Serial Entrepreneur – EP64: Startup Strength During Tough Times
Welcome you are live on the serial entrepreneur club. We’re here every Friday at 2:00 PM Eastern time. And this week we have a special, a very special addition. We are going to talk about startup challenges in difficult times. And what do we mean? It could be COVID it could be a recession. Oh my gosh.
There’s so many things that it could be, but Jeff, Jeff is here. Jeff Sass. Amazing. Jeff Sass. He is my coor, Jeff, like, you know, we’re gonna kick this off real quickly. You know, what are your thoughts, your high level thoughts on challenges that a startup might actually face. Well [00:01:00] boy, is that a loaded question, Michele?
You know, um, there’s many challenges. The starter faces in wonderful times, and today we want to talk about the challenges the difficult times. So these are on top of the, the preexisting challenges. We all face as entrepreneurs when starting a business. You know, I think one of the, the big challenges now, uh, in the current state of affairs and, and the economic concerns that people are facing every day, we’re reading about, uh, companies having to layoff employees.
I think just today, Netflix, uh, announced another 300 layoffs. Um, many of the startups are cutting back and laying people off. And I think the challenge that presents for founders is especially in a startup, you know, You have to make some hard decisions about, are you going into hibernation mode or are you cutting back?
And you’re still growing because sometimes it almost feels, uh, [00:02:00] counterintuitive to be cutting back in some areas of your business while still investing in other areas. For example, you may have to reduce your overhead and lay off people in non-revenue generating positions. While at the same time, you may might be hiring a new salesperson, right or investing in, in growing your sales activities.
And that creates a number of challenges. Number one, it makes it hard to manage your budget and your overhead. But number two, when it comes to company morale and company culture, it’s really important to, to be transparent and, and present things in a positive light, because it can be very confusing. To your team.
When they see on the one hand, some of their coworkers being letting let go. And on the other hand, the company is still spending money on things and it almost sends out a mixed signal. So it’s really important to understand how to cut back and grow at the same time. Um, which sounds very counterintuitive, but I find that to be, you know, one of the [00:03:00] greatest challenges and one of the challenges that I’ve had to face, um, when I’ve gone through downturns and had to, uh, cut our overhead or cut our team.
But at the same time, keep the company on a growth path. So I think that that’s one challenge, Michele, that comes to mind for me. Yeah. I mean, you couldn’t have said it better, Jeff. Like it, it really is a catch 22. Like, are you, you know, I’m gonna be very candid here. Are you bearing the company or do you wanna actually grow it when.
You know, bad times occur and many, you know, publications, people, experts, including those in the room here are members. And those on the stage know that if you can persist through those difficult times and really refine your business, it could be a huge win on the other side. So before we jump in and please start raising your hand, like we want folks to come on the stage, if you’re having a difficult [00:04:00] time and you’re a startup and you just want to talk about it, you’re welcome.
Or if you have some advice or some story, some tips, some hints, like come up here. We, we, everybody needs your help. So without further ado, I see our long lost leader, Colin Campbell. I think you’re joining from London. Like, you know, JOA, you know, us some, you know, Little hints here. Like, what are you thinking?
Like what comes into your mind about what a business to do when they have challenges? And I know that you have run businesses that have had many challenges. Yeah. You know, it’s a shame because as startups, we do everything correctly, you know, we, we, we follow the rules of the game. We, we grow the subscriber base and then all of a sudden the rules change.
All of a sudden the, uh, cash that you had in your bank begins to [00:05:00] dwindle. And the, the investors disappear. We are in today of very different environments than we were in 12 months or six months ago, or even, I would say three months ago. And over the next week, month, year as startups, we need to really think about what are we gonna do.
To survive. And, you know, it goes, I go back a little bit here to the.com crash when I had a number of companies during that period of time. And I’ll talk about one of them. Hostopia, uh, this is about a third company, um, that we had launched. Uh, when I joined the company full time, I was running another co one of our prior companies, um, which had difficulties in itself, but we won’t go there.
I joined the company, it was losing $450,000 a month. It was growing subscribers pretty dramatically. It was a software platform and then [00:06:00] nine 11 hits. And it just devastated the business. Every, you know, B to B2B froze, the NASDAQ was down to 12, 1300 points. It was just a disaster. If you, you know, people were dropping.com from the back of their names, uh, we never did, by the way, hostopia.com you know, remained the actual name of the company.
We stuck with it. And, you know, I think that was telling, cuz Michele, you. Those that stick with it. Those that, that get through the tough times, you know, they tend to do well. And if we look email@example.com era in that crash, you know, how similar is that to today with the crypto crash and the stock markets and private equity drying up and, uh, the IPO window shut shut during the last six months, very, very similar, but the, the, the survivors thrived and we saw those companies thrive.
Now, what do we see happen during that time? And how did the rules change and how are they changing? Now? One thing [00:07:00] for certain is that growth is not valued as much as cash flow and even survival. So the companies that are being punished the most are the ones that are, are on credit, and that credit is going to run low.
And we even see that with publicly traded companies. And then you, then you have other companies that are breaking even, and they’re doing a little bit better, but they still aren’t aren’t as profitable. And even if they have growth, They’re not being rewarded for that anymore. And you see that with the cloud computing stocks and then third, you know, you’ve got those, those profitable companies that are growing very quickly and guess what?
They’re still being beat up. We see that in the stock market with the stocks, but they’re not being beat up as much. And we also know this they’ll be around three years from now. So I ask you today, you know, if you’re in the audience, I mean, this is like Michele said, this is truly a conversation we’re gonna come up with hopefully 20, 30 survival hacks.
That’s what we’re talking about today. And you, if you’ve, if you’ve gone through these tough times [00:08:00] before you’ve done th things with your startup, you’ve made these changes. Please come on stage and share with us. And then seconds. If you are in a challenging company right now, and you have challenges, please come on stage and hopefully the community here can share with you what we can do to help you out.
This is going to be exciting. I’m happy. It’s an open mic today. Let’s get started 20, 30 things we can do. To help startup survive during challenging times. All right. All right. Here we got all right, Michele, I can’t see you. You go, yeah. The, um, challenge has been laid. We’re gonna quickly give tips, you know, tricks, whatever it is, or it could even be so stuff to avoid a pitfall.
So a aside, so Asad you’re on the hot seat. You’re number one. What is your tip for our members today? What do you do as a startup during hard times? Asad, we’re gonna go real [00:09:00] quickly here. All right. Asad is not answering. So Jeff you’re on the hot seat. Well, challenge Colin challenged us for 30, 30 tips. So.
I’ll give the first one to start is one is to do a very thorough audit of virtually all of your business’ expenses. And, and no matter how small, and especially look at recurring charges, you know, one of the things when you’re starting a business is, you know, you’re signing up for a lot of different things, you know, in the early days you might need, you know, this account, maybe you get a Canva account here and maybe you also have an AOTO account there.
And, and you, you suddenly have all of these recurring charges that you may not even be aware of, or you may not be using anymore. And even though each one of them might only be a few hundred dollars, they add up, uh, considerably if you have lots of accounts. So you really want to do a very thorough audit of all expenses, large and [00:10:00] small, uh, as kind of step one.
And then of course remove any expenses that are not relevant to any longer for accounts that you’re not using. And then look at the other recurring expense. Um, agencies, you might be engaged with it’s et cetera, and see how you might be able to, if not permanently, temporarily reduce some of those expenses.
All right. I love that. I tips number one, two tips, and I couldn’t agree with you more Jeff, right? Like what are the reoccurring little softwares, whatever it is that you should cut out on. You’re not using them anyways. And agencies like come on, we all have to hunker down and do the work. Awesome. One and two now, Asad, Asad, right?
Assad’s not coming on. Carlos. How’s everybody doing today? We’re doing great. Now that we heard you, Carlos hit us. Oh, wait. It looked like I saw finally came up. I’m gonna give, I saw [00:11:00] that opportunity real quick if that’s okay. Yes. Tell us, um, what is your cost cutting or challenge or things to help avoid difficult times.
we’re trying to do a quick round table here, Carlos. Okay. Well, um, originally me and my business partner, we’ve been in business now for five years, we started with the furniture restoration company and we actually flip who are not flip, but we actually help hotels and other companies like William Sonoma in value city.
And we’ve been doing that for now for five years. And me and my partner were trying to find out how we could build up higher ticket. And in the last three months, my partner and me have been getting mentored by Myron, Goldman. He is one of our mentors and he has actually helped us look at business in a totally different MI way.
And I actually wanted to apply to see if it [00:12:00] was just a gimmick. I actually helped the landscape come on and help us
waste. We actually, uh, helped the landscaping company and it was more of a, I wanted someone to cut my yard. So it’s really hot here in North Carolina. And I offered the guys like, Hey, I know you’re retired. What if I could help you make more money than what you already make? He has 400 yards. And with those 400 yards, he was making about six to $8,000 a month.
And with the method that we learned in three months, I decided to give him the opportunity to use him as one of my testimonials, but I wanted him to cut my yard as the, the point of it. But, um, I told him if I could help you double your money, you cut my yard for the rest of the summer. And he agreed to that.
So with that being said, I taught him four elements that we are applying to our business that has actually benefited us. And one of it was the, the tickets were, the first element was [00:13:00] lead magnet. The second one was sales conversion. The third one was high ticket offer and the fourth one was continued.
And with that was, he was able to go to all 400 of his clients and offer them $97 a month to cut their yard weedy blow and put down free weed kill. And all 400 said yes to that. His first day he made $38,800. And three days later, he went back to the say 400. And I told him to offer them a bonus package just for six months, for $297 where he would clean the gutters half off on trimming the bushes and coming out and putting down grass seed.
And then the wintertime putting down salt for them 202 of those people actually said yes to that. And the other 199 people said yes, only to the 97, when it was sitting and done in one week, I helped somebody make $97,800. Oh my gosh. At the end of the year, he like, Carlos, let me just stop you for a second.
Like, I wanna hire you as my [00:14:00] sales manager. I let’s, let’s break it down a little bit here, like, cuz we really wanna make sure we’re giving people as many tips as we can in an hour. So what I first heard you say is really like focus on qualified leads. Yes. I think second is, you know, you work like hell to convert them to customers.
You sweeten the deal and then third you upsell them and then almost fourth you built like a custom kind of like, you know, subscription plan for them. Yes. So at the end of the, uh, and he’s a retired policeman at the end of the day, I did not get a contract signed with him, for him to cut my yard. He ended up saying he did it on his.
But when it was said and done at the end of the year, he’s projected to make 880, $87,000 and he is quitting. So the point is, is like the things that me and my partner have learned over the years, we’re [00:15:00] applying it to our stuff as well. And we’re actually doing a five day challenge to teach people these four elements to help them convert people say, you gotta spend thousands of dollars.
Yes. You have to spend money to make money. That is true. But if you are organic and you’re true to your craft, people are gonna be attracted to you to come learn from you and benefit from you. And it’s really not that hard to convert what you need to convert. Right. So, I mean, I, I love what you said, help and convert so that that’s some great tips.
Um, we got those four down, you’re helping us hit down to the countdown. So let’s go back to Mr. Asad. Mr. Asad, what are your tips? Asad?
he’s three times, right? Three times out. All right. Yeah. So, um, let, let me also say this one. Uh, I think it’s a good time to go back to your KPIs and take another look at those. So when we talk about [00:16:00] KPI’s key performance indicators, and, you know, as you know, Michele and Jeff and I are in the, the eCommerce businesses, we have a number of them that we’re involved with.
And so one of the ones that we watch very closely is the RO as the return on ads spends, and for us in our eCommerce businesses, if we’re spending more than 35%, which is a lot by the way, but if we’re spending more than 35% in ad spend, and that’s really that hurts our business, that means that we’re no longer profitable.
And so we even chose in one of our companies to slow the growth down. To drive that ad spending down. I mean, Facebook, the reality is they charge a lot, Google the same YouTube, all of them. And we as businesses, we gotta make certain that we’re profitable. So even if we mean slowing our growth deck, but we wouldn’t have really identified that if we didn’t do a daily KPI of an OS, a ROAS.
And so I last you to look internally and think about that, you know, what is your daily KPI? Um, [00:17:00] whether it’s subscribers, whether it’s churn, whether it’s average revenue per user, what looking at those, those, those, those KPIs. And, and we do wanna try to find some leading indicators, you know, like for instance, number of contacts made, you know, for sales, those kind of things.
So I’d say review KPIs, love that. And for those that didn’t catch it, ROS is your return on ad spent. So that’s a great leading indicator, like you said, and, and there are several others. All right, we’re gonna go a little bit popcorn style here. Let’s get down to the ladies and I see Gina, like, you know, come on like Gina.
Well, what’s a couple of, um, you know, advice points that you could help folks with. Just throw it out there. Gina. All right, let’s go to Beverly Beverly, your mute button [00:18:00] is in the right. Oh, there’s there’s Gina. Oh, there’s Gina. Hi, miss. Hi, Michele. Sorry about that. Had trouble finding the mute button for a second.
Um, yeah, so I just think, you know, working at startups as an email marketing manager, you know, one of the first books that we were kind of given, working here was the one thing by Gary Keller, which is, you know, you want to learn to cut through. , you know, your distractions, your clutter, and achieve better results in less time.
So I think that’s really something that helps with, you know, challenges in difficult times is focusing on that one thing or that one strategy, you know, becoming aligned with your team to overcome certain obstacles. I love that. So focus, you know, you you’re right. I’m gonna just elaborate a little bit there.
Gina is there there’s a lot of power in saying no, right. Gina like absolutely. [00:19:00] You know, what are your top three, whatever it is, goals. And just like, focus like hell like crazy on those and make those, you know, we used to say, you know, you’re doubling down right on those and make it happen. So thank you, Gina.
Yeah, absolutely. All right, let’s go back to miss Beverly. I saw you were ready to talk Beverly. Hi, thank you for, um, inviting me to come to the stage and hello to everyone in the room. Um, I love the topic. Um, I work with some startups, um, businesses, helping them, um, tighten up their back office operations and, um, their finance team, either building one out or creating one for them in house.
And one of the things that I try to help them with most, because most startups are in a position where they are, um, not financially strapped, but you know, trying to use as minimum amount of their finances in the beginning as possible. [00:20:00] Um, a big, huge part of that is tightening up those operations, those processes and procedures, making sure that mistakes aren’t being made over and over again, um, that they’re costing you money, um, not, uh, and also making your, getting the return investment on your marketing.
- And that’s a part of the procedure process. That’s making sure that every time a customer is dealing with your business, that’s dealing with it. Every customer is dealing with the same level of work being put out exceptionalism, you know, optimum efficiency being done, and that’s having proper procedure person.
Isn’t doing one thing. Another person is doing another thing, making sure that your business is being presented well at all times to the level that you, that your customers expect. Um, but I would also agree definitely with Jeff Jeffrey, um, double check those expenses, look at the budget, make a budget, tighten up the budget as much as possible.
Look at what’s working. What’s not, um, a lot of companies hold on to things that are making them [00:21:00] money, but. A lot of money. So focus on, what’s making you a lot of money at four at the time being if necessary. Um, kind of like what Colin was saying, look at your KPIs. Um, focus on something different every day, whether it’s the customer, whether it’s churn, um, and just make sure that you’re you set goals.
Definitely. That will help too, cuz you’re just kind of out there doing stuff, you know, you gotta have a plan, a strategy, set a goal. Say if I looking at churn one day, uh, uh, focus on how, what you can do to bring these customers back. Uh, if you’re focused on marketings, set a budget, set a goal, you know, how do you wanna bring ’em back?
What resources, what you don’t have. One way you can save money for a startup is if you don’t automated, look into that. Uh, that’s definitely a lesser expensive way to go, um, what isn’t being done in house, but, but that you need done to be cleaned out. You know, of course you can always [00:22:00] outsource, um, on a part-time basis, uh, rather than hiring an employee and, you know, going through the steps of trying to accommodate them with a salary.
If you don’t have an eight hour job, you know, I’ve gone into work with some startups that have like a full team and have like really four hours worth of work for eight people. And I’m like, you know, you can cut this down to four or three people and save money there. So it’s just different things that you can look at.
But I would definitely say the expenses, the KPIs, um, and looking tight, taking up your budget, looking at specifically what’s working and flowing with that and being able to cut off what isn’t working. thank you. Yeah, I like Beverly. I like what you’re saying about the, um, outsourcing too. And I know that in our companies, uh, where we get a, you know, a proper procedure or a process that is recurring, you know, business process outsourcing that we’ve had a lot of luck outsourcing to countries like the Philippines for virtual agent, where you literally [00:23:00] pay where you may be paying $40,000 a year in the United States for you can pay, um, you know, six, $700 a month.
So you’re, you’re probably talking 10 K a year and they’re almost as effective. It really depends though on the type of function and the type of work. But if you do have these repeatable processes, you can reduce your labor costs by, um, hiring people overseas. And actually that can help you scale as well.
So you don’t, you don’t necessarily have to get rid of employee. The employees you currently have, can be redirected to, you know, more revenue generating areas where these processes. These, um, that you’re doing over and over again, they can be outsourced, but, but I think you had five or six good points for our 30 great stuff.
Yeah. I think Beverly, you sound like an amazing COO honestly, so everything you said there, like right on point processes [00:24:00] and just, you know, this has been one of my big things, my whole career, like, you know, what is your resource allocation? What is your return on your resources? Like, and then Colin said, you know, and how do you optimize people into a better position?
And guess what? They’ll be happier. It’s a win for everyone. So thank you so much, Beverly. All right. Um, next let’s go. Oh my gosh. Carlos, did you go already? Yes. Carlos went, I think Carlos went. Okay then all, so yes, let’s go to Oki
to, OK. Can you hear me? Yes, we hear you. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks for the opportunity. I just wanted to jump in and, uh, talk about my experience and, you know, in the business technology area, [00:25:00] you know, having some sort of like, uh, softwares and service and websites and mobile app and things like that. So, uh, one thing that I did wanna mention was, you know, leveraging the surrounding resources, uh, this, this might be a little, like in terms of, you know, situations where we currently at where, you know, there’s a whole lot of, uh, distractions in the, in the industry.
So, you know, leveraging friends and family, for example, for, for testing and just, uh, Talks generally. And as well as on the financial side, uh, you know, talking to corporations, which is gonna be like getting grant for, to be able to steer, you know, financial needs for applications and websites or whatever.
Uh, you’ll love to put that in. And the other thing is going to be like the community
small [00:26:00] and learning more. And you know, this is another good thing too. And the one other thing I wanted to mention was, uh, spin on your competitors as well. Like, I, it’s very legal in my game too. You know, see what someone else is doing, how much are they charging for this products? What are they doing differently?
You there’s tools just plug
especially space differently. And. You know, go from there and that’s it. Thank you. All right. So I, you know, okay. I, I, I agree with you. It’s fine. It’s whatever, call it, whatever NBA term you want, like know what’s going on in your competitive environment and adjust. But what I would suggest to people is, is don’t be fooled.
Don’t artificially. Think somebody’s doing really well by doing [00:27:00] certain, whatever price maneuver. Like you mentioned, like really make sure you do your due diligence, but you better know what’s going on, cuz there’s a lot to be gained there. Thank you. Okie. And we’re jumping around here. We said we’re popcorn.
Um, but next let’s go to Susan, Susan,
Susan, the mutes on the far right hand corner. What are your. There you go. . Are you able to hear me? Is there perfectly okay. Yes. Well, thank you for having me to this stage, I think is the first time this has happened. I, uh, see that my old name of my company is in there. I, uh, started a healthcare clinic in Alaska.
So I’m talking here, sitting outside the dealership in Wasilla, Alaska, uh, I own guidepost pediatric therapies and educational services. And I was listening some of the more brilliant tips. I really like [00:28:00] Beverly, um, we’re kind of in the thick of things. I opened it. I wrote the business plan during COVID and our first claim went out September 29th.
I guess if I had any tip, it would be, we’ve had some staffing challenges and I hear all over the country. I was listening to, uh, staffing agent this morning telling me it’s impossible. I can’t do it. first thing he said, and I thought in the most challenging staffing, uh, arena. We brought staff to us. And though there has been some turnover I would, I guess my tip would be don’t listen to any of the naysayers.
If you’re having trouble hiring, keep at it. Adjust your CEO or your, your SEOs on your website. Uh, one of ’em came through that. Um, talk to everybody. I heard of friends and family tip, but. Put it up onto indeed spend the money if you need to, but chase down every lead you can hire in this market and you can find great hires in this market.
Um, the challenge for me as a new business owner [00:29:00] is making sure I retain them. but don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t staff your business. Um, I don’t and I don’t, I, I heard a lot of other good things. Um, we have a cash flow problem. I’d love if somebody talked about that, in the healthcare industry, a lot of your capital, a lot of your cash is tied up as insurance comes in.
So 25% of my cash flow is always tied up and that has been a challenge that I had to address. So having the COO would be fantastic. um, but yeah, I appreciate you calling on me. Absolutely. And, and I love your persistence. I I’m kind of the same way. Like I dare you to tell me I can’t hire somebody good.
Like I will make it happen. So it sounds like, you know, you’re so optimistic and that’s, that’s quite brilliant and that’s a tip in its other way. If you really know you’re onto something good, just like persist, but you [00:30:00] said, you know, about hiring, you can hire good people, like just put together the right packages.
Maybe somebody just wants to live in Alaska. I personally love Alaska. So, you know, like it, it’s a very optimistic point and it, it, it works. But, you know, you asked for a specific, uh, feedback, which I think Colin, you’re, you’re really poised to address that. Um, Susan’s asking you, like, how do you manage through difficult cash flow, Colin?
you know, cash is oxygen, right. And that’s survival. And without, without cash in a recession, uh, it’s hard to find investors. So, you know, cash is at a premium and you know, this is probably in its own topic in its own, right. Where, um, you know, there are some things you can do for instance, when you have, you know, if you’re experiencing challenges, sometimes it makes sense to share your problems with your [00:31:00] suppliers.
Once your suppliers understand where you’re at, they’ll appreciate the honesty. And at the same time, uh, they can make adjustments and they can sometimes do things for you to help you with your cash flow, such as extending the terms or, um, providing, you know, inventory at, at, um, quicker allotments. Like there’s, there are many different things that can, can occur there, you know?
Um, Cash it’s it’s it’s it’s, it’s a tough one. We did a, a couple of sessions about six months ago on the customer funded startup. But if there’s a way you can actually get your customers to help fund your startup, you know, earlier today, uh, was brilliant. What, um, the gentleman had said, um, in regards to the lawn care business and how they turned that into recurring revenue.
Um, sometimes you can have, even in [00:32:00] that situation, you can say, well, if you pay a year in advance, you know, I think he was saying it was, you know, 290 or 90, $99 a month or whatever like that for, for the, the lawn care service. But if you pay a year in advance, it’s only a thousand dollars. So that could sometimes be a short term way of generating cash flow is using your customers, uh, working with your suppliers.
Um, and then, um, Sometimes working with the banks, it, it, you know, and, and restructuring loans. So you’re paying a lower interest rate and don’t trust me, you can do this. You can go back to your banks. You can go back to your investors, although you have contracts in place, but trust me, they all want to see success.
And, um, and how you deliver this message to your suppliers, whether it’s your investors or not. Um, but you can go back to them and say, okay, I know I I’ve been paying 7% interest, but I’d like to drop it to three and a half, but here’s what I’m willing to do in return. I’m willing to, to, to put that on the back end, you know, so there are, you know, it’s always [00:33:00] re it’s renegotiation time and you’re gonna renegotiate with your suppliers.
You’re gonna put, you’re gonna pause some of your consultants. You’re going to, uh, there’s, you know, four or five, six key things you could do in those areas to try to preserve cash. This is just up top of my mind right now. I dunno, Susan, if you have any other thoughts, but I’m gonna weigh in here. Like Susan, what call said, it really works.
We do it a lot with our business. You know, cuz when you’re signing contracts, everybody’s so like worried, but he is right. Like whatever you have six months under your belt, things are going well, there’s nothing wrong with going back and asking for more. It may not be monetary. It may be other things to help your business out.
You, you know, these are very viable options because guess what? They don’t wanna lose you. But something else came to my mind because you said specifically, if I understood you correctly, that you do clinics and this is something I always wonder why [00:34:00] more doctors slash clinics don’t do is offer a concierge service.
Like I, I would sign up with it tomorrow with my doctor and I have family in the medical profession where people pay like $50,000. But I think there’s a place in the market maybe for like a couple thousand dollars a. They get a concierge service. Like maybe you, you know, will do house calls four times a year, or maybe, you know, if they have a, you know, there’s so many variations on that, just to add quick service cuz when people, you know, need help, like we, we had friends that had COVID recently and they just wanted to, you know, they, they just wanted the prescription for that fast relief pill.
If you were on a concierge service, like I could drop, you know, a phone call in and just get your, your personal, whatever, um, response within 24 hours. Like [00:35:00] there’s some very cool things that you could do that are greatly beneficial, I think, to prospective and current customers, um, that you could feel good about.
So that’s just a few ideas, Susan. Oh, that’s a, those are some wonderful ideas. I guess we did pivot telehealth. My build out wasn’t done until, uh, December one. So we’re occupational physical speech, behavioral, mental health, and educational services. And I do think being Johnny on the spot, getting people in day of, or week of with a referral has made a big difference.
That’s where our excellent reviews are. People are desperate for healthcare. Their children are in need of healthcare, uh, or they’ve been shut up in the house. And so they are super glad to see us even before we had the build out. Now that the build out is open. Um, that’s the feedback that I get a lot of parent told me, gosh, Friday, Hey, I fly my kid down to Arizona for top notch care.
Now I drive him across, uh, from south Anchorage to you because you’re just that good or you’re my people are not me. [00:36:00] My people are that good. And so, wow. It was like a staffing win. I love the suggestions about cash flow. Going back and restructuring alone. Uh, I was just at the bank yesterday, just giving him a ration of shit over, not doing something I ask him to do, but in a happy way, but, um, trying to look at every single expense that’s coming through.
But I thought that the guy, the salesman that talked, I do think I could do a lot more with the educational services side of my business. I am not selling that. Right. Like, like you said, selling packages a month at a time, getting that cash flow up front, I think is a brilliant idea, but I, I appreciate all the ideas as far as a concierge service.
I think there is a market for that. I’m from Texas, I think would be great up here. There’s a market for it. We do some in-home health already with patients. Um, you have to be a little careful with that. I mean, a couple things came to mind. You have the anti kickback law, you have some pretty serious federal laws that govern me as a health clinic, but.
There’s [00:37:00] ways to do that. That is doesn’t, isn’t a kickback. It doesn’t look like a handshake. You know what I mean? It’s an actual marketable. No, absolutely. Right. It might be, if you’re being admitted to the hospital, we’ll have somebody there within, you know, four hours to meet you. You, you know what I mean?
Yeah. Like people just need health advocates. I don’t know how else to put it advisor. It’s true. It’s true. Yeah. A lot of my job is being a health advocate or, uh, being a social worker as an owner. I’m more of a social worker and traffic director. now my people do the healthcare stuff, but it’s true. Yeah.
Walking with a family through a behavioral mental health crisis, uh, is one of the things we did last month. So the, I think there is a market for it. Can I charge for it? That’s a very interesting thought. All good thoughts. wow. Yeah. Very good. Thank you. thank you. It was amazing having you on. Thank you for joining.
Thank you for having me. You bet. All right, let’s go to [00:38:00] Joe, Joe, we’re dying to hear your suggestion for businesses, startups that are hitting hard times, uh, do a good benefits versus efforts of your current projects. So make sure that you were working on the lowest effort with the greatest benefit task prioritized.
That was so succinct. I, I, I love it. Yeah, you couldn’t be more correct. Like really doing, you know, a cost. If I can paraphrase you tell me if I’m wrong, Joe, a cost benefit analysis. Like it’s easy to make a list. We can all do this of a hundred different things, but what will give us the fastest furthest.
Fastest. I don’t know if I said that. Right, right. The, the furthest fastest, sorry. Or the furthest with the least amount of [00:39:00] effort. Yeah. All right. Yeah. You, you said it much better than me. Okay. I’m a little tongue tied here, but yeah, I couldn’t agree more with you. Um, is there anything else to add to that?
That was fantastic. But do you wanna add anything else? Uh, that’s what I’m currently working on, uh, that, and then customer journey is my next step. So after that, I’m, I’m polishing off customer personas. Before I go. And as a friend told me, don’t go put on the marketing on the marketing gasoline until you have a good process to be able to handle all the work you already have really smart.
So it, it sounds like you’re an expert prioritizing if I can say, I mean, really? Yeah. Prioritization. And like you said, like, how can you get the furthest fastest. Like thank you for adding that, Joe, you, you just like built in a, a, a bit of reality for us, so thank you [00:40:00] happily. Okay. We have Adam Adam help us.
We need help. Hey, how you doing everybody doing today? Um, so for me, which is funny, cause obviously hate this kind of advice when I used to get it early on, but actually perspective. So you can’t have one dimensional things in life. So everything there’s a good to a bad. So even in recession, if you actually research it, it’s actually 40 trillion physical dollars out there in the earth, in the floating around in the world.
So the ideal of recession and money shortages and everything, it depends on where it’s going. So yes, some things may be. Dying down in some area, other things are grown tape. For instance, you can kind of look at COVID where people made millions of dollars off of selling tissue and everything else. So sometimes you gotta look and understanding.
So where are the focal points and where the [00:41:00] money flowing? So if you look at how things are that somebody’s willing to pay you a million dollars out here, but it just gotta know who you are. So if you provide the right value for them, you can kind of be able to get to where you want to go. So just in general, if you look at the right side of things, even when things are hard, it’s down, you’re like this suck.
Does nobody paying me? Nobody got money. Like, has it really got money? Or are you looking in the wrong pond right now is a bigger ocean where people got plenty of money ready to give it to you. So like, most people know the rich and the wealthy, they can’t let money sit around. So they gotta find ways to give money.
So if you providing value, money will attract to you. So if you’re looking right areas, there’s always money constantly. That’s why y’all was hearing about people and depression is making the greatest amount of wealth ever because there’s opportunities in it. Now it might suck, might be a lot of distractions in it, but if you look in the right areas, it’s always [00:42:00] money to be made in any market.
Adam, like you’re a breath of fresh air. Like Jeff, like he, he said so many good things. Like maybe you’re just looking in the wrong, you know, place. Jeff you’ve been in so many different businesses and so successful. Like, can you give us some commentary, boil it down for us? Well, these, these were all, you know, great suggestions and, and these are things that really every startup should be doing all the time, not just in difficult times, right?
These are just really all the, all these suggestions we’ve heard today have been just really good. Um, Best practices. I really liked. Um, I think it was Joe, uh, Joe’s idea about the, uh, the cost benefit analysis. And actually you can do that really easily on a whiteboard, literally just make a quadrant graph and just plot things on the quadrants.
You know, where the, the, the far, you know, where you have at the [00:43:00] top is, is the difficulty and to the right is the, um, the benefits, you know, the results. And you can very quickly plot things out and see which of the items that have the, the highest benefit for the lowest amount of effort. So I really like that idea.
No, Michele, one thing I was thinking about too, just going back to the idea of, of difficult times, you know, we talked about challenges in difficult times. A lot of these suggestions are, are good for any time, you know, I’m old, I’ve been in business for 40 years. So I’ve lived through, you know, many difficult times.
I’ve lived through, um, businesses that have gone bankrupt. I’ve lived through, uh, you know, businesses that had to deal with, with stock market crashes and housing crises and, and, uh, terrorist attacks, you know, all the things that have happened over the past 40 years. And, and so I’ve seen different approaches to cutting back during difficult times.
And, and I want to just point out two different philosophies. If you’re, if you’re [00:44:00] faced with having to reduce your staff and cut your overhead. If you’re faced with having to choose to reduce overhead, I’ve lived through it several times, where companies I was working for, or with, or companies that I was involved with, um, had to cut their overhead.
And there are two choices that often you have to make one choice. And one time I went through this, we decided to cut everyone’s salary across the board. So everyone in the company, uh, from top to bottom, got a salary cut. So everyone felt the pain. Uh, another time when I lived through a similar situation, this company chose a different path and chose not to cut the salaries of anyone who remained, but to cut people right, and, and reduce the number of people on the team.
And unfortunately lay off some people, um, two different approaches, same result, you know, arguably both caused the same reduction in overhead, but [00:45:00] two different results in terms of what happened afterwards. And so this is something to think about if you’re faced with that situation and I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong answer here.
It’s just two different approaches, but, you know, When you make everybody feel the pain in that circumstances, certainly everyone felt, you know, they were aligned, everyone’s interests were aligned, but it also created, it was a difficult time for the morale of that company. And it was a difficult time because you had everyone kind of depressed.
Um, you know, and, and, and it was much harder in that instance, in my opinion, to, to sort of rally the troops and everyone really come together to make the company succeed. The flip side, you know, in, in the circumstance where we cut. people. Um, but the remaining people actually, um, you know, remained whole so to speak.
Um, it was a much easier time to rally the troops and, and get the remaining team members to really step [00:46:00] up, you know, up their game. Uh, you know, really focus on everything that had to be done to make the company, uh, survive and thrive and get through the difficult times. So again, I’m not advocating one or the other, every company’s different.
Every company has a different culture. So you, as the founder, you know, are going to have to decide, but I did want to point out that there are different ways to approach getting the same result, the result being in this case, you know, an overhead reduction of X dollars. Um, so I don’t know if that’s helpful, but you know, since the topic was challenging times, that’s probably been one of the toughest things that I’ve had to face in challenging times was managing, um, cutbacks and overhead.
Yeah, I just happened to be in Zi a few days ago. And, um, we visited an orchard and my family has a tree farm. So it was of interest to us and they had some trees that gotten a little too big and they weren’t producing well. And so [00:47:00] what they do is they cut the tops of the trees off and it doesn’t pro produce quite as much the next year.
But two years later, three years later, the tree is producing a lot more than it did originally. And I, and I go back to that story where we kicked off with Hostopia when we, you know, nine 11 hit and we, we, we were losing four 30,000 a month. And, uh, the first thing, one of the first things we did, we did have to do a layoff.
It was unfortunate, but you know, of the a hundred employees, we cut about 30% of our workforce. And that, you know, that was a tough group. That was those 60, 60, 65 employees who remained. They, they, they were the, the basis for building that company to become a successfully, publicly traded company, ultimately, uh, sold to deluxe only eight years later.
So the tree, you chop it up the top, you know, it does, it is painful at the beginning. You know, there are, there’s some losses, but you do benefit from that. I just wanted to throw one other thing out there for [00:48:00] everyone here. I think when we’re, in times like this difficult times, that what we really need to do is lean on others.
Uh, you know, put together a circle of trust. Um, I am, am involved with an organization called entrepreneurs organization and I meet with other business owners every month. And, uh, we discuss, uh, with everyone. Our challenges and our problems and we help resolve them. And I think you can create a trust. You can create a group of people, which your investors, your friends doesn’t have to cost you any money.
They can be, um, not necessarily board of directors, but board of advisors. That’s a smart way of going. You know, everybody wants to be part of something. They wanna be part of a startup. Um, and you’re bringing a board of advisors and, um, they can help you turn around a company. And I I’ve done that many times.
I’ve gone on onto board of directors and board of advisors for companies and, and we’ve tried to help them turn their company around. So that’s the other thing I would suggest, you know, [00:49:00] I dunno if there’s any other ideas here in the audience, but, you know, get a reliable group of friends and, um, experts around you.
Yeah. I, I, that’s a great, I it’s great advice. I don’t even wanna say idea. I actually recently was reading an article. I think it was out of Harvard business review, just talking about what makes people successful in their career. And it was about mentorship and, you know, advisors, like they really broke it down.
Like this is not a one way journey. Right. And no one knows all the answers and there is no one right answer. So really like being able to reach out into a network of people, you know, and share advice and help each other can be very, very crucial, not just a business, [00:50:00] right. like in every facet of our life, we’re not an island onto our own.
So thank you, Colin, for reminding us of that. I think, you know, we’re getting near to the end. I just wanna remind everyone that you are now in the, um, serial entrepreneur club, which is every Friday at 2:00 PM Eastern time. And we just delve into, and as Colin would say, try to decode what it takes to be successful, what it takes to repeat that success.
And we’re here to help everyone. This is, you know, a membership club. So if you’re not a member of the club is free, obviously you’re on clubhouse. Just join us, follow people on the stage, follow each other, reach out to each other. So before we end this session, I thought it might be [00:51:00] fun just to kind of go around the room here, the folks that are out on the stage and you can still raise your hand and just like.
Tell us like what you’re doing now. Like I know this is being a little bit vulnerable and I’ll start because you know, it it’s, I, I have rough times now too, with a couple of businesses I’m working with just go around the room and just say, you know, very, you know, briefly a challenge that you’re facing and what you’re doing, and there’s no right or wrong answer.
Okay. So we’re looking forward to this. I will start off, um, I’m running a company and we’ve been very challenged with, um, shipping and manufacturing, um, which has been predominantly outta China. So what we are doing and it’s been very hard is we’re trying to source very, very locally. The prices are higher and it’s a very different dynamic, not the [00:52:00] volumes, but we’re really trying to find alternative sources.
Um, what we have found that is working. Experimentally is reaching out to, you know, the community, not big manufacturers, but you know, local people that can just like help us in, in, in to be very concrete here in cat beds, like just sewing, like 50 cat beds at a time compared to what we were doing, which was thousands, um, outta China in the past.
So I’m Michele and that’s my challenge. And that’s how I’m trying to overcome it. So, Jeffrey, well, I think, um, you know, one of the things that, um, that we’ve done, uh, lately to kind of really stay focused and, and improve, um, the margins, uh, on products is really taking a, a deep dive and look. The performance of different products that we’re selling [00:53:00] relative to their costs and margins and going through and doing a very detailed, uh, ABC analysis, you know, an, a product is something that, that sells well and also has a good margin.
You know, a B product might be something that has, it might be selling well, but it doesn’t have a very good margin or conversely, something that has a really good margin, but it doesn’t sell very well. So it doesn’t matter. And then of course, C products would be things that don’t have a very good margin and they don’t sell very well.
And then looking at, at changing how we position and market those products, according to what category they’re in. So putting more, um, considered efforts behind the A’s, um, seeing if you can bring the C’s up to BS, uh, et cetera. So doing that kind of analysis and really, you know, getting very granular with the performance of each individual product, but performance as it relates to the profitability, hopefully that makes.
Yeah, absolutely. And not to be too Bish, but it’s [00:54:00] very like, um, you know, the product matrix, like what are your rising stars? What are your dogs? Like? I love that like really understanding what’s moving the needle and what can move the needle, which you talked about earlier, Jeff. Um, cuz you don’t wanna Rob that, so thank you.
All right, Michele, am I next? Yes. Go for it. All right. Um, I, I think that, so mine’s a little bit of unique, uh, I guess, cause I’m not a single startup. I have a portfolio of companies and it’s a family office, but I can tell you how it’s changed for, for me and for other VCs and private equity groups. Um, you know, one thing is we’ve seen a number of companies struggle, um, and in recognition of that I’ve stopped doing any new investments.
I closed two investments in the last two months. uh, and, and that’s it, I’ve sort of said to, you know, everybody around me, no, no longer taking any new investments, [00:55:00] I I’m gonna use cash to support the existing companies. I, I think that’s important. We, you know, as investors, we, we put a lot into these companies.
We don’t want them to, you know, collapse in a, in a downturn just simply because of not having enough cash flow on hand. Um, so you’ll see that with a lot of the investors now, it’s gonna become a lot more challenging to raise money. It’s not impossible, but, um, but it is gonna be more challenging cuz everyone’s looking internally, everyone’s looking at how can we make certain that our existing portfolio can survive through this challenging time.
And, and that’s sort of how we we’ve made changes here internally. We’ve actually sold some positions and um, exited a couple of positions. And, um, I’m pro in the process of boosting cash flow to take advantage of opportunities. I know it sounds ruthless, but there’s gonna be a lot of opportunities over the next six months year as we face these very challenging times [00:56:00] with high inflation and, and a potential recession.
All right. I love that Colin. And we really appreciate your perspective as an investor on a portfolio of businesses, you know, Cassius king, right? Like just, just focus on what you have, if you feel it’s good and make it work. So thank you. Yeah. And I actually, in top of that, I, I just pulled a big loan on, at a, at a 5% interest rate, which, you know, for me, it was like, oh my gosh, I only, only six months ago, I was getting 3% on my real estate.
And now I’m over 5% and I haven’t closed the loan yet, but it’s gonna close pretty soon. But, um, I recognize the importance, even if I’m paying the higher interest rates, the importance of having cash flow. In ch cash in challenging times is big opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs who are in a position to take advantage of that.
Then there is a period of time that needs to go by before, you know, it gets worse and have people recognize that, you know, we’re, we’re in these challenging [00:57:00] times, but you know, once you go down that path, there are opportunities. And I’m trying to, I’m trying to be positive here, but I know there are others on the other side of this fence who are like, well, that doesn’t help me.
You know, I’m not, I don’t have a lot of money right now. I gotta survive. And I totally sympathize and understand where you’re at. I’ve been there many times in my life as well, and, you know, stick with it and stick and believe in what you’re doing and, and preserve that cash at all costs. And it, it doesn’t matter what it take, what it takes in your organization.
But if you can survive through this, you’ll, you’ll, you’ll thrive in so many stories today. We’ve heard about innovation and change and. How the challenges, whether it was COVID, whether it’s recession inflation, you know, we’ve heard so many people change their business plans and become smarter and stronger to thrive once we come out of this.
Awesome. All right, callers quickly. Um, what is your challenge and what are you doing? So I’ll be brief with it. Me, y’all heard from my partner Adam a minute ago, but [00:58:00] we’ve been in business for five years and I’m not gonna lie. I have been through my ups and downs with my business partner have created other businesses that Stu had.
We had to let those go and went back to what we know. And then I came to our realization. I’m actually good at helping people make more money with the values that I learned from each business that we had in the past. And especially with the mentorships that I had been taking. And with the story that I told you with the landscaping company, how I helped that individual for free, I was like, I think I have finally found my calling into doing something with business and helping other business entrepreneurs make money.
So I’m gonna leave y’all with that. And, uh, I do wanna say one little thing to everybody. There is a saying success is rent rented, not owned, and that rent is due every day. So I just wanna leave that in the group. And, and that’s my story, right? Carlos, you gave me chills. Like that was so good. Thank you for that [00:59:00] takeaway and just, you know, focus on what you know you do well, and you’re helping people like that’s amazing.
Thank you. All right. So Okie.
Okay. Let’s go to Beverly Beverly you’re our COO here on the stage. Like tell us, tell us my friend. Um, well, one of the recent challenges that I have, um, because I worked so one on one that’s, um, the basis of my business I’m, uh, consulted. So I spent previously a lot of time going into offices and actually working with maybe the finest manager or a CEO to look at their back office, look at their finances and, and help them, you know, kind of advise them on what changes they need to make.
You know, like what’s working, what’s not [01:00:00] what you can keep, what you can kind of shift and move around. And then when COVID hit, um, I didn’t travel. I couldn’t travel. Um, you know, to these offices, a lot of them were working from. Start doing, um, of course over the internet, the zoom and that worked out great, but it cut down on the amount of clients I could see.
Um, it’s easier if I go to a business, say fly to a business or even drive or whatever, if they’re depending on where they’re located, um, I could spend a day in their office and get a lot done a day, maybe a day or two day and a. Um, over video, of course, you know, they would have to send me any documents.
They want me to see procedures where I could revamp them, make ’em a little bit more specific for them, things like that, their reports, their current numbers, any data that they had, they would have to send that to me ahead of time for me to look at, and then we’d go over together. So it just was a long process.
So it just cut down on how many clients I could see, but I [01:01:00] was getting calls and, you know, requests. So what I did, the way I handled it, I created and I just finished it but I created a course for CEOs, um, for smaller business owners that were contact me that I just didn’t have time. Um, but I first I did a survey and asked them, what are your main pain points?
What is it that, you know, I took a survey myself too. When I go into these businesses, what is the main questions that they always have? What do they wanna know? A lot of CEOs. Hate finance don’t like dealing with it. So my main goal was to make it easy for them to make ’em to understand, you know, it’s not that difficult once you focus on what you need to focus on, you know, I think they get lost in the weeds of accounting and all that, and that’s not what a CEO needs to do.
Um, so I created a course based on, you know, their pain points. Um, that specifically speaks to what the CEO should be looking for to know the financial health of their business, what reports they should be looking at, [01:02:00] how to use those reports to make financial decisions in your business. I even included for every module, I put a template that they can download that goes with what I’m speaking to in that module.
So. If they are using it, seeing this stuff for the first time, it’s like, well, how do I get started? So, okay. I included a template how to use that template. Um, just an easy way for me to reach out to the people who are contacting me. And now I just defer them to the course it’s out there for sale. I, I make price it reasonable so that smaller business owners can use it.
Um, and that was just a way that I kept it go, you know, was able to keep my business going without traveling and not losing as many clients as I not losing them, but just not being able to reach ’em or to help ’em as quickly as I wanted to, I put the course out there it’s about an hour and a half, maybe close to two hours, um, of information.
I tried to jam pack in everything that I thought was absolutely [01:03:00] necessary for a CEO to know off the top to, um, function well financially in their business. And it’s been working out great. It’s been working out really great. You know what that’s so phenomenal because you’re giving and you’re going to get, that’s one of the core principles for Colin, Jeff and I, that Colin set up is you give to get, so that’s, you know, you’re establishing, you know, from the high level yourself as an expert, but you’re really helping people and it seems so genuine.
So that’s, that sounds amazing. So I think everyone should probably follow Beverly and the other people here on the stage, you know, and interact and get help where you can. So thank you so much, Beverly. All right. We’re onto Gina, Gina. Like what are the pain points you’re suffering like, or just get to like, what’s happening [01:04:00] that you’re doing to like move things forward.
Now that things are a little bit different. Yeah. So as we all know, you know, our minds are going a million miles, you know, throughout the day, but there’s only, you know, 24 hours in a day. So that’s kind of where my problem comes in. You know, I have so many ideas, but we need to focus on what’s really generating revenue and kind of what’s really our bread and butter.
So that’s been my dilemma, but that’s kind of what has been helping, you know, um, us as a team getting aligned is focusing on what is really helping the company as a whole. And that’s what we’re kind of strategizing and focusing on. That’s awesome. Yeah. I mean, it, it’s great, right? It’s a, it’s a great thing when you’re able to just like focus on things that work and, you know, there’s nothing like winning and we all wanna [01:05:00] win.
So I, I would agree with you. Focus is paramount, so thank you, Gina. of course. Thank you for having me, Michele. Okay. Let’s go to Adam, Adam, uh, for me, I guess, struggling with, uh, shout out to all introverts out there. So it was just kind of getting out into the forefront. So one thing kind of to start off with, like, if you not paying for mentorship, like please invest mentorship, find somebody that’s doing better than you and pay them what everybody, they want to learn the stuff.
So you can have the shortcuts in business and life that you need to go with. But just my mentor were like, like I said, I’ve spoke before earlier were like, people are willing to pay you a million dollars, but they don’t know who you are. So you have these gifts, these talents you put in the work for years and learn these things, but you’re basically not showing it to the world.
You’re [01:06:00] hiding all in the closet where you’re not showing anybody. What you’ve been up to this whole time. So it’s basically all a waste unless you put it out there. So getting out there, getting on social media, go ahead and put yourself in the forefront and remove yourself from the result. Like a lot of people, you try to special.
You wanna, I wanna say something, but it gotta be perfect to do it and perfectionist. And so you never get anything done, but Doug is better than perfect and just having everything out there. So when you sitting there, you kind of sitting in the background playing and listen, Carlos, that’s my partner. He love to talk.
Like for the most part, I would love to have him out in the forefront, a go talk all you want, I’ll hit on the back end stuff. But sometimes we have certain strengths where like either require both of us to be out there anyway. So if you struggle with anything, you know, be in the forefront, like, listen, just go out there.
Just do content, just do it for the repetitive motion. [01:07:00] Get lead the results alone. Just for count. How many times you wanna put out content, how many times you wanna make a post, put yourself out there, leave the followers, the lights, the comments, the share, the saves out of it and just go for, build the muscle memory of it and then do it a thousand times.
Then look where you at. And all of a sudden you realize people actually appreciate the gifts that you actually offering. So that’s kind of the thing I was struggling with. So I’m kind of more trying to put myself out there in the forefront and kind of work on that than things. That’s great, Adam, like, you know, like it’s such a great lesson across all of life and business, right?
You’re, you’re just living life and you’re moving forward and you know, that’s commendable. So we really appreciate that. Like reinforcement, like just, you don’t know if you’re doing anything right or wrong, but you have to do it. Adam, [01:08:00] like you just have to get out there and do it and work with your, your friends, your peers, your mentors, whomever.
It is. So, you know, we’re wishing the best for you. And we appreciate that, Adam. Thank you so much. All right. Last but not least we have measure it. And I hope I said your name, right measure it. Is there any parting, you know, um, experience or advice or suggestions that you might offer our fellow members here at startup club?
- I wish , I’m looking for that actually myself . Yes. Um, I have been really, really, um, you know, trying to get a product out since February that we have been saying that, um, we wanna launch, um, you know, I, we are building, um, a product, uh, a B2 B V two C product. Um, [01:09:00] and, um, I thought that we had all the elements, but then, you know, it’s one way or the other, whether it’s the lawyers getting the document, being done for our platform or the developers being, you know, a bit late and, you know, tying up things and stuff.
And when, um, you know, Collins especially was mentioned in project by anyone’s, um, the cash that we have and. I have been really trying to save so that, you know, we don’t, we don’t burn so fast and run at, you know, just shrink our runway. So, um, tho those has been my, the challenge, but I think, um, you know, I really do agree what you said and someone else also said that, um, it is good to reach out to people.
So I have been reach out, uh, to pretty much every network that we have. So we do have, um, [01:10:00] very, very good, uh, people helping us out as advisory ward, uh, two of them. So that has been helpful. So, um, anyone who gets stuck don’t really give up that’s mine. Um, because we have been pushing since February and we are really close now and, and I mean for July launch and I think a support, whether it’s mentor and if it is possible, even someone who can actually advise in a regular basis or anything like that, um, without, um, you know, when we don’t have the cash to hire someone and, and, um, And be, uh, in a luxury of, uh, you know, having a bit better budget.
Um, those are for me, at least my parting advice to myself and to someone else in my own situation like that similar situation. So thank you for having me. Thank you. So [01:11:00] we’re at the end, actually, we went about 10 minutes over, like this was amazing session. Thank you everyone for contributing here. And for listening, like, you know, we’re a community, we’re a club we’re startup club and this is how we help each other.
So we greatly appreciate your joining us today. Um, we’re here every Friday at 2:00 PM Eastern time. If you want to see past sessions or want to join our email list, please go to ww.startup.club. You know, we have a simple mission. We’re just trying to help each other and decode and figure out how to all succeed.
So thank you everyone, and have an amazing weekend and be well, thank you so much.
Thank you, Michele. Thanks everyone.[01:12:00]