Claudio Rojas, CEO, National Angel Capital Organization
Claudio has held the roles of managing director, board member, advisor, and founder of several prominent organizations contributing to Canada’s transformation into the world’s leading innovation economy. He brings an exceptionally long-term entrepreneurial mindset to investments and is a thought-leader on founder-run companies.
Incorporated in 2002, the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) has pioneered angel investing in Canada, including the formation of angel groups and development of best practices, intelligence, tools and educational resources to unlock early-stage capital for entrepreneurs. Since 2010, NACO members have invested over $1 billion into early-stage ventures, creating thousands of jobs and supporting community development. NACO members assist entrepreneurs in every region and industry to execute their vision and commercialize their ideas.
What is your key advice to small business owners for 2021?
Cash flow is critical to small businesses. With uncertainty around when the current crisis will subside, many entrepreneurs are under severe financial pressure. Their businesses are at risk of closure, their employees at risk of being permanently laid off, and their livelihood is at risk. Small business owners would be wise to have sufficient cash flow to outlast the remaining months of the pandemic, however long that could be. This means having multiple contingencies. Reducing certain variable expenses can help to weather the storm.
Business owners should also consider the opportunities available to them to leverage government relief programs, and if appropriate, equity capital, revenue-based financing, and similar options to help them bridge the gap to the other side.
Successful planning involves anticipating various scenarios and preparing accordingly, yet knowing that there will be brighter days ahead.