We’ve spoken to hundreds of founders at @secure_bags, and know how challenging it can be to manage their loans and cashflow. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common challenges we see, and how founders tackle them (for now):
- Everything is everywhere, all at once.
Most folks have more than one debt vehicle - a combination of loans and credit cards. They’re usually across different banks, with different platforms to manage them. Even the best-run businesses spend hours just consolidating their numbers to understand their cash flow position.
To make it better, go back to basics.
Invest the time up-front to set up a solid and simple system. Use a spreadsheet to consolidate all your information, across all your accounts. Make sure it’s as easy to maintain as possible - consistently looking at your numbers is the priority.
- It’s really hard (impossible) to plan for the future.
You’re running a business. It’s tough to plan your cashflow financing when you’re focussed on sales, marketing, hiring, and developing your brand or product. It’s also a noisy loan market -?
Give yourself enough runway.
Start planning your financing twice the time before you think you need it. Give yourself six months instead of three. Make sure it’s enough time to let the banks move at their (often glacial) pace, and yourself enough headspace to take make a cool and calm decision about the offer.
Small mistakes compound with success.
Bigger businesses need more cash to run well. Small errors in your cashflow (debt) management will take a bigger toll as you grow. Most founders we spoke to were totally unprepared for the ripple effects of their growth.
Experiment as much as possible.
Try out different approaches to managing things like your marketing budgets and inventory as early as possible. Think of each as a lever you can push or pull, and figure out what the impact is on your business.