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Cash Flow Mgmt
Lending & Financing
This is a free 13-week cash flow template with step by step instructions on how to use it and a strategy call with a Fractional CFO/COO
Helpful HR tips and updates to managing remote teams and more.
5 Stages of Awareness - Based on a comment from Beau Haralson
Discussion Comments & Panel Members
-- Mark Lupton --
Bio: Partner & Fractional CFO/COO...
We’ve all been there--a cough that just won’t seem to go away or an ache that hasn’t ever healed correctly on its own. When you’re experiencing some physical symptoms, where do you go to get peace of mind? Web-MD? Ask a friend or a parent? Schedule an appointment with a doctor?
Now imagine your business as a living being. Like a body, a business has a number of systems that all work together to ensure that it stays healthy. In his book Shoe Dog, Phil Knight draws a connection between cash and blood:
“Yes, the human body needs blood. It needs to manufacture red and white cells and platelets and redistribute them evenly, smoothly, to all the right places, on time, or else. But that day-to-day business of the human body isn’t our mission as human beings. It’s a basic process that enables our higher aims, and life always strives to transcend the basic processes of living…”
Unlike when we are experiencing physical...
Movies, TV shows, social media and music have perfected the art of setting high expectations for the holiday season. The big romantic gesture, the perfect family feast, snowball fights with the kids. What is so illustrious about the pictures they paint? They promise an opportunity to be fully present in situations outside of our daily routine. An opportunity to hit pause on all the noise around us and turn to the things that make us feel fulfilled.
For a lot of business owners, hitting that pause button doesn't seem like an option. The holidays can be one of the more stressful times of the year. Months of preparation has led to what is hoped (and frankly is needed) to be the best quarter of the year--an opportunity to put some significant cash in the bank heading into the new year.
Adding to the stress, this reality is often not fully understood by close friends and relatives, which can lead to questions like:
Will you be able to take the whole week of...
It’s hard for people who don’t run their own business to truly understand or appreciate all the hard work that is required to move forward toward big picture goals. You find yourself working late nights, trying new things with no guarantee of success (repeatedly falling and getting back up again), weathering seasonal revenue swings, all while trying to stay focused on important things outside of work (like family and community). It can feel overwhelming.
It’s tempting as a business owner to fall into a bad habit: growth for growth’s sake. We see stories of unicorn businesses scaling to the moon in almost no time at all and assume that we should attempt to do the same. The reality, however, is that no one definition of success applies to each business or entrepreneur. If we’re not clear on how we define success, someone else will surely do it for us.
One mistake we see is that the daily and weekly decisions a business owner makes aren’t...
At Amplify, our mission is to help business owners reach their “WHY” sooner.
Before we ever jump into historical financial statements or begin breaking down unit economics, it’s essential for us to get a clear picture of why the business was started in the first place. Without a strong understanding of the entrepreneur's vision, we wouldn’t have a clear flag in the distance to align all our decisions. Ultimately, we would be left guessing as to what kind of result or outcome would make the business owner happy. Instead, we believe beginning with the end in mind is paramount to making decisions that move the business in the right direction.
Examples of "why's" we’ve aligned business decisions toward:
Provide steady income for the family before the first baby arrives
Earn enough money each month to allow a spouse to quit a job
Donating a % of profits to non-profit organizations
Employing refugee workers at a generous wage
One of our longest client relationships has been with Ranger Station, an amazing fragrance brand out of Nashville that was started a few years back by Steve Soderholm.
From our earliest conversations it became clear that there was an opportunity to put a growth plan in place that began to address some key questions on the table:
How much can we self-finance our growth without the help of investors?
If we want to bring on investors at some point, when and why should we do so?
Where is the untapped opportunity to generate more profits?
We began by breaking down each candle into its unit economics--how much revenue we make when we sell each unit, and what profit remains once we deduct the cost of production and sales. At different points, we’ve identified opportunities to improve our pricing to better serve our customers and wholesale relationships, all while being careful to not miss out on capturing whatever demand was available.
Once we defined unit...
Close your eyes and imagine the best piece of fruit you’ve ever tasted. If you’ve had The Peach Truck (based in Nashville, TN), you probably just imagined eating one of their peaches. For a lot of people in the midwest, waiting in line to get a box often marks the beginning of summer.
Amplify came alongside founders Stephen and Jessica Rose this past year, and one of the goals was to grow the online revenue stream (think of Harry & David fruit boxes). With such a short selling window, we had to make sure we were balancing the supply of peaches with the high demand from their loyal audience and expanding to more people. Talk about seasonality!
The Peach Truck’s original plan heading into the season was to ramp up ad spend as much as possible throughout the three-month period and hope that more boxes were sent out this year.
We discovered a unique opportunity to acquire even more customers before the first peach was even picked off the tree. Peach lovers could...
For a lot of small businesses, warmer weather means the opportunity to get in front of new customers. On-street corners and fairgrounds all across the country, entrepreneurs are setting up to showcase their products in hopes of a nice sales boost and maybe some new evangelizing customers.
What a lot of the new customers don’t see, however, is just how much hard work the business owner put into showing up for the event. You develop the products, you source the materials, you oversee production and make sure the feel of your display and website are both on-brand--all to get the product to the point where it can be enjoyed by the customer.
This is a spot where a lot of entrepreneurs can get stuck if they’re not careful. The business grows but is capped at the point where the owner is still involved in every aspect. This plateau often falls short of the big goals and dreams that drove the founder to begin in the first place. A significant shift is required to break through...
As a business owner, few things are as important as having a plan. With a clear picture of the next year, you have guidance to confidently navigate whatever comes your way (and sleep peacefully at night). Without one, you're left reacting to the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial journey with the hope your guesses won’t cause too much damage.
Maybe a potential investor is asking for a forecast and you want to make sure you tell an accurate story of what’s possible in the future. Maybe you’re tired of guessing about the next season and want a road map that ensures you don’t run out of cash or inventory in the next 12 months. Or, you might be at the point where you know more is possible and are ready to define how profitable an upgraded version 2.0 of your business could be.
There are obvious benefits that come as a result of having a clear plan in place: predictability, confidence, flexibility, control, freedom, and the list goes on. While the detailed...