to use their time off and enjoy their hobbies outside of work.
Start work hobbies for team members
Work hobbies are not only awesome during the holidays, they’re perfect all year long. Maybe a portion of the team enjoys reading books, while the others like to discuss sports or activities they enjoy. For the holidays, start a Slack channel to discuss all things holiday décor, from yard displays to window treatments. This is a small activity with the power to develop and strengthen relationships, especially if your team is working from home.
Already back in the office? Decorate your space
Depending on your company, there’s a possibility you’re back at work and need to spruce up the environment with a festive look. Adding decorations to the work space can keep comradery high and fun, to say the least. It doesn’t need to be much – add some pumpkins around the space and offer pumpkin spiced flavored coffee for the early risers.
It’s important to create a balance and connect with your team, especially during the holidays. Using these 4 tips can provide some excitement and ways to connect with your team and customers.
The coronavirus has unexpectedly and rapidly impacted the way we do business across the world. This has shifted the spotlight focus onto many topics in the workplace, like working through crisis, remote productivity, and the health, safety, and wellness of employees across companies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression and anxiety have an estimated cost to the global economy of $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. However, for every dollar put into treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return $4 in improved health and productivity. With World Mental Health Day on October 11th, it’s important for leaders to practice self-care and share care tips with their employees.
World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It also serves as an important reminder to take care of yourselves and to check in with family and friends. It was first observed on October 10th, 1992 with the intent to promote mental health advocacy and educate the world on relevant, related challenges.
So how can you as a business leader honor World Mental Health Day? By taking care of yourself, and if applicable, encouraging your employees. Here’s a few tips:
Acknowledge mental health in the workplace
Poor mental health can negatively affect you and your colleagues or employees at work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time. Offering employees wellness programs, time off for self-care, and resources to manage their mental health can assist in alleviating some of these related challenges.
Create a ‘Me Time’ routine, and normalize it
Perhaps this means blocking off your calendar for 30 minutes for a brisk walk, or drinking coffee first thing in the morning without any distractions. Whatever your routine is, share it with your colleagues to help normalize this specific time.
Ask for help and delegate
As entrepreneurs, it’s not uncommon to attempt to solve every problem while saving the world. Simply put, sometimes leaders need help, and that’s what makes them leaders. Knowing when to rely on your team or colleagues and delegate some of your daily business tasks helps to alleviate your personal stress while showcasing your ability to lead and utilize your resources.
Make sleep a priority
Sleep seems like a simple concept, yet it’s often neglected. Rand.org states that lacking sleep leads to higher mortality risk and productivity losses at work. Without sleep, you can’t perform your best. Aim for 6 – 8 hours of comfortable sleep each night.
Set boundaries and stick to them
Depending on your work culture, saying ‘no’ could be easy, or very difficult. While it’s understandable to want to provide solutions and be accommodating to your colleagues or team, sometimes saying ‘no’ is the best thing you can do for yourself and others around you. When you have boundaries set at work, stick to them – and drop the guilt of protecting your wellbeing.
During this holiday, take head to some (or all) of these tips, and share them with those around you. As you become more self-aware and care for your needs, it will reflect in your skill and productivity at work. Help those around you, too, by encouraging them to care for their needs – not just during this holiday, but always.