Bradley Witham - Finance Tips for Early Stage Startups.

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PowerPoint PresentationBradley Witham - Finance Tips for Early Stage StartupsEstablish A Simple Accounting SystemYou dont need many bells and whistles at this stage in the game, but you do want to set up a system that is easy-to-use and that is built to grow with you. Most of our clients use QuickBooks, but there are other options to choose from. But its much easier to establish your system from the get-go, rather than to try to roll over your accounting into a system at later date when your finances become more complex.Set Up An Accounts Payable SystemIn the early stages its especially important to establish a foundation for maximizing your cash flow. Consider all of your expenses then think through how you will record and cover them. There are many tracking systems to choose from. Work with a professional to assess your needs and identify your best system. Once youve selected your system, enter all expenses and establish your invoice AP schedule so that youre always paying your bills on time. Establish Your Payment Collection ProcessYou can improve cash collections by properly establishing your AR process which should enable you to list out all open invoices and balances. Ideally youll want to establish your credit guidelines, policies, and collection timeline before you start collecting your first payments. Keep on top of accounts receivable; consider including an incentive for customers who make early payments as part of your purchase terms, and have a plan in place for managing late customer payments.Develop Your Financial ProjectionsCreate a bottom-up financial forecast that uses your detailed budget and sales projections as the starting point. This needs to include estimates for spending by department IT, HR, office rental, marketing, legal and other professional services. Dont forecast beyond three years though, because projections really arent meaningful past that point. And plan to update your forecasts on a monthly basis and anytime theres a significant change in your business plan, market, or milestones.Bradley Witham - Build Your BudgetCalculate your expenses and subtract them from any revenue you are earning. Identify the resources youll need to hit each of your milestones. Once youve worked these out, youll be in a position to balance them against your available funds. The process will be iterative, and you should expect to rebalance priorities as you hit each milestone. Managing working capital, mainly cash at this stage, is critical since liquidity is a huge concern. Look into vendor financing and be strategic with your marketing and sales strategy target selling opportunities that deliver high returns, while being cost effective.Bradley Witham - Forge Banking RelationshipsComparison shop when it comes to fees, and consider other aspects like the ability to get in-person assistance when necessary versus online-only customer service and support options. Also take care to choose an institution that has experience working with early-stage startups: not just in taking their deposits, but also in providing creative and flexible lending solutions. And whatever you do be sure to keep your business and personal accounts separate!Bradley Witham - Dont Overspend On Building Your TeamHire only for those positions you actually need and rely on contract staff, part-time employees, and freelancers for as much as you can. Creativity and flexibility are essential qualities to look for. Protect yourself by clearly outlining confidentiality, termination provisions, and IP ownership in employee contracts and hiring documentation. Since you probably cant offer much cash, consider the full range of non-cash perks as sweeteners. Equity is likely to be a key piece of the puzzle, but dont forget to structure in incentives based on hitting key milestones, and deferred compensation arrangements. Decide whether you need to pursue outside fundingThe answer isnt always yes. I always advocate bootstrapping for as long as possible to avoid dilution. Funding is a good option if youre looking to accelerate your growth its not for market/product validation. If you do decide to pursue funding, know your options and create a funding game plan. There are more and more ways to land funding even for embryonic startups and all roads do not lead to VC. Often, in the early stages, friend and family are your best first option. Also consider angels, super-angels, and even crowd funding, an increasingly interesting option for raising capital.This Presentation is bought to you by Bradley WithamFor More About Finance Tips for Early Stage StartupsPresented Byhttp://www.bradleywitham.net.auContact Us