Week 17: Et Deinceps Sursum
Last week was of course the last real working week of the year, but whilst many will have found opportunities to celebrate in one way or another it does not mean that most will not still have been working hard.
In a perfect summary for the year, my meetings seemed to cover so many of the areas that I have spoken about in this column; Networking; Women in Business; Raising Finance; Business Plans and Pitch Decks; Mentoring; Advisory Boards; Business Valuations; and Entrepreneurship in all its forms.
The week started by me connecting two businesses that I have great respect for, to see how one could help the other to roll out their plans for 2020 and ensuring that that their marketing and online presence was fully fit without stretching the available budget too far. Another good example of the power of networking, and flexible thinking by all in the meeting to come up with the best way forward and how to move onward and upward next year and beyond that.
The next day was an introduction to me with an early-stage business with a great new product that was looking to raise finance. The discussions revolved around the existing pitch deck and the alternative ways of raising finance.
The following meeting was totally focussed on women in business. The statistics for how little investment – specifically from venture capital firms – actually going into women led businesses remains shockingly low even though there is at last the start of an upward trend. But this conversation was all about how we could cooperate in the future and help early-stage business run by women not only raise finance but help them in the myriad of other ways that any young business needs, irrespective of the gender, race, religion or any other aspect of the founders behind them. Fittingly, the meeting directly following that was with a woman founder whose business I am entirely sure will move onward in leaps and bounds in 2020 and will move upwards rapidly until it achieves the success that it deserves.
Interestingly, the very next day started with another woman-led business that was seeking both mentoring and assistance in expanding her own considerable network in order to drive her business onward and upward. And then it was back to the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator for an event on funding where I was both one of the panel for a Q&A session and also one of the ‘dragons’ to judge four presentations. What is always so good about these events is that they bring over 50 entrepreneurs together and give them an opportunity to learn from each other and from the Mentors and other attendees such as funders and other service providers. Topics covered as well as funding included business plans, advisory boards, business valuations and more. Judging by the feedback, it was a session that was very well received.
And then the week, and almost the year was done. I wrote last week about planning ahead, and for those of you that read my articles on a regular basis you will also know that I often mention the importance of adapting and staying ahead of the curve. Well, that is exactly what I have been doing with Daisy, the lovely Editor of Startups Magazine, and from the beginning of January we will have something new for you and it will be published on a Tuesday instead of a Monday so that you have more time to read and enjoy.
I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable festive season and a very rewarding 2020. Et Deinceps Sursum. Or for those of you, like me, that do not speak Latin, Onward and Upward!