Happy Tuesday folks. It’s been an incredibly productive and exciting few weeks, so let’s jump in to this weeks solopreneur business update:
My last week(s) in business
For those on this list for the last few months (most of you!), you know I’ve been fundraising for my immigration tech company, Visto. Very excited to announce that we finished our pre-seed fundraise, successfully filling (and over-subscribing!) the round and getting more money than initially intended.
It’s been an interesting experience – prepping to raise, going through the motions, and now closing the round. 3 different stages, 3 different skill sets and things to worry about.
The first stage was all about getting the business model right, and how to start an online business. This meant figuring out how we could make money, what our value proposition was, who our target market was, etc. Once we had that nailed down (or at least a good idea), then we could start working on the pitch and putting together a deck to show potential investors.
The second stage was all about the actual fundraising process. This meant reaching out to our networks, attending pitch events, and doing everything we could to get in front of potential investors. It was a lot of work, but it paid off in the end.
And now we’re in the third stage, which is all about closing the round and getting the money in the bank. This has been by far the most challenging and stressful part of the process, but also the most rewarding. It’s a lot of paperwork and legalities, but in the end it’s all worth it.
So that’s where I’ve been the last few weeks, and what I’ve been up to. Hoping to finish all the paperwork this week and getting back to business in full swing!
In the background, we’ve already begun hiring (1 dev, 1 contract designer with 1 more dev on the way) and building the product. These are parts I find much more enjoyable, although seeking funding seems to be a big part of what we signed up for in starting a tech company (and deciding not to bootstrap).
If you’re thinking about how to start a business, or how to raise money for your startup costs – leave a comment. I’d be more than happy to chat and offer any advice I can.
For those of you bored hearing about fundraising so much over the last few months, be rest assured the next few updates will be more focused on things like sales, how to hire employees and product!
What I’m thinking about
With more of my time freeing up to focus on the business side, I’ve been thinking more about business operations, business processes, and specifically with regards to Visto – our business plan.
At the top level, we know we’re building a platform to make it easy for our target market of Canadian companies and recruiters to bring tech workers into Canada. What we’re still figuring out is how we want to approach the recruitment side – not just the legal/immigration side – of the new business.
What I’ve done so far is map out the different business models and approaches we could take, including descriptions, market research, pricing options, pros and cons. Over the next week, I’ll fine tune, review and discuss it with my cofounder and advisors to decide on the top 1 or 2 models to test first.
This is something I’ll report back on in future updates too!
What I’m Reading
Just last night I finished reading What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen Schwarzman, and I’m glad I read it.
I didn’t know much about Stephen other than the fact that he was CEO of Blackstone, very highly regarded and that his book was pretty good. As someone who loves books about successful CEO’s, that’s all I needed to hear.
Overall, I really loved the book. I enjoyed every page, especially the early days starting and getting funding for Blackstone, although the last 20% focused more on his recent philanthropic activities which I just didn’t find as interesting as his business projects, but so be it.
I wouldn’t put it up there with Tier 1 books about people like Musk, Jobs, Branson and Knight, but it’s definitely not far behind – worth a read!
That’s it for me – have an awesome week, feel free to share or forward this to anyone you think might enjoy hearing about my updates and book recommendations, and keep grinding.