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7 Steps to Shipping Like a Pro

August 2, 2016

The ability to efficiently transport goods, parcels, and/or documents from one point to another is vital towards the success of many businesses today. But international shipping can involve many complications – such as hidden import taxes, VAT, GST, and fees. Is it worthwhile for you or your employees to take hours off to do the initial research and evaluation work?

According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, the average employee spends 1.8 hours every day – that’s 9.3 hours per week – searching and gathering for information.

That’s why we have teamed up with Easyship this week to feature their 7-step guide on how to ship like a pro, saving time and money. Not only that – we want you to get your shipping done right so you can get your package shipped and delivered without any complications.


Before you start shipping, make sure you have the following details confirmed. Don’t skip this step, because it is important to get the basics down from the start.

Determine the ‘category’ of your item – is it a document? Does it contain any batteries? There are hundreds of categorisations of products and it is important to categorise accurately, as this will affect the customs regulations, taxes, and duties.

Next, determine the delivery time that is suitable to you. If you’re having trouble getting and comparing delivery times for multiple couriers at once, use this shipping rate calculator tool.

Finally, confirm the recipient details – you will be surprised how many packages end up undelivered as a result of an error in the recipient’s address. Make sure the contact person’s email and phone number are accurate so that the courier can reach the recipient in case of any delivery problems.


Research the country-specific regulations for your shipping destination and look up the rules on your item. Certain categories, such as food and nutrition products will be subject to different regulations depending on the country. In order to ship these items, you may need to acquire permits or complete specific forms.

Pro tip: Here’s a quick and easy search tool by UPS that allows you to look up the regulations for all countries: UPS Country Regulations


Take time to compare different courier services to find one that suit your needs.

Here are some suggested factors that are important to consider:

  • Shipping cost
  • Quality of tracking
  • Delivery time

In particular, if you are a business owner shipping a package to a customer, your brand reputation should not be at risk due to delivery issues. Be sure to choose a reliable courier!

At this research stage, you should be aware that all major courier services will provide online tools that allow you to get a quote for your shipping. However, you will find that many of these online ‘get a quote’ tools do not include a lot of ‘hidden fees’, for example: fuel surcharge, remote areas charge, taxes and duties, and other surcharges for shipping.

Next, you need to create a shipment through the courier service. Decide if you or your recipient will pay for the tax and duties and the shipping costs. If the recipient will pay for the tax and duties, make sure you inform them of the costs so that there are no surprises!


  • Get a quote for shipping with select major couriers here: DHL, UPS, FedEx, TNT
  • Our platform, Easyship, allows you to compare 80+ couriers at once.



You’re just about ready to ship! Before you go ahead, carefully fill out and print out all the labels.

Essential documents required include:

  1. Air Waybill
  2. Commercial invoice
  3. Customs declaration form
  4. MSDS document for dangerous goods (including battery declaration)


Place your item in the right-sized container or envelope. Couriers will compare the dimensional weight and the actual weight to determine the final weight used to charge your shipment. An oversized container will add extra weight and dimension, which will increase your shipping cost.


  • When shipping delicate items, be sure to add cushioning and request a ‘Fragile’ sticker from your courier representative
  • Express couriers charge by volumetric weight that takes into consideration the dimensions of the product.
  • Using packaging tape, tape the top and bottom sides of the container using the H taping method

Watch this useful instructional video on how to pack your item.


You’re all set to go! Does the courier offer pick-up services? If yes, commit to the time. If you request a pick-up at 8:00am, make sure you already have your item packed, wrapped, and ready to go with all the necessary labels and documents. If not, check the nearest drop-off location and head over during their opening hours with all of your packages, labels and documents.


Be proactive and track your shipment online using the shipment tracking ID provided by the courier. You might also want to send the tracking ID to your recipient so they can also access real-time shipment information.


  • Express couriers generally provide higher quality tracking information and much better customer service!

Looking where to start? Let us do the job for you at Easyship. With our one-stop online platform, you can now complete all the shipping steps from start to finish in one place. At Easyship, we make international shipping easier than ever before.


This is a guest post brought to you by Jessica Yeung at Easyship and edited by Dragon Law.

Jessica is an expert in the area of international shipping. Jessica heads Partnerships and Business Development at Easyship and is the Host and Founder of Easyship Academy workshops.

About Easyship

Easyship is your one-stop shipping partner. Our mission is to make international shipping easier than ever before.

Save costs by comparing 80+ couriers, select and ship with up to 70% discounted rates. Save time with ready-to-go shipping documents and calculated tax and duties. Expand your online business and sync your online store.

No sign-up fees, no cancellation fees, no service or handling fees.

We enable individuals, small businesses and corporations to ship from one side of the world to the other without any worries.

Sign up here for your FREE account.

Questions? Contact us at, Facebook, or Twitter

Fundraising via Convertible Note, Explained

July 29, 2016

Most businesses will require some sort of seed investment before they can enter into the next stage of growth. However, you want to be careful not to give up too much control over your business when raising funds.

Before you enter into negotiation processes, you want to be fully-aware of your own leverage. If you have a clear idea of what’s at play in a fundraising discussion, you will be able to negotiate a better deal for your startup.

Fundraising via convertible note has become increasingly popular among startups today. But do you know how convertible notes work?

Let’s get started with the basics:

What is Convertible Note?

A convertible note is a form of short-term debt paid back in equity. The investor puts cash in your startup and receives discounted shares when you issue shares at a later point. In other words, they don’t “own” part of your company just yet – this essentially means you get to retain control. At the same time, the investor is still considered a debtor. As such, they can set a maturity date for the loan and reclaim money later if you decide not to issue shares. Raising funds via a convertible note is therefore a popular alternative to SAFE financing and equity financing. Let’s compare the three:

To issue a Convertible Note, you will need these 3 documents:

  1. Convertible Note Term Sheet: This document summarises the key terms of the agreement between a startup and investors. It is generally signed at the beginning of the transaction once preliminary terms of the financing have been agreed, before commencing detailed due diligence and drafting of definitive agreements.
  2. Convertible Note Purchase Agreement: This document governs the key terms of the sale and purchase of the convertible debt. It is the legally-binding contract that governs the convertible note agreement.
  3. Convertible Note Certificate: A deed confirming the purchase by the registered holder of a convertible note instrument. It is a written promise to repay the debt at a specified time through equity (shares).

Read more: Download our free eBook on Early Stage Funding

Here’s a (simplified) example of what a Convertible Note Agreement might look like:

After negotiation, your investor agrees to provide you with $200,000 in seed funding. In return, you give him a convertible note that converts during Series A funding at a 20% discount rate. In other words, when you raise your Series A funding, he will get $200,000 worth of stock at a 20% discount.

Now, let’s imagine your startup gets a $5 million post-money valuation during series A funding. To get 30% of your company, VCs put in $1.5 million.

If your seed investor were to invest in Series A, $200,000 would get him only 4% of your stock. However, because he invested early, he gets a 20% discount on the stock, and thus ends up with 5% of the stock instead – $50,000 extra worth of equity.

What are the most important variables of a Convertible Note Agreement?

The three most important variables in a Convertible Note Agreement are the investment threshold, the valuation cap, and the discount rate.

The investment threshold denotes when the convertible note executes – that is, when the investor gets his equity. Usually, the threshold is set as a specific amount; for example, when the startup raises $1 million or more. It could also be executed at a specific time; for example, when the startup raises money through Series A funding. In most cases there is no practical difference between the two, as the note executes in Series A irrespectively.

The discount rate outlines how much reward the investor gets for taking the risk to come on board early. In the above example, the 20% discount rate meant that the investor walked away with 5% of your equity instead of 4%.

The valuation cap protects the investor from getting their investment too diluted when your startup takes off. In the example outlined above, the investor ended up getting a 5% equity share. But should you have been valued at $50 million, they would have received only 0.5% share in your company – even if they backed it first! A valuation cap ensures the investor that they’ll get a large enough equity share.

So how does a valuation cap work?

Your company gets a pre-money valuation during Series A funding. If the pre-money valuation exceeds the valuation cap, your investors gets the opportunity to execute the convertible note and are entitled to negotiate for a pre-fixed stake in the Convertible Note Agreement.

The following graph, created with formulas from Martin Kleppman’s blog, illustrates:

As you can see here, low VC investment means that your seed investor will benefit from the discount. By investing $1.5 million, as in the above example, he gets a 5% stake. But as your valuation grows and VCs put in more money, your seed investor’s stake dilutes. A valuation cap puts a floor to the degree of dilution.

You may also notice how a low valuation cap favours the investor. Founders and VCs investing in series A, on the other hand, benefit from a high valuation cap. The lower the valuation cap, the more likely you will hit the “floor”, and your seed investor gets a relatively large share of your company at a very low price.

Other common terms in a Convertible Note Agreement

Two other terms often included are the interest rate and the maturity date. As the convertible note is technically a loan, investors could charge you interest, and thus receive slightly more shares when the note converts. A maturity date is included so that the seed investor knows he will get money back should your startup delay or decide against Series A funding.

A good understanding of the Convertible Note Agreement is a great way to strengthen your hand in a negotiation with a seed investor.

Another way to strengthen your negotiating position is to make sure you have all your legal documents and processes in order. For starters, ensure you have a Confidentiality Agreement in place before you enter into any fundraising negotiations. Start drafting your Confidentiality Agreement with a Dragon Law free trial.

Sign up for a free trial. No minimum commitment, no credit card details.


The 6 Singapore Government Grants For Small Businesses You Need to Know

July 26, 2016

Don’t we all love government grants?

Not that we should ever complain about having too many options and too much support… but for a new business owner it can be daunting to navigate through the world of ACE’s, A*STAR’s, IDA’s, NRF’s, and SPRING’s world of acronyms.

Below we list some of the most popular and widely-used government programmes for startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, as well as a short description on how they can apply to you:

1) Engage and attract talent from local institutions with the STP

The SME Talent Programme (STP) lets you offer internships, sponsorships and training programmes to local students from Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs), Polytechnics and Universities.

For example, the STP funds up to 70% of the monthly internship stipend you pay when you employ an intern. You will also get to enjoy similar funding if you choose to sponsor a student’s school fees, in exchange for an employment bond of up to two years.

Find out more about your eligibility criteria for the STP here.

2) Send your employees for training with WDA’s enhanced training support for SMEs

The Workforce Development Agency (WDA) subsidises or funds up to 90% in course fees and academic programmes when you send your employees for training. In addition to funding for higher course fees, you can also claim absentee payroll funding of 80% of basic hourly salary at a cap.

The Enhanced Training Support for SMEs covers more than 8,000 certifiable courses supported by WDA and academic CET courses offered by local institutions. View the library of courses available here.

3) Tap on the expertise of qualified business advisors with the BAP

The Business Advisors’ Programme (BAP) matches business advisors to your SME and provides funding for projects. Under BAP, SPRING co-funds 70% of the full project costs i.e. the fees paid to the business advisor, while SMEs only have to pay upfront 30% of the full project cost and a small administrative fee. This means that to engage a qualified business advisor for six months at a fixed fee of S$5,000 per month, you will only have to pay S$9,000 upfront (not including administrative fees and GST).

Apply for the Business Advisors Programme here.

4) Receive funding support under WorkPro for implementing age-friendly workplaces

WorkPro encourages and rewards age-friendly workplaces. You can apply for grants if you implement work-life measures, redesign jobs, improve workplace practices, or place employees on flexible work arrangements.

For example, if you employ at least five mature workers (aged 40 years and above), implement two out of six age management practices, and attend compulsory training in age management, you may qualify for an Age Management Grant of up to S$20,000.

Learn more about WorkPro.

5) Receive tax allowances and cash payouts under the PIC scheme

Budget 2016 announced a reduction in the percentage of cash payout option under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme. This means that you have up to 31 July this year to purchase qualifying equipment and services, and file your claims under PIC.

Note that in order to be eligible for the cash payout option, you must have least three local employees (Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents with Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions). Sole-proprietors, partners under contract for service and shareholders who are directors of the company do not contribute to the three-local-employee condition.

From YAs 2016 to 2018, the CPF contributions must be made for three local employees in the last three months of the relevant financial quarter or combined financial quarters.

The cash payout conversion rate will be reduced to 40% as of 1 August 2016.

Read more about claiming PIC on or before 31 July.

6) Get S$5,000 via ICV for consultancy projects and integrated solutions

Innovation and Capability Vouchers (ICV) aim to encourage capability development in SMEs. Each ICV is valued at S$5,000 for you to use when procuring approved consultancy services in relation to innovation, productivity, human resources, and financial management. Similar support is also available when you engage the services of pre-qualified Integrated Solution Providers (ISPs). View the full list of pre-qualified service providers here.

Do you tap on any government grants that are missing from this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Types of IP: Trade Mark vs Patent vs Copyright – What’s The Difference?

July 21, 2016

It has never been easier to copy someone’s work.

Take this example from a fully-accessorised iPhone 6 Plus that runs on the Android operating system!

It is said that Yahoo’s nearly 3,000 patents and pending applications could fetch up to $3 billion in a sale. IP protection has never been more crucial and worthwhile.

But to what does IP apply?

IP refers to the exclusive rights that attach to intangible human creations. IP protection is important to innovators, artists and business owners. In fact, it is even more crucial for startups, as your IP may be your most valuable asset in the early stages of your business.

But of the different types of IP – Trade Marks, Patents and Copyrights – do you know which apply to YOU?

1. Trade Mark

What is it?
Trade marks are words, designs or phrases which serve as “the brand” for a product or service. Work that may be registered as a trade mark include words, names, signatures, labels, as well as a host of other marks or a combination of these elements. Both Singapore and Hong Kong use NICE International System of Classification to classify trade mark registrations. There are 34 different classes of goods and 11 classes of services under NICE. For an element to qualify as a trade mark, it has to be distinctive and capable of distinguishing your goods or services from similar ones of other traders.  Tweet this

Why register a trade mark?
While you don’t need to register your trade mark to protect it, doing so gives you additional protection and gives the trade mark value. As a registered trade mark is a form of IP, you can license or assign it to others. For instance, you can license your trade mark to third parties (e.g. a franchisee) or sell for a specified value or help to raise equity that can be reinvested into growing your business.

How to register your trade mark?
To register your trade mark in Singapore and Hong Kong, you may file an application with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) in Hong Kong respectively.

How long can your trade mark last?
Once a trade mark is registered it can last indefinitely as long as you renew it every 10 years. It is important to keep using your trade mark in relation to all goods or services that are covered by your trade mark registration, in order to defend against a possible removal action in the future.

How to protect your trade mark?
Although not compulsory to do so, it is advisable to clearly display the ® symbol next to your registered trade mark, and the “™” symbol next to your trade mark whilst it is still a pending application. This will serve as notice to others that your trade mark is in use, and will make it easier to enforce your trade mark rights against others if required. You should also ensure that all members of your business, your licensees, distributors, and customers are regularly reminded as to the proper usage of your trade mark.

You should take appropriate action as soon as you discover any improper use of your trade mark. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified and experienced trade mark professional to gain a better understanding of what options (both legal and non-legal) are available to you so that you may make an informed decision how best to proceed in enforcing your trade mark rights.

Learn more about protecting your trade mark:


2. Patents

Patents can be obtained for ideas or concepts which are novel and non-obvious. These typically includes inventions such as products or processes. In general, for an invention to be patentable, it must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. New
  2. Inventive step
  3. Industrial Application (Source: IPOS)   Tweet this

Related reading: Blog: What you didn’t know about Intellectual Property protection

Why register for a patent?
Securing patent protection will allow you to prevent unauthorised manufacture, use, sales or imports of your invention. If you wish to, you may license your patented invention to third parties for commercial returns or sell the patented invention.

How to register your patent?
To register your patent in Singapore and Hong Kong, you may file an application with the IPOS and the IPD respectively. The application process varies depending on the locations you are applying from. Although it is not mandatory to file a patent application through an agent, applicants may appoint agents to act on their behalf. It is usually recommended that applicants seek legal advice to ascertain the scope of their rights.

How long can your patent last?
In Singapore, the term of a patent is 20 years from the filing date. To enjoy this full term, the patent must be renewed before the expiry of the 4th year and every year thereafter. In Hong Kong, there are two types of patents: Standard patents can be renewed annually after the end of the third year, up to a maximum of 20 years. Short-term patents can be renewed after the end of the fourth year, up to a maximum term of 8 years.

How to protect your patent?
You may take legal action if you discover that your registered patent has been infringed. Possible remedies that you may seek include an injunction to stop the infringing action, account of profits and damages for the loss suffered.  

3. Copyright

What is it?
A copyright can be used to protect creative expressions such as writing, music or video. It is not necessary for the work to have aesthetic value. Examples of works which may be protected under copyright law include:

  • Literary works (e.g., written works, source codes of computer programs)
  • Dramatic works (e.g.,. scripts for films and dramas)
  • Musical works (e.g., melodies)
  • Artistic works (e.g., paintings, photographs)
  • Published editions of the above works
  • Sound recordings
  • Films
  • Television and radio broadcasts
  • Cable programmes
  • Performances (Source: IPOS)

What are the benefits of a copyright?
A copyright owner enjoys the exclusive right to reproduce, publish and communicate their work to the public, among other rights. The specific rights the copyright owner enjoys depends on the category of work produced. Copyright essentially refers to this exclusive bundle of rights and allows the owner to control the commercial exploitation of his work.

How to register your copyright?
There is no need to file an application in both Singapore and Hong Kong. An author automatically enjoys copyright protection as soon as he creates and expresses his original work in a tangible form, such as in a recording or writing.

How long can your copyright last?
The term of protection varies according to the type of copyright work concerned:

Source: IPOS

How to protect your copyright?
The “©” symbol is not crucial for copyright protection. It is merely a notice of a claim by the owner that copyright exists and does not accord the copyright owner any substantive right. In other words, you are entitled to a copyright claim in the event of infringement even without the “©”. A person who willfully infringes copyright may be subject to criminal liability in both Singapore and Hong Kong.

When your copyright is infringed (e.g. when an individual copies your work and distributes it to the public), you may commence legal action against the infringer. Possible remedies that you may seek include an injunction to stop the infringing action, receipt of the infringer’s profits and damages for the loss suffered. 

In a nutshell…

How can Dragon Law help?

Securing your IP rights is important. Dragon Law works with our network of partners to be your one-stop solution for all necessary documentation and procedures required for assigning and licensing your IP rights.


The Ultimate Dictionary of Jargon, Acronyms, and Abbreviations Every Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner Should Know

July 20, 2016

Does your startup provide an “end-to-end solution that synergises content across platforms”? Startups were warned at this year’s RISE Conference about jargon overuse – not only do they mean nothing, they also make it difficult for ordinary people to understand what your company actually does.

But is it possible to completely steer clear of jargon? Terms like exit strategy, ROI, and minimum viable product are thrown around the room with our speakers, panelists and attendees at our Dragon Academy series. Jargon, when used right, can help to articulate your ideas in a clear manner. But most importantly… you have to understand what they mean!

In today’s post, we have identified, defined, and put to use the most commonly used terms every entrepreneur should know at each stage of your business. Read on to start speaking the same lingo as your investors do:

Early stage: Defining your business

Accelerator = A centre that provides your startup with resources (such as mentorship, office space, or money) to help it grow. Offers help for a shorter time than an incubator.

“I have this great FinTech idea, but I need some more development time until it’s viable. I’m considering joining the OCBC Open Vault accelerator programme.”

Bleeding Edge = Technology that’s very new. Usually high-risk, high-reward.

“I’m working on a blockchain accounting platform. It’s very bleeding edge stuff, but my Co-Founder has a PhD in Computer Science, so we’ll manage.”

Bootstrapping = Starting a company with little or no money / using personal finances to start a company.

“Look, getting investors right now will just hurt your profitability in the long run. Why don’t you bootstrap this startup instead?”

Deck (aka Pitch Deck) = A 10-slide powerpoint presentation that covers all aspects of your business in a concise and compelling way. There is a standard format and real artistry to making a good deck. Do your homework, get lots of feedback, and consider hiring a graphic designer to polish the final version.

“Did you ask the intern to update the deck with the new testimonials?”

First Mover Advantage (FMA) = The benefits (in brand recognition and monopoly profits) you get when you launch a product in a previously empty market niche. However the term in itself can be misleading: it’s not necessarily an advantage if there a gap in the market, but no market in the gap!

“There aren’t yet any mobile apps in Singapore that let you compare cat food at the click of a button. If we develop one quickly, we’ll get first mover advantage!”

Incubator = Like an accelerator, it provides your startup with support to help it become viable. Suitable if you are creating highly-complex products that take longer to go to market.

“Since we’re developing this technology from scratch, we’re going to need more than twelve weeks in an accelerator. Let’s apply to join the JFDI’s incubator programme instead?”

Lean Startup = Prove your business concept early and quickly by launching and running with low overhead costs.

“We could hire two more people, but I think we’d be better off running as a lean startup for now. That inspires more investor confidence when we succeed.”

Monetise = To make money from an idea. Many people can make a game app – the challenge is figuring out how you can make money from it.

“I get that we’d be the first app that allows you to instantly compare cat food, but how do you plan to monetise that idea? Who would pay for that?”

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) = The “minimum” version of the end-product your company is wishing to achieve.

“I think our MVP is simply when we have about one half of the features ready to go; it won’t be polished, but it’ll work.”

Product-Market Fit  = How well your product meets the needs of a large enough market.

“Although you have an elegant solution to a problem, are you sure this is a problem people in this country actually have? Have you thought about product-market fit or just about the product?”

Runway = How long until your business can stay afloat for at the current cost and revenue trajectory.

“With the 10k we’ve sunk into this idea, and our current revenues and costs, our cash runway lasts approximately until… four months from now. Better get to work!”

Software as a Service (SaaS) = Instead of buying a program (like Photoshop) you pay a monthly or annual fee to use it (like Xero or Dragon Law).

“Dragon Law isn’t just paid access to legal templates, it’s SaaS that allows you to easily draft legal documents perfectly customized to your business!”

Sweat Equity = Paying your early employees or consultants in shares instead of dollars.

“Usually you’d get paid $4,000 for branding work, but we’re willing to offer you $5,000 worth of shares instead.”

Valuation = How much a company is worth, theoretically.

“Since we raised put in $2 million by giving out 20% of our shares in our series A round, our evaluation is at least $10 million!”

Growth stage: Demonstrating value for investors

Accredited Investor (AI) = A wealthy individual willing to risk money by investing in your startup. In Singapore, AIs are permitted to make larger and riskier investments than regular investors. Everyone can apply to become an AI – the only prerequisite is that you are wealthy enough.

“I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Tan here. He’s an accredited investor who is looking to invest in startups with potential for high returns.”

Burn Rate (aka Run Rate) = The rate at which money is spent, or “burnt”, in your startup.

“I won’t invest in your startup – the burn rate is way too high! You have to either pay yourself and your people less or figure out some other way to cut costs.”

Cottage Business = A business that is sustainable on a small scale but is not scalable.

“Your grandma bakes great cookies, but I really don’t see how you can scale this. You have to rethink the premises or this is going to remain a cottage business.”

Churn Rate = The rate at which customers stop subscribing to your services. Since each new customer takes time to nurture, the churn is a major hindrance to long-term growth.

“You signed up 200 new subscribers this month? That’s great, but what’s the churn rate?”

Exit Strategy = Strategy that outlines how and when your investors get their money back.

“I want to make sure we have a clear exit strategy or I’m not giving you any money. How will I cash out these shares – are you looking to get your company bought out, or will you buy them back later?”

Hockey Stick = An exponential graph, purporting to show how your company will grow over the next few years. Shaped like a hockey stick.

“Make sure to include a hockey stick graph in our pitch deck!”

Market Penetration = Percentage of market share currently held.

“We only have 4% market penetration among adults, but 60% of people under 18 have downloaded our app.”

Seed funding = Very early-stage investment, often provided before it is clear whether the project is viable. Comes from friends and family or angel investors.

“We’re fortunate that we manage to convince Mr. Tan to give us seed funding, given that we don’t yet have our MVP ready.”

Series A, B, and C funding = Different rounds of funding. Each new round adds more funds but dilutes the ownership of the founders.

“We just closed our series A round, raising over $1.5 million!”

Related reading: Avenues to raising funds for your startup

Traction = Quantitative proof that there is an actual demand for your product.

“The fact that we’ve managed to get five hundred backers on Kickstarter in two days is pretty clear evidence that we have traction!”

Value Proposition = The qualities of your business that attract customers.

“Our value proposition is: We bring instant gratification and happiness to our clients by providing them with up-to-date cat food comparisons.”

Venture capital (VC) = Capital provided in exchange for your stocks/shares, usually by larger institutional players. Often comes with more complex contracts and requirements.

“We now have enough capital to expand into Malaysia, but we first need it to clear it with our VC investors.”

Day-to-day: Business as usual

A/B-testing = Running two very similar versions of your ad or landing page at the same time to find out which one is most effective.

“Do you think we should go for more or less text in the copy?”
“Let’s just run an A/B test and find out what works!”

Customer relationship management (CRM) software = A platform that lets you easily track your customers and how different members of your sales and marketing teams have interacted with them.

Sarah, have you logged Tony’s details into our CRM system?

Freemium = A service that is offered free-of-charge, but requires payment for access to premium features.

“I just need some simple accounting software that gets the job done – just look online for some freemium software.”

Growth Hacking = Utilising technology and social media to gain users at low cost.

“Peter here is our growth hacker. He’s currently running an A/B test on our social media pitch.”

Loss Leader Pricing = Heavily marketing underpriced products in order to entice customers who will then, in theory, wind up buying products with large contribution margins.

 “As we enter this market, we’ll have to engage in some loss leader pricing: market our starter pack heavily even though it loses us money, and then convince them to switch to professional.”

Low Hanging Fruit = The easiest path to make money, at least in the short run.

“It’s relatively easy to sell automation software to startups, so let’s make sure we market to them first. Let’s pick the low hanging fruit and then broaden our appeal!”

Pivot or Persevere = When your company goes after a different market segment or continues working with the market they have.

“Our cat food app is not taking off. We have two options: we can pivot into the dog food market, or persevere and maybe ramp up our marketing.”

Ramen Profitable = When a startup makes enough money to cover overhead.

“We’re finally ramen profitable! Everyone’s getting paid this month!”

Responsive Design = A website designed to be accessed on different devices.

“Have you checked out Unbounce? It’s a software builder that makes it really easy to create responsive websites.”

Return On Investment (ROI) = How much benefit you expect to get from the money you put into a project or product.

“If we subscribe to Dragon Law, how much money will we save on our legal needs? What’s the ROI, in time and money?”
“Well Bid4Ad told us that they saved 78% on their legal needs, but why don’t you try for yourself?”


I’m sure you’ve had enough of hearing these terms get thrown around the room! Did we miss out on any? Tell us in the comments below!