Two prominent figures in the entrepreneurial industry, Christopher Schroeder, a global investor with 20+ years of experience in entrepreneurship and Hany Al Sonbaty, Flat6Labs & Sawari Ventures Co-founder have hosted our first Webinar on “how to take off your startup during COVID-19 Outbreak. Here is a quick recap.
Harbour Your Cash and Reflect
The first advice we got from Schroeder for startups is to “harbour your cash.” Meaning that you as startup founders need to focus on cutting down costs if you are not generating considerable revenue, so that you will be capable of surviving and prospering after this period ends. Another point of the discussion was that some startups might struggle with raising money, or they will be met with “bad” venture capitalists who will try to take advantage of the situation, and it is imperative that you avoid them. He has also mentioned that it is important for founders to continuously reflect on what they are learning, and use it to develop their business moving forward.
Questions to ask yourself from Chris:
1) What do we believe now that we think might be different in the future?
2) What do we believe now that will be true of all times?
3) What are three things that we now know, we should have done differently?
Transferring Company Culture Virtually Isn’t Easy
Amidst all this, Schroeder has also stressed that transferring company culture, virtually, is not going to be easy. You have to have a very structured and clear plan for your team during this period on what needs to be done, how you are going to do it, and what means of communications are required.
The Pandemic Heightens the Need for Inclusive Services & Products
As we’ve all seen, this pandemic and the move to online communication, transactions, consultation, etc… has deepened the need for our economies to be inclusive of those who don’t have access to such technologies. Entrepreneurs should cease this opportunity to create solutions that bring inclusivity to a new level, Schroeder added.
Investors Are Not Looking for Crystal Ball Answers
On another topic, entrepreneurs should be aware that when approaching investors, those investors are not looking for “crystal ball answers,” they want to see determination, an ability to adapt and process new information that will benefit their business.
The Pandemic Has Opened People Up to The Virtualness of Things
Talking about the industries growing rapidly during this period, he mentioned that online education, fintech, and communications tools are growing massively, which could possibly have implications on how we operate after the pandemic. “The pandemic has opened people up to the virtualness of things, and to make use of them to make things more efficient,” as worded by Chris.
Read Books That Enrich You
Schroeder had also few tips on utilising the #StayHome policies that many governments and businesses have adopted by recommending that you read when you can. He said that it requires both discipline and trading off other leisures to make it work, and he outright advised against reading books like “how to survive pandemics.” Instead, entrepreneurs should be focused on reading books about how to navigate a business/startup, how to scale it, and basically anything that could enrich you with a new perspective on managing your business.
Chris’s most recommended books:
– Bill Burns — Back Channel
– Robert Caro — Working
– Ron Chernow — Grant
– Bernard Fall — Hell in a Very Small Place
– Ben Horowitz — What You Do is Who You Are
– Yu Hua — China in Ten Words
– Robert Zoellick — America in the World
Read his full Linkedin article here about the best books to read.