Last week we covered the first half of our 11 tips for making the most out of Q4 - using this time to reflect on the past year, budgeting, and reporting. Let’s move on to the second half of our tips. You have 25% of the year left to make this year great!
7. Plan your fundraising activities, but don’t fundraise yet!
Why not? The timing for finding an investor is not optimal now, as funds will often not want to take a risk at the end of the year with a new investment. But, this is the perfect time for PLANNING fundraising and PREPARING for it. Keep in mind that a financing round will typically take six to nine months to complete. On top of that, it will require about 80% of the CEO’s time. In addition to planning the fundraising, you may want to plan how things roll while you are busy finding investors and pitching them - you don't want your business to fall flat during your fundraising.
Do you already have connections to investors, or have you identified some good fits for your business? Do you have a great elevator pitch? Do you have a teaser about your business? Is your go-to-market strategy, and the overall storyline of your venture solid? How is your pitch deck doing? Is it awesome, or in other words, a pitch deck that will get you a meeting or even funded? Or do you need some help with it?
Your pitch deck is the bridge between you and your potential investors, so you should feel confident about it. On average, investors will look at your deck for less than 4 minutes - there is not much time to convince them! According to research, only 6% of businesses will ever get funding. The VC investors in our network have painted an even darker picture, saying that only about 1 in 100 cases that land on their desk will receive funding from them.
You can raise the initial interest of an investor with a great teaser, one that teases them into wanting to learn more. This will get you to a meeting - overcoming a hurdle that the majority will not make. Including relevant, spot-on storytelling and content in your meeting can mean the difference between walking out of it with them asking for the next meeting, or walking out with a “thanks but no thanks” and a free pen (if you are lucky). There is no second chance for first impressions. So yes, you should feel good about your deck.
Need help with your pitch deck? Book a virtual coffee with us! No strings attached.
8. Is your business seasonal?
If the end of the year is the high season for you, you should be all over ensuring you meet the demand. Is there a risk of delays for shipments that you need at the beginning of the year? Keep that in mind, too. If you do not, your customers may go to someone else and, in the worst case, not return to you when you have stock again. This last quarter also allows you to squeeze out the most of revenues to book still for this year, so aim for an impressive hockey stick!
If Q4 is not the high season in your business, you have more time to plan and prepare for it. But, if nobody is active in your field at this time of the year, it also means that your competition is not - can this be an opportunity for you? Can you create a campaign to utilize this? Give a 20% discount on a voucher for your online store, which your customer can spend on next year's swimwear collection? This way you can book the revenues already today. Or maybe try the following approach: “Reserve your seat to *insert some super cool summer thing* today, and only request for payments at the time of the event. All reservations before year-end get a 10% discount”. This way you'll have secured some for the next. Get creative.
9. Get on top of your social channels - content, content, CONTENT!
Your social media platform is the place to be this Q4. There are countless ways of tailoring your message to drive the goals that matter most to your business. Build some eye-catching branded content to join your audience in celebrating the festivities, create seasonal offers, showcase your products, and how your company is celebrating behind the scenes. Content is the key to success across social, and here are some ideas we like:
Run a giveaway, increasing brand awareness and engagement
Share behind-the-scenes images and videos. Content that includes people is always interesting.
Engage with your customers: Create quizzes and polls to create interaction.
Share how-tos and tutorials
Generate branded hashtags across different platforms. Use trending hashtags paired with some less-used ones.
Create Christmas wish lists with your products/services. Plus, add other companies' services to them to get them to share your wish list
No matter the size of your business, you should always have a seasonal strategy in place.
10. Revisit your goals
Despite their importance, in a vast majority of cases, just setting goals doesn’t work. As many as 90% of businesses fail to reach strategic goals, according to a study from the Economist. Set your goals for the last Q and the new year. Define some Milestones. Set a timeline. Break down your goals into actionable steps. Remember that your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound). Our team loves writing come-back lists for when we are back from holidays. These lists have everything we need to remember when we come back and guide us to where we need to pick up again. This will make it easier to return to the office, and one does not need to stress about what one would need to remember over the holidays.
11. Lastly, take time to relax as most of the world is, too.
Or even better, put it on your calendar. And if you did not plan to, you should read about the benefits of taking time off in a previous blog post of ours. We promise you, you can’t afford not to.
Share this post with your team and friends who need some motivation this Q4!