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Rolling forecasts are still a fairly new concept for businesses.

In many organizations, financial planning is as follows: at the end of every year, you create a budget for the following year based on historical data. You look at how much money you spent in the past 365 days on marketing, sales, training, and technology, and then you adjust your budget accordingly. For the most part, once a business creates a budget for the next year, they don’t typically make any changes until the following year. They have their milestones and metrics in place, and they stay the course.

What technology has recently enabled, however, is the ability to know what’s happening in the business in real-time — and to make changes to your forecast based on your original budget. …


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In “the old days,” when you asked the finance department for a report or the sales team for a lead list, it would take days (sometimes weeks) to get an answer.

Data would have to be collected, organized, and presented. Team members would have to go back and forth, comparing insights. And by the time you actually received an answer, the data, in some respects, would be considered outdated. New data will have been collected by the company, leading to the process being repeated over and over and over again.

Unfortunately, many businesses today are still living in “the old days.” Lets take a look at how you can improve data visibility and department efficiency with Salesforce and apps. …


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For every entrepreneur, the biggest challenge when running a company is knowing how and where to spend your time.

I remember when I started my first company, Talent Rover, I focused so much of my time (especially in the early days) hyper-focused on building the product. I wasn’t worried about anything else. And for a while, that seemed like a great path forward — until we got closer to actually launching the thing and needing to turn this product we’d worked so hard to build into a profitable, scalable business. That’s when things got crazy.

This is typically true for most first-time entrepreneurs. There’s a significant amount of focus placed on building a game-changing product, only to end up with no real go-to-market strategy or plan (or knowing how to even create one). As a result, you find yourself living in a sort of whirlwind, working tirelessly to build a business without really knowing whether your 18, 19, 20-hour workdays are truly moving your forward — or if you’re just spinning your wheels. …


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2020 is the year of pivoting.

Over the past six months, companies ranging from early-stage startups to massive organizations employing thousands of people have had to pivot to meet the demands of the current climate. Companies have pivoted their products, their business models, their internal processes, all with the hopes of adjusting to this “new world” we’ve found ourselves living in.

However, especially in times of uncertainty, pivoting can morph into a frantic chasing of the next short-term fix. …


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Being a founder in the post-COVID world is going to require a different perspective of the world.

For my entire career, I have always been someone who really values in-person relationships. Despite the fact that I’ve spent years in tech, and even my current venture is designed to help make people’s accounting and finance jobs easier, I don’t subscribe to the ideology that our entire lives should be made digital. I would much rather meet up with someone for lunch than hop on a Zoom call. I enjoy grabbing drinks and talking with friends or business associates face-to-face. I don’t mind making the commute to stop by someone else’s office. …


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How do you know if your business is on track?

Startup founders and business owners have to juggle a million and one different variables in order to build and run a successful company. The problem is, when you get too hyper-focused on “the weeds” of the business, it can be easy to lose sight of the horizon line. Where are you headed in the long term? What are your expectations for the next six, twelve, and eighteen months? And, most importantly, how confident are you that you’ll get there?

The reality is that many business owners have very little definition around what it means to be “on track” outside of this month or quarter. They pay attention to their sales, keeping their customers happy, and trying to make more money than they spend. But from a 30,000-foot perspective, it can be difficult to know where the business will be six months from now — because they’re so focused on putting out fires and managing the day-to-day operations happening right now. …


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Businesses fail every day for a number of reasons.

  • There’s no market for the product or service being sold
  • Incorrect go-to-market strategy
  • The product doesn’t actually work
  • Wrong team
  • Poor leadership
  • Out-competed by another company
  • Lack of experience

The list can go on and on…

But according to US Bank, the overwhelming majority of small businesses, 82% to be exact, fail as a result of cash flow issues. That means the business had potentially achieved successful product-market fit, was growing and servicing customers, and then all of a sudden the company ran out of cash. Bills couldn’t be paid. Payroll couldn’t be met. …


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During a crisis, it’s easy to fall into a state of panic.

But so far, 2020 has felt like one significant crisis after the next. We’re only halfway through the year and we are certainly in a different world compared to 2019. For many of us, we are left wondering what will happen next.

So, with all that’s going on, how are we going to get through it?

More than ever, now is the time to focus on your core values — as a person, as a friend and family member, and as a business owner, employee, or team member.

Everything that has been going on so far this year has me thinking hard about my own mission, my own values, and the values within our organization. …


Personally, I don’t think there’s ever a “right time” to start a business.

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If you look at the last big financial recession, a lot of powerful companies came out of the housing crisis of 2008, and a lot of powerful companies failed. And if you compare that to two or so years ago, when the economy was arguably the best it has ever been, there were companies that raised tons of money and went on to be very successful, and there were also companies that raised tons of money and completely bombed.

The world is constantly changing. …


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Building a company is always stressful.

For example, when we launched my previous company, Talent Rover, there was always something going on — some fire we had to put out. We dealt with a lawsuit early on, which was stressful. We scaled from one office in the US to nine offices around the world in a very short amount of time, which was also stressful. The entire journey of building a business is filled with stressors, even if those things are positive for the business. Growth is a great problem to have. It’s just also stressful.

Every founder I know, talk to, and am friends with feels the same way. It takes a certain type of personality to want to build a startup — especially if you’re someone like me who has done it multiple times. And so finding ways to manage that stress along the way is extremely important. Otherwise, you begin to resent the journey, and building a company goes from being your passion to becoming a source of unhappiness. …

About

Brandon Metcalf

Dog dad, husband, entrepreneur, investor. www.linkedin.com/in/Metcalf

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