What Christmas means to me as a startup

Startup life is exhilarating and fast-paced at all times. So what happens when we hit a slow part of the year – such as the festive season, when for a couple of weeks everything in the UK is slowed down by a barrage of mince pies, mulled wine, festive television and general jolliness? Is it a case of ploughing on regardless, or taking the time to kick back, relax, and reflect?

We spoke to some of our Virgin StartUp loan recipients to find out how they’ll be spending the festive period.

Caroline McQueen, Founder of Industry Avenue


“For me, the holidays are a time for reflection – a chance to take stock of my business and look at things I've achieved with Industry Avenue. During the year I'm so busy working on my business that I really don't take time to celebrate reaching a milestone. There's always something that needs to be worked on or improved. The winter is the perfect time of year for me to celebrate my accomplishments, acknowledge the things that didn't pan out as planned, and put in practice the lessons I've learned to avoid them in future.

This year has been spent refining the core services of the business, finding the voice of my brand, and preparing to launch. Unfortunately I only have time for one day off over the winter break, but since I work remotely most days I'll have ample opportunity to catch up with family and friends as well as the Christmas specials of my favourite shows!”

Samuel Straker-Nesbitt of G2 Brewing


“We’ve been busy this last two months. The final preparations to become a fully trading business require very careful and considered attention to detail, whilst ensuring that we have space to grow in the future (a capital intensive business such as ours requires physical space for things like shiny metal tanks). So then, do we sprint for the finish, stop over Christmas and the New Year, or do we potter on through?

You guessed it – we’re a startup.  Nothing we do is at anything other than 1,000,000 miles per hour, with the occasional break to regroup! Christmas and New Year for us at G2 is one of those times where we will be taking stock to get into the position to be able to trade, whilst mentally preparing ourselves to find the next gear in the New Year. Bring it on!”

Suzanne Noble of Frugl


“When you’re a start-up focused on fun and low costs things to do in London, Christmas Day is just like any other day of the year - only with fewer events to promote!  This year is especially busy for us as we are currently working with our developer on an updated version of Frugl that we plan on launching in the New Year. So, while most people will be kicking back and relaxing over the latter part of December, we’ll be putting our heads down and working through user journeys and back-end development! I know that probably doesn’t sound like as much fun as playing drinking games or East Enders Omnibus edition - but that’s the way it is!

However, it’s not all work in Frugl HQ. We’ll be having a team Christmas dinner at Hank's Po Boys at Kitchenette, a pop up restaurant and street food incubator. We’ve known the folks at Kitchenette for a while and we’re a great believer in supporting other start-ups as and when we can. We’re especially looking forward to their buttermilk fried chicken and gumbo. After that it’s back to work and making sure that the App features plenty of great events to keep Londoners busy, even though their pockets may be empty post-Christmas!”

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons