A very valuable networking event and sales tool

Happy Monday folks, summer continues to fly by, with a lot of exciting times too.

Let’s jump in:

A very valuable networking event and new sales “strategy”

We had another good week on the tech front. Even though summer tends to slow things down a bit here in Canada – on the business side – our revenue curve continues up and to the right.

Also had a cool discovery this week. Which is that the government offers a grant for SMBs to help them implement new tech, that we (Visto) are likely eligible for.

Or in other words, the government offers free money to our clients to implement software like ours. Which is pretty awesome, if we can convince potential clients it’s worth their time to apply for the grant (which we think it is).

We discovered it from someone we met at a networking event last week, and are going to push it hard as a sales strategy – especially to try and convert leads who are on the fence about using our product. Certainly de-risks giving our tech platform a try if you can get the full payment back from the government, right?

Suffice to say, I’m excited to get back to sales this week with that tool in my back pocket, and I’m certainly glad we attended that networking event.

It was a pretty interesting one as well because they had a great panel that focused on a) hiring your first 10 employees and b) mental health for founders/entrepreneurs. Two very important topics, I’d argue.

It seems like, to me, part of the battle in solopreneurship is finding the right balance between focus and “getting out of the house”. Especially when you figure out something that works for your business, it’s very important to put the blinders on and grind it out, grow grow grow, and not get too side tracked.

But it’s also good to, periodically or as-needed, get out of the house, talk to some outsiders, take a break. It usually gives good perspective and you might pick up on a new opportunitity, strategy, partnership, etc., along the way.

Key takeaway(s): hire away your least valuable skills

I’ve usually never regretted attending a good networking event, and last week was no different.

Keep in mind the word “good” is important here – because if you do your research then most networking events are a good experience, but some can be weak.

This one was good because it was organized by great companies, they had an interesting panel/topics, and served dinner (major points in my book…).

Alex (my cofounder at Visto) and I had some really good takeaways too, such as:

  • the grant we discovered that should drastically improve our sales
  • good tips on how to find the right balance as entrepreneurs
  • things to think about for your first hires

More specifically, we learned that for those first few hires, you want to hire away your least valuable tasks so you can focus on where you add the most value.

For example, Alex spends a lot of time building our platform and also doing customer service. Our initial thought was to hire another developer so they could build our product faster, but we realized that Alex’s highest value skill is coding – not doing customer service.

So instead of hiring another coder, we should hire someone who can handle customer service, unlocking more time for Alex to focus on his high value skill – coding.

Might sound obvious, but sometimes you need to step back and see the forest from the trees to put those ideas in place.

Book of the week

I’m still reading Jack: Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch and am about halfway through. It’s a pretty big book so I’m not sure if I’ll be done by next week, but let me tell you, I can already confirm this is an A-range kind of book.

The closest comparison I can make right now is to Bob Iger’s autobiography, because they’re both “lifers” who worked their way up their respective companies until they became famous CEOs, and I also loved Iger’s book too.

More info next week…

That’s it for me – have a great week, make sure to get my business updates right to your inbox here, and keep grinding,

– Josh

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