Developing a “think bigger” mindset.

A man sitting on a chair working on his laptop

Thinking bigger lies behind most great achievements. Ever since someone rubbed two sticks together to make a fire, or harnessed a donkey to a cart, people have dreamed up new ways of doing things, and then gone ahead and turned them into reality. But you have to have that initial mindset — being open to transformational change — or you just won’t be able to see the possibilities around you.

Most people just do things the way they have always done them. If there is a problem, they develop workarounds even if those take a…

As someone who has been involved for the last two decades in founding and building businesses, I know that a lot of times business leaders have to make decisions based on gut feel. I still do that — but I don’t make decisions off gut feel alone — I like to look at the data first.

If you have data at your fingertips which reveals the financial health of your business, it doesn’t mean you automatically know the right answer to every question. You still have to choose between options — do we open a new support office in San…

Great user experience is not just a nice-to-have, but a central aspect to creating a product that will work and become the favorite piece of IT “furniture” at clients’ businesses.

Did you ever buy a fashionable sofa that turned out to be very uncomfortable to sit on? Or a microwave oven with so many controls you didn’t know if you were trying to transport your food or heat it up? Do you use them still? Likewise, apps that businesses buy which don’t delight users will soon find themselves on the tech equivalent of the trash heap.

Over the last two…

Something interesting is happening in the world of business funding in the United States. Changes to regulations that took effect on March 15th, 2021 mean companies are now able to raise up to $5M using Regulation Crowdfunding instead of the previous limit of $1.07M. That is a significant change and dramatically improves the effectiveness of such an investment vehicle.

Crowdfunding has been around for a while. The first recorded successful instance of crowdfunding occurred in 1997 when a British rock band funded their reunion tour through online donations from fans. …

Building a successful business depends on establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with customers — that’s true for the dogwalker who picks up your precious pooch and it is also true for the biggest company on the planet.

For the dog walker, who devotes so much energy to establishing trust with pets like Feydeau and fitting them into the pack, a high turnover of clients is likely to make the business harder to operate, and will damage their ability to grow. That is pretty much true for every services business.

What is true for services is even more so for SaaS…

An interview with Brandon Metcalf, Co-Founder of Blueprint Advisory and Salesforce industry veteran.

Blueprint Advisory builds software companies on the Salesforce Platform — why did you decide to do this?

Blueprint Advisory emerged out of my previous life. I was one of the founders of a recruitment software company called Talent Rover, now called Bullhorn for Salesforce, it was founded in 2011 and we were acquired in 2018. I had spent nearly a decade in the staffing industry and became very frustrated with the software we used, so I decided we could build a better one.

We decided to build…

Two women stand at a desk in an office

Answering “what if” questions has become more challenging for finance teams in the wake of unprecedented changes due to the pandemic. Business leaders, investors and customer organizations want their finance team to model more complex scenarios, faster. They want to understand what effect choices and decisions they could make would be likely to have on cost, and on revenue.

And at the same time, the changes that have been wrought by the pandemic mean the assumptions people would have been able to make in the past — for instance, that demand would follow a seasonal curve — may no longer…

“ !!! Our account balance is $50,000 below the forecast — where did that money go?!” Improving cash flow projections and variance analysis.

Anybody who has worked in finance for a small or medium-sized business will likely know that sinking feeling when you realize cash that was in the forecast has failed to materialize.

It can happen in any business, especially when they are in demand and very busy. Everyone is working flat out on lucrative projects, but bigger projects can mean extra complexity and chunkier bills. Just one large, late payment can be the source of a disaster. …

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a trend away from static, annual business plans towards more dynamic, rolling replanning. The increase in uncertainty we have seen over the last year is driving that shift home.

In businesses where the CFO is able to deliver a consistently accurate rolling forecast, the executive team is able to make better-informed decisions. And a recent survey we did showed that employees who are given insight into financial projections have more confidence in their organization.

But although many finance teams want to deliver that agile, future-focused approach because they understand it will give a…

While 2020 was tough to go through, we might look back on it as a time when we learned some important lessons. In our personal lives, perhaps this has forced us to grow, appreciate what we have a little more, and do more for each other. But in business too, there are ways in which we will never go back to the way we used to work.

Many business leaders have had to get accustomed to working in new ways — ripping up plans and budgets, and then having to do the same again a few weeks later. …

Brandon Metcalf

Dog dad, husband, entrepreneur, investor.

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