Saturday, 1 January 2011

End of Year Musings

This post is to celebrate the year 2010. It has been a milestone year at Amoo Venture Capital Advisory. We have been strategic about our goal to attract the best talent and have thus built a core team of advisors, associates, consultants and interns that would make any manager's mouth water.

We supported several startups, many of which you must watch out for in 2011. Take the award-winning Fits.Me and Pavegen Systems for example. Both companies are boldly pushing boundaries in the online clothing retail and sustainable energy space respectively. We also advised Shoobs who provide a cool event management tool for event organisers and hosts of 'off the wall', alternative and non-mainstream events. The Retroscope wants you to travel through time while Vortex Sport Design want you to race faster as they address performance challenges for cyclists.

So life is good. But we are not complacent. One challenge has been cash-flow. The OECD macro economy is in a fragile recovery and this is testing many business models including ours. And if you are nodding your head in agreement, you just fell for the number one excuse of the season. The truth is that in any climate, there are opportunities and money to be made from tapping into those opportunities. This happens when cash is the centre-piece of your business operation, as it rightly should.

Four tips to address this that we have learned and are happy to share include:
1. Test your business model regularly and pivot quickly when required because you cannot afford to leave too many eggs in one basket
2. Come up with practical steps to address cash flow and start implementing immediately
3. Set and focus on a(n ambitious) daily cash flow target
4. Outsource the chasing of your creditors/clients

It is past midnight and I have a backlog of emails to go through but I will take today off and savour the promise that the first day of the New Year holds. The pregnant promise that every entrepreneur recognises only too well. It is the promise we make ourselves every single day as we struggle to build empires and legacies. It is the promise of a better tomorrow.

Oh, and lest I forget... Happy New Year folks! See you on the 2nd of January.

Nzube Ufodike
Managing Director
Amoo Venture Capital Advisory

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