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Week 1 Recap at Vixul
Early learnings from a tech consultancy accelerator I'm in
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I just finished my first week at an accelerator called Vixul.
It’s like YCombinator but for Tech Services Businesses, and their goal is to “make available to emerging technology service founders the same resources that SaaS founders have.”
I’ve already learned so much, and I’m excited for the next 12 weeks of the accelerator!
How I Found Out About Vixul
I found out about this accelerator through the comment section in my article, “Stop Building Startups, Start Consulting Instead.”
When I was reading through the comments, I noticed one particularly insightful comment that someone left.
I ended up talking to the person more and soon found out that that person was actually one of the co-founders of Vixul!
Later on, I met the other co-founder of Vixul, and their advice on how to run my own consultancy was so helpful that I started researching what they do more.
That’s when I discovered that both co-founders had very similar backgrounds to me, except they were 10 years ahead of my journey.
They too came from engineering backgrounds, founded a consulting company, and had successfully scaled and sold their services business a few years ago.
Now they’re building Vixul to help tech service founders, like myself, scale and grow the valuation of our consultancies.
Coincidentally, the deadline to apply for this current cohort was just one day away after I met the Vixul co-founders.
So I rushed to submit my application right after our call. I was accepted a few weeks later, and the accelerator started last Monday.
The Format of Vixul
Vixul is structured around its roughly twice-a-week programming that lasts two hours each.
Each call covers a different topic around tech consulting and involves doing exercises in breakout rooms with different founders.
Along with the group calls is weekly 1:1 mentorship with one of their Brain Trust Advisors.
I’ve met with several of them so far during the mentor matching process, and I can say that they are all accomplished entrepreneurs, who generously share their advice and time.
Vixul also comes with their own private community, an app with links to resources, and a directory of all the members.
It’s very similar to YCombinator’s directory, BookFace.
Realizations I’ve Had In My First Week at Vixul
The lectures and discussions I’ve had at Vixul have been so stimulating that I’ve already begun to reevaluate how I operate as an entrepreneur.
The Hidden Cost That Eats Away at Business Margins
For one, I think many businesses aren’t as profitable as they appear because founders often forget to account for the amount of time that they put into the business as a cost.
This is a major factor that can affect a business’s margins.
For example, if a restaurant made $10k in revenue per month, and they only spent $5k in costs for hiring staff, cooking the food, rent, etc, the restaurant owner may think that they are making $5k in profit, since 10k in revenue - 5k in costs = 5k left over.
But this is likely inaccurate because if the owner had to spend 50 hours working that month, and they valued their own time at $100/hour, that means they actually spent $5k of their own time running the business, which they didn’t account for in the costs.
That means that the business actually didn’t have any margins because there’s 10k in revenue, 5k in costs, and another 5k in the founder’s own time.
So the restaurant owner has 3 options to improve margins for their business:
Hire someone to do their job at a more cost-effective rate
Reduce other operational expenses
Importance of Quarterly Planning for Solopreneurs
Another learning I had was the importance of planning ahead for each quarter, even as a solopreneur.
I’ve seen some founders plan only in day-tight compartments and rarely think more than a month ahead.
“If I can’t even finish my tasks for today, then what’s the point of quarterly planning?” some might ask.
With this mindset, it’s easy for a founder to get caught just fighting fires every day, and not make real progress on higher-level business goals.
Then what happens is that the founder ends up working too much IN the business and not enough time working ON the business.
To combat this, it’s critical for any business owner to set OKR’s or “Objectives and Key Results” and make sure to make progress on these OKR’s every week.
For example, one objective could be to “improve my sales funnel” and a key result is “to increase close rates from x% to y%”.
Then the founder could make a list of initiatives that would help get them closer to each key result, and make progress on these OKR’s every week.
In fact, by doing this, I’ve started to block out one day a week for what I call “OKR Day'' where I have no meetings or client work and only work on advancing OKR’s.
That way, I get less distracted with constant fire drills and make sure I’m intentionally moving All-In Consulting towards a greater longer-term vision.
I’ve already learned so much just one week into Vixul, and am so glad I did it.
I can already feel the clarity in my thought and direction for All-In Consulting and am excited for the next 12 weeks of the accelerator.
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