- August 4, 2015
- Posted by: Richie
- Category: Start-up
In this guest blog, Gavin Street, CFO at social listening and web analytics business Klood, shares with us his startup challenges through the first few years of running a business and the benefits Klood gets from using Xero.
Managing your cashflow
Getting the finance to start your business is often one of the biggest startup challenges. But what’s even more significant than accessing those initial funds is how to make your money go a long way. Sometimes it can be difficult to see where your money will be best spent, particularly at the beginning. This is all the more important when you have limited working capital, and are spending your co-founder’s personal savings to keep the business developing and growing.
Making the time
It’s easy to underestimate the time it takes to set up. Starting a business will always take up more time than you’ll have imagined and will cost more than you’d like it to. For these reasons you have to be flexible, and shouldn’t drain your resources too soon. With slow vendors, changes to technology and other circumstances – both personal and professional – not everything will go perfectly to plan. This is why you must be tactful and cautious with spending, so when you have to compromise on timing, you have a cushion of support.
Getting financial advice
Entrepreneurial plans often need the cynicism of a finance professional to give a healthy balance. The ambitious entrepreneur often projects optimistic numbers to project the best possible image of where the company is going. Add a financial advisor or CFO into the mix and the growth projections are often reduced. The debate provides healthy tension between the CEO and CFO or financial advisor and often builds the most robust plans possible for an early stage business right through to its long term success.
Xero supports all three of these challenges. When we started Klood we needed something quick and easy to set up so we could focus on running the business rather than complex installations and IT maintenance.
We were drawn to Xero, because like our product it’s cloud based and prides itself on being simple and easy to use. After trialing the product we instantly knew it was right for our business and shared many of the values of Xero. Beautiful accounting software sums it up perfectly.
The positive aspects of the product are endless, but to sum up the most important features these are…
Xero’s dashboard allows you to easily see the cashflow position of your business at anytime by simply logging in and viewing the home page. It’s clear and easy to interpret and is a must for any start-up with volatile working capital management.
Available anytime, anywhere
When Klood first started, the small team leading the business wore multiple hats on a daily basis. The initial team was based over multiple sites in different countries. Xero’s cloud-based application allowed the team, regardless of their competency levels, to log in at any time from any location to review the financial position and performance of the business.
Crisp & clear reporting
Forget downloading reports into Excel or other programmes to edit and format into a suitable and readable outputs. With Xero the slick built-in reports allow you to run a trial balance, P&L, balance sheet and many others at the click of a button, and at both summary and detailed views.
Xero really is a one stop shop for all your financial responsibilities. You can do everything from running reports, tracking debtors, paying suppliers, managing tax affairs to reconciling your bank account with live feeds. If you’ve never used some of the old fashioned accounting packages that’ve been on the market over recent years you won’t appreciate how advanced but simplified the Xero product is. But if you use the analogy of a cassette Walkman evolving into an iPod in your pocket, you get a sense of how Xero has become a game changer in the accountancy software market. It really is years ahead.
Given the strengths of the product it comes at a reasonable price allowing small business to be in control of their financials without the need for unnecessary support costs.
At Klood, we love the ethos of helping small businesses get a handle on such a significant area of running their day to day activities. Finances and cash is the lifeblood of any business, and Xero allows the non-accountants in the business the chance to enjoy working with the numbers too.