We had important changes coming into July. We had team members start to focus on new lab projects like Veld, our Family Farms to Happy Homes food delivery mobile app and our company as a whole was putting lots of time and effort into our DarkHorse startup accelerator program for BIPOC founders.
Future of Work and Marketing Consulting
On the sales front there where plenty of Toronto in-person and International video conferences with potential clients to help solve problems and share the Space Age story. Training and creating workflow systems around our key tools like Hunter.io for outreach and Hubspot for customer relationship management where a big focus of the consulting team in July. The team did the job of balancing consulting, TOFT and DarkHorse lead generations and we have a significant backlog of leads to choose from.
We were having more conversations and more opportunities to help and assist clients. However, we did notice clients were still hesitant to make any decisions and wanted to see how things were in the Fall from the fallout of the pandemic we where all facing and coping with as businesses. Our hope is that August and the fall will be extremely busy for us as we will be able to speak with clients from previous months and assist them further!
Our goal for August is to begin increasing our outreach and further consolidate our efforts on the consulting front.
After experiencing a lot of growth during the month of June, the GOOD Lab team was ready and anxious to get started on our work for the July Super Sprint. Now that we have formed relationships with several charities and nonprofit organizations, some more influential and some just getting started, we were ready to get to work. We were ready to make some headway in helping those charities overcome the challenges that they have recently faced. One learning that really sunk in for the GOOD Lab team during the past month is the value of taking the time to truly build those relationships with each nonprofit organization. Through the process, we were better able to get an understanding of their circumstances and their needs, and also how our team of experts can be of value to them and the communities they serve. In this way, we gain a better understanding of their work, and they gain a better understanding of our work.
As we continue to have these discussions and work through the process of signing Partnership Agreements with different charities, we continue to refine the process by which we introduce ourselves to and onboard new charities. Outreach is still ongoing every week and we are constantly looking for new partners that may be promising for us to work with. From there, an introductory phone call helps to build a sense of understanding of what it is, exactly, that we do at the GOOD Lab. Our work is different from that of many other consulting agencies, and so an opportunity to explain what sets us apart is always beneficial for both parties. From there, once we’ve answered any questions that have come up and the staff at the charity have decided that they would like to work with us, we’ll draft and send over a Letter of Intent to Partner for them to present to their teams. The next step is then to send over a more formal Partnership Agreement and continue the conversation about specifics and details. Along with that, we also discuss which portion of our work will be donated and which will be paid. Usually, the first small grant (under $5,000) written will be donated and then any subsequent grants or projects will require a fee.
As we move into August, the GOOD Lab prepares to host our first fundraiser with one of our charitable partners and work on some larger grant writing processes with the Ontario Trillium Foundation. As the COVID-19 pandemic slows and our communities are moving into Stage 3, charities are starting to adapt and resume their programming. Here at the GOOD Lab, we’re preparing to support them in any way that they see best fit. We want the charities in our network to be able to have the funding they need and serve their communities as safely and effectively as possible. We are most definitely excited for the months and projects to come!
In July, while an increasing number of companies announced their new remote work structure, TOFT was busy completing it’s home office packages and preparing to help people work productively at home. Our biggest challenge has been reaching the people who need our help, other businesses, but we’re happy to find our place as part of Space Age’s Distributed Organization branch of the Future of Work. While the future of work looks to be flexible, TOFT fills the gap where commercial-grade home offices need to be.
We’ve been talking with social media influencers to help showcase our furniture, and have found that even those who have been working from home permanently often do not have ergonomic spaces. We organized the financials of our packages, and are proud to be able to offer competitive prices for quality furniture at the same convenience as other quick, e-Commerce brands.
As TOFT continued reaching out to potential partners, we also polished up our website and our social media. Our plan for the future includes using our digital presence to showcase how TOFT can improve the productivity of people working from home.
Heavenly Street continued to explore the many ways we could become the strongest triple bottom-line company we can be. July brought more conversations with other natural companies, and we were excited to join a community of companies trying to do better.
Heavenly Street’s mission remains the same, but became focused in July: Be a sustainably sourced soap brand with a mission to sustain both people and the earth. We continued to learn more about what it means to be sustainable, and made sure that all of our products and practices sustain the people involved and the earth that we impact.
In terms of accomplishments, we updated our website and social media after our first ever photoshoot (and we are loving the lime light!). We continued to work with our partners to select the most earth-friendly packaging we can, although we discovered something that many startups run into.
One of our biggest challenges was our limitations as a small company – the materials that we want to use aren’t available to us in terms of high minimum orders, or cost. However, we never give up, and have explored alternatives to allow us to use materials that align with our values!
In the future, we plan to continue to advocate for self-care and caring for the earth, and can’t wait to announce exciting partnerships with other natural brands!
July has been a great month, where the extent of how much modern Saint has grown has become apparent. We are finally ready to launch and all that is needed for that is to promote the brand.
Over the course of the month the MS website was developed out, and although not yet complete, we have a good plan in action for what it will be. Vince is doing an amazing job with this and is making all our ideas a reality.
As far as getting the word out, so far we have started out with social media. Zhasmina and Ashna have been working on the Instagram posts and stories while Laura began work on Facebook and Twitter.
Radu a professional photoshoot of all the products that will be included in the first two box sets. These photos will be used on the website and social media platforms.
We will be taking the remaining photos and videos of the supplements for further social media posts and will incorporate reviews and recipes.
Great things are to come for the next month, but it will require a lot more ways to promote MS, and will include reaching out to big influencers and also collaborating with other brands that can help spread the word.
July for Mars Solo was a month dedicated to office features, which are the core functionalities in our virtual office project.
Following the plans that we have created for office features in May, we were trying to improve and make adjustments during July sprints in order to implement the features that are the best suited for our Beta prototype.
Making a decision on the feature list is about trying to find a balance between member goals, technical capabilities/limitation at this stage and business requirements. We conducted a competitor analysis with eXp Realty and VirBELA as well as simple user experience research with the Space Age team in order to gather together more information for our design direction and priorities.
Text Chat, Voice Chat, Presentation Tools, Project Management Tools were ultimately decided as the top four core features for our new prototype.
The technical challenges were the biggest part of our development over July. As the different features and environment pieces gradually assembled into the project, every single adjustment or implementations to the project can have a huge impact on other parts of the project and cause a chain of technical changes and issues. This can make development harder and slower. In order to deal with this problem, team lead & software creator Jasmine decided to implement and test every feature in a standalone test environment before it gets integrated into the final prototype. Before integration, she also analyzed the possible problems between functions to better avoid conflicts and errors.
Despite all of the challenges that we encountered in July, it has been such an exciting journey to work on all of the business related functions and learn new techniques and apply them to solve the real problems.
In August, we will be wrapping up all the features and environments and finalize our first Mars Solo prototype!
Till Next Time, Stay Good – Team Space Age