Small Business Interview: Jenny Q Ta, Founder Sqeeqee.com & VCNetwork.co
Happy Monday Folks! I'd like to introduce wonder woman, Jenny Q Ta, who is running not one but two amazing businesses at the same time - Sqeeqee.com and VCNetwork.co. Sqeeqee.com is the first ever social ‘networthing’ platform and VCNetwork.co (VCNetwork) is a platform where all entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to submit their business plan for a chance to be considered by one of more than 300 venture capitalists in the VCNetwork database. Jenny also managed over a quarter of a billion dollars in assets at her first investment banking firm. Her accomplishment are MAJOR and she's sharing some serious advice for all you business owners out there. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your business. What is it called and what services or products do you offer?
I have a number of businesses, but currently, I am running two separate entities. Sqeeqee.com is a social commerce platform and is the first ever social ‘networthing’ platform, and VCNetwork.co (VCNetwork) is a platform where all entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to submit their business plan for a chance to be considered by one of more than 300 VCs in this highly coveted database of venture capitalists.
Can you share a bit about how you chose this line of business? What transition did you make to owning your own business?
Starting Sqeeqee was a natural decision for me because I was already working on Wall Street for nearly 18 years and specialized in the tech industry and stocks. VCNetwork.co is something that I have been planning for a long time given my history and contacts on Wall Street and the timing is now right to launch it.
Do you have any special training?
I had a lot of training while I was working on Wall Street but I believe being an entrepreneur is just a natural thing. It’s a certain spirit and skillset that you have and so starting Sqeeqee came naturally to me. VCNetwork.co is also a natural progression of my career because I previously ran two investment banking firms on Wall Street
What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
I would say having managed over a quarter of a billion dollars in assets while at my first investment banking firm, and launching the first social ‘networthing’ site. To be first is a big deal because no one had yet thought of and executed this idea.
In your experience, how long does it usually take for a business to become profitable and what are some tips to measure profitability?
The amount of time it takes a company to reach profitability can vary depending on the sector and the type of business, but I would say at a minimum of 3 to 5 years.
How did you determine what your services were worth?
The best way to determine the worth of your services is to follow trends and track what’s hot in today’s era. For example, 15-20 years ago, the trend was to give your money to a stockbroker to invest for you, then 10-15 years ago it was about investors making his/her own investment decisions which served many quite well. Therefore, follow the current trends in the business marketplace.
What mistakes, if any, have you made with your business? What have some of your biggest challenges been? What did you learn from the experience and how did you bounce back?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, but it’s not about what kind of mistakes because being an entrepreneur means you are going to make mistakes. The most important thing when making mistakes is to overcome those challenges and learn from them. My advice is to learn from your mistakes, brush them off, stand back up and just keep on moving forward. If you stop, then life stops. As entrepreneurs, life must keep on going regardless!
What do you consider the most important elements of running a successful business?
The most important element of running a successful business is to manage money well. Know what you have in your bank, know your expenses, and keep within your means. Entrepreneurs tend to spend all, then seek for new money. That is the totally wrong path to run a company.
Do you have any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own businesses?
Never be intimidated by a man regardless what he says or his gestures. Brush it off or play along with it. It will be the woman’s loss if that woman takes that man’s words or actions personally.
Do you have any advice on managing your small business finances?
The simplest advice is taking what you have in the bank and divide it out for about 12 months, then spend within what you have. Don’t ever go over budget.
How do you balance work and life owning a small business?
Honestly, sometimes you don’t. It is a give and a take and as an entrepreneur, he/she has to choose what is important. Women who have failed did so because they could not balance this; therefore, women DO need to choose and walk that thin line like men do.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see Sqeeqee being acquired and using that money to invest in the new startups of tomorrow through VCNetwork.co.
Please share a fun fact about yourself?
I’m just a freak when comes to listening to pop music! Music releases my stress and music gives me new energy in life. The strangest thing to me about music is that I find it creates humbleness in me when it comes to navigating relationships.
Thank you so much for this amazing interview Jenny.