Creating Diary of a Young Start-Up

Website Users; 23
Going Right; Only a few bugs left before launch in a few days, ahead of current schedule. Hurrah.
Going Wrong; 2 months after original schedule launch. In debt.
Comment; Never, never put your trust in a web developer you cannot sue. Bastard. [Read more…]

Living without Revenues

Site Launch Day User Count Going right Going wrong Comment
67 90
Gill got leads from several overseas consultants interested in participating in the project Missed launch day (yesterday) because I couldn’t respond to emails in time due to lack of childcare. Postponed til today.
Felt terrible. Until I realized that one day doesn’t make a difference and really enjoyed playing with Freya and friends on Richmond green.

A Gloater.

Making money. The number one KPI of a company. Since March of this year my company hasn’t. None. I won’t lie to you because I promised that this blog would tell you the shit as well as the glory. Well this is it. The shit I mean. When people ask me whether the company is going okay I say without a trace of a lie. Yes. But this doesn’t mean that it’s earning money.

  1. The company has made a profit  since its inception (2009)
  2. We re-launched 2 months ago and already have 120 users just through my own efforts (of which 90 are active)
  3. There’s steadily increasing (free-ish) publicity and great word of mouth.
  4. The web development schedule has hit every deliverable.
  5. I’m part of a team which is determined to make it work.

It’s all true. But right now it’s not making money and I wouldn’t be human if it didn’t worry me.

For the first year my company was supposedly a platform for my consultancy services.  I got some consulting jobs and my company had no outgoings apart from the minimal salary £5712 (which my accountant told me to take because it was under the threshold for NI and PAYE) dividends and all my expenses. At the end of the first year (which was also months 8-9 of my pregnancy) I got several jobs and because I had already positioned the services as virtual (no-one wants to see a pregnant consultant waddle around their offices, leaking god knows what) I was able to outsource/subcontract those consulting jobs to other qualified professionals in Italy and UK. It worked really well and set me up for two months leave with my baby.

A brilliant marketing campaign. Apparently not by a 3 year old.

In year 2, this arrangement continued with those I had worked with in the first year plus one other in America for various contracts and I concentrated on doing all the investment modelling work for a company who had no physical offices because it was in the pre-funding stage.  Our turnover doubled. By then I’d figured out that I was a bottleneck to sourcing and managing contracts. I needed a platform on the web to do it for me. I also needed a system which would accredit consultants areas of excellence because whilst I was an expert in project appraisal and decision support, I wouldn’t know an expert in marketing if they painted themselves purple and jumped on top of a harpsichord singing “Plop plop, fizz fizz”.

So here we are year 3 – 5 months in we launched the pilot – 2 months ago. Since then we have had two clients – people who have paid money. And to be honest, I can’t afford to spend the time consulting because am too busy setting it up. I am concerned about cash – of course I am. But I am not at breaking point yet. Not even close. I have done the worst case cashflow and for the next 18 months, we’re sound. I used to be a financial controller though and cost control is in my nature. I spend nothing but what is essential and constantly think of ways to accelerate the (currently non-existent) revenues. (I console myself that even some of the big names weren’t cash positive for a while).

As you will have seen from my last post, we  (my family) don’t require much to live and be happy. In Sweden we require even less. But the ultimate plan is that the company will make plenty if it goes well. Millions. And the shareholders including me will be extremely wealthy. The great thing is that then I get to figure out how to benefit the world even more with that money. The puzzle never ends.

But right now, that’s a hope. And cashflow  is a worry that’s getting more and more difficult to ignore.