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The Cheezus Thread - A Startup Journey

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by randomshenans, 18 Jan 2021.

  1. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    Thanks @Martynt74 dude! I've signed up to XERO as I got it for 6quid a month down from 12 and it links to revolut business, which I say I have... but they seem to have ****** up my account creation so it doesn't actually work right now but I have a support case open either way. I've then looked at the possibility of using this: https://www.brixx.com/xero-financial-modelling-app-get-started-with-brixx/ to pull them all together for forecasting and planning. The full loop together which is important and **** for futures.

    Now I need to explore software/ apps to help me manage the business partner relationships. I might see if I can use Streak for Gmail, as I'm using gmail anyway and you can do things like pipelines and track things that way. I'll see how it works out with that at the start anyway. Saves money!
     
  2. A2Z

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 9 May 2005

    Posts: 8,447

    Location: London

    I know you are trying to save money at the moment, but if things start to take off (or if you want to invest a bit of ££ now) and you need someone to take care of all your digital marketing stuff, websites, social media etc, one of my best friends is a graphic designer and now runs his own design group. I'm sure I could sort out an OcUK discount :p

    Even when we were on holiday he was busy on his phone making sure all the social media posts are going out correctly for all his clients. Guess when you run your own shop you have to put in the extra effort, like you are now.

    Wish I could do the same and start up something!
     
  3. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    Thanks man, appreciate that. It's something that I've been doing at the moment but know at some point that won't be worth it and I'll need someone else to, so I can do other things. Just at the moment it's money! I spend about 3 hours each sunday creating content for the week, which is working OK at the moment vs. the amount it'd cost me to get a proper person doing it.

    I am going to have to spend tonight inputting previous transactions into Xero so I have all the past stuff in there and have a solid footing. I hate all this ****, it's all a pain but need to make it as accurate as I can. My account with revolut business is still locked though, they're like "open a chat in the app" OK, I don't even have that option soooo? I've signed up for a BRIXX trial too, so will see once I have expenses of the past all in there if I can look at that.

    Two things that have happened though, we're now at 452 users, so on track to pass our 500. It's slow going but it's going and we're on track to have our best month for the second month in a row, so that's a big plus and shows having put 2 months of real work in, that it's working. With this I spoke to the lady running the virtual cheese awards and we agreed to sponsor a cheese category, in fact the cheddar one, for 500quid. You get a lot of coverage and it's expected to have about 5000 people present throughout the event, which will also have us on all their social, and all the stuff on the day as well as the MC of the day plugging the app to everyone too. So for me, it's 500 which is a chunk, but for the potential reach I need to do more than what I am as 2-6 new users a day isn't enough! I am rolling the dice and worst case it's not a good use of 500 but least it's not 5000! I can take that risk and track the ROI.

    I also spoke to that investment company from LinkedIn - Launch. They target companies looking for seed, but that are on the market and hitting early growth stage. They look for 10% MoM growth and $1-10k MRR. Then you can join their 14 week program to help you take that to the next level. You get $100k for 6% equity, which isn't bad really, and by the end of the 14 weeks you should have pitched to over 100 other investors too. I knew we were too early at shy of 500 users. You need to be in the 1000s at least, and he said that there is a trade off on the MRR, so if you aren't bringing in $1k a month minimum but have a large growth in users then this could swing it, but we need that too. He likes the idea and wants us to send through monthly updates on what's going on with our charts and figures, so will definitely do that.


    All going nicely, as always though need the technology side to keep up. If I were to get someone else to do the app work I think it'd cost me at least 5k (and it'd be properly offshore work as well) and at the same time I know they'd have to learn how it's put together now, which I don't have with Ahmed, but I need a bit more speed! Either way, we're putting in some good stuff and good things are happening. Gotta keep plugging away!

    Once I've got the finance software side and all that info in there I'll feel a bit more on top of things and then can look at setting up this lightweight Streak gmail CRM so I can start to properly do some business outreach for partners too. See how I get on this weekend with it all.

    Thanks for all your support in here! I really appreciate it and your comments etc. I only like typing this up as it's a way to get it out my head and think about what I need to do. Otherwise, when you're doing it on your own there is no way to vocalise it!
     
  4. dirtychinchilla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 2 May 2011

    Posts: 10,544

    Location: Woking, Surrey

    Sounds really positive. Keep us posted!
     
  5. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    I posted a job for free on linkedin for a CFO (part time / sweat equity deal) and have had about 30 applicants so far. 100% most of them haven't read the JD and realise it's sweat equity! I also posted that and a CMO role on https://cheezus.co/jobs

    Need to find some time to go through all of this and message everyone/ setup time to speak. It's loooong, but good longterm.

    I also had a thought. I want to increase the effectiveness and accuracy of the machine learning. To do that we need more pics of all of the cheeses. Which isn't so bad until you look at the numbers. We started with 10 cheeses and 1000 images of each. As such, often if something is a light coloured cheese it probably thinks it's provolone as that's one it has 1000 images of. We now have 350 cheeses, but a lot of those have just a couple of pics of each. Some have more that I've put some time into. Mont D'Or has probably 100-200 pics tbh, same with some others but not consistent. How can I make it better?
    I thought I could just outsource data entry, so hopped on to upwork and put a $200 budget on a job to input 100 images of all 320 (which is the list really), that are all different as well. This is important. I mean, I wouldn't do the job, it's mind numbing but hey, apparently people are keen! I engaged one dude who thought he could automate it, which I thought was cool. Good thinking. But then came back after doing about 300 images telling me he just couldn't do it. Not surprised, got a refund, no harm but bit of time wasted. Now I'm about to try and hire someone else for it. That's my next job for today in between work meetings. This should make the app function so much better, so for $200 it's 100% worth it.

    Stats for the week though have been good. I'm close to, or past targets I set for Q1 so maybe I should set them higher next time :p

    [​IMG]

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    I have so many follow up emails to do as well for various things; cheese producers, cracker importer, a dude that does cheese youtube stuff and a couple of others. I wish work wasn't as busy at the moment haha
     
  6. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 29,304

    You need to see potential for marketing as well. Your sig has no free marketing :p
     
  7. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    I do not know what you could possibly mean...
     
  8. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    I'm so getting that removed, it's going to give everyone full on AIDS
     
  9. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 29,304

    It will get removed cos you not allowed moving images LOL. Quickly..
     
  10. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,279

    Location: Higher Walton

    I've finally signed up to Instagram so you can add another follower to your list.

    Also pinged your CFO job advert to my boss, although he has 5 kids so might not quite have too much spare time :p
     
  11. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    lol changed... used your thing... see if I did it correctly!
     
  12. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    haha just saw this pop up! Thanks!


    Thanks for sharing it too. It's a weird mix I'm looking for; I'd love someone young and hungry to learn, but also someone who has basics behind account keeping/forecasting/etc as well as someone who can look at things like gov grants, r&d credits, financing, fundraising and ideally between here and the US to look for ways we can get some cash in from that side, while making sure our models make sense from the start.

    And be willing to do it for equity! So you know... haha
     
  13. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 29,304

    Awesome buddy! That’s great. I’m on my phone so I’ll check as soon as I get beside my laptop or desktop to ya sig out.

    :D

    you really serious about this ain’t you? Told my dad about your app n he downloaded it straight away. How’s that for free advertisements lol

    I really wish I could code I would be in it straight away!

    EDIT: @randomshenans - Come on! You can do better than that. What you done to your sig? Can I design you one? :p

    Who's that guy in the corner? lol
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2021
  14. Pudney

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2005

    Posts: 5,627

    Location: Essex

    Feel free to post questions here as well, unfortunately I'm a tax advisor so management financials aren't really my strong point, but R&D credits are right up my street and that brings with it knowledge of grants as well.
     
  15. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 29,304

    :) Screw it I did you some.

    Feel free to use these anywhere you like if you wish. If you would like to use them both in your signature here reply to me and I'll even upload them for you so you don't have to do anything :p

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    Ah sorry, meeting hell afternoon and evening! You're a legend matey they're wicked!
    Yes!! Thanks man! It's a huge world that and I know that a lot of stuff is available but it takes someone who knows it and how best to do it to really make the most of it. It just sends me in circles!
     
  17. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    Welcome to March - With a seriously solid February, I have so many things going on at work it's properly stretching me but hey, I'm making progress. I'm starting to get the hump with the dev working though and might have to sack it off and go with someone else. My tie to him was "well he knows the stack and built this already, so..." but I'm not getting the communication I need, so need to address this.

    Having said that I put that job online through linkedin for free and then added that and a CMO job on our website and thought I'd come back and deal with them all at some point. That point was last night. With over 100 applicants on linkedin for the CFO I was thinking, "OK, you haven't read I'm not paying you all for this" so went through all of them last night (jesus that's work) and shortlisted 25 that were "good" on paper. I'm looking for someone who can literally setup the basics, as well as forecasting, build processes as they're needed, has experience in fundraising so that they know what we need to look like to be attractive, understand how to setup both US and UK entities (US funding often requires a US entity), how to access lines of credit, and how to work with R&D grants (there are a lot of things you can do to get gov. grants which we could massively use). There are some great people on that shortlist, on paper at least. I thought none of them would realise it was part time / equity based but emailed them and 10 got back to me so far saying they know and that's fine with them. Bonus. I should have done this sooner, but at the same time probably wouldn't have been in the right position to be attractive enough too. Anyway, I've scheduled calls with 4 people next Tuesday morning. I also have a candidate for the CMO role who looks really really good. Will arrange a time to speak to her, too.

    To top off the week, we've just hit our Q1 target of 500 users! Which is wicked. I will see if I can get to 550 by the end of this month though!


    Now this weekend I need to sort out next week's cheesy content, and plan calls to these businesses I need to follow up with.

    Phew. Those 500 were hard. That next 500 will be a different hard, and hopefully we can find out how to make it easier as we go! I'm optimistic and excited I have to say.

    This is currently happening too. I have had about 2000 pics added so far, about 30k to go lol but hey, it's all happening.
     
  18. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 29,304

    Tell me more. I have messaged you in Trust to explain a little bit more about the process. :)
     
  19. taB

    Hitman

    Joined: 2 Apr 2009

    Posts: 740

  20. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,774

    Location: France, Alsace

    Balls, didn't see this dude! Let me check my spam folder!

    Nice one man thank you! I'll check it out!

    Nice quiet friday at work, running a couple of coaching workshops and a sprint review and that's about my day. Been catching up on a few cheese entries (adding pics, info etc. to the back end) and now need to get back to the people I interviewed this week. I interviewed 4 CFOs and 1 CMO and I loved 2 candidates. I really liked 3 but 2 of them I think would be amazing. There was Roshni for CFO who has worked at some super interesting places but loves helping startups. We got on really well, I really liked her and she didn't look at me like a moron when I said we have like nothing worked out finance wise haha
    Mina on the CMO side is really very good. I'd say early 50s and has done a lot of interesting stuff and has been a CMO for a while now! Has worked across so many sectors and loves entrepreneurial companies and food spaces so this was something she'd love to do. I've set her a challenge (she asked for one tbf to demonstrate her abilities, so sure, I set one!) so see what she comes back with. Now to email Roshni and see if she wants to take this to proceed with all this!

    Kind getting a bit serious.... :O


    Also smashed past our 500 mark on users and climbing. Next stop 5k! That's my big aim, hopefully this year!!