How to share financials with your employees

At my first startup, the CEO would run through financials at every other company meeting. She would tell us our revenue, how it was tracking to our monthly and yearly goals. She would remind us of standard expenses and highlight any major one-offs, like a move to a new office space or a big push at SXSW. The company had a profit share, so understanding the financials meant understanding how we could work harder and smarter to put more money in our pockets.

I had never worked anywhere where leadership shared financials like that, and it was exciting. It was easy for me to place my current projects and the revenue they were driving into the big picture. I knew exactly how valuable I was to the company, and I knew exactly how well the company was doing.

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Four cash management tips for SaaS startups

Cash is king. In business, everything stems from the cash you have, the cash you earn, and the cash you raise. You need it to run every part of your business. How much cash you have determines your company’s runway, and how likely you will raise the next round.

At Lighter Capital, we sometimes see great companies with promising traction, but the entrepreneurs are presented with less than ideal funding options because they didn’t fully understand how to manage their cash. To help you operate better and be in a better position for fundraising, here are four cash management tips we find most useful for tech and SaaS businesses.

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4 service providers early-stage startups can’t live without

While most SaaS startups are focused on raising funds and optimizing growth, there’s an equally important area that many entrepreneurs often overlook: choosing key professional service providers. Choosing the right people and understanding the value they bring can make a huge difference to your company.

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The pros and cons of transitioning from a service to a product company

It’s a common trend in the software world today: service-based consulting companies transitioning to subscription-based SaaS product companies. Sometimes founders realize that they’re essentially solving the same problem over and over again for their customers and decide to capitalize on that demand by creating a product solution. Other times, founders have a SaaS product in mind from the start, but decide to fund the building and scaling of the product by generating a steady stream of substantial income from consulting.

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Startup founder and recruiter-in-chief: Top 3 takeaways

Over the past weeks, we’ve discussed the steps involved in recruiting and hiring key employees for a startup. In the first three posts, I walked readers through the processes I followed when I made the all-important first two hires for my startup RecruitLoop. The first post focused on how to find potential candidates. The second post detailed our process for selecting the best candidates. The third post discussed the often-overlooked details of what happens after you decide on a candidate: negotiating an offer, hiring, and on-boarding. In this final post, I sum up my top three lessons learned.

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From service to product company: hear from the experts on how to do it successfully

Our team just got back from Dreamforce 15 in San Francisco. At the conference, our CEO BJ Lackland participated in a session with Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross. Jason is the Partner of Storm Ventures, and founder of SaaStr. Aaron Ross is the author and Co-Founder of Predictable Revenue. Their discussion focused around funding and scaling SaaS businesses, and how to successfully transition from a service company to a product company.

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Entrepreneurs fess up: the key reason why their promising startup crashed

A few months ago, we published a post on five reasons why startups fail. People don’t like to talk about it, but startups, or early stage technology businesses are risky. Statistically, 9 out of 10 startups fail.

Of course, it is hard to pinpoint one specific reason or event that causes the failure, but recently we found CBInsights’ roundup of startup post-mortems very revealing. Plus, it’s always good to hear it directly from the entrepreneurs.

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Startup founder and recruiter-in-chief: converting candidates to employees

In my last post, I discussed the screening and interview process we went through at RecruitLoop. We had identified not one but two great candidates. We assumed the hard work was done. Negotiating the offers should be the easy part, right?

Wrong.

 

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Founder compensation: how much should you pay yourself?

Seattle entrepreneur Dan Price from Gravity Payments made headlines a few months ago when he announced that his employees would make $70,000 a year as minimum wage. In order to pay for this company-wide salary increase, he also slashed his own wage from $1M a year to $70,000.

While his decision seemed bold and admirable at the time, just a few months later his company is struggling and his decision to make this salary change has gotten a lot of criticism and backlash. All of which begs the question: if you're running a company (especially if the company is still in the early stages), how much should you pay yourself?

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Startup founder and recruiter-in-chief: separating the wheat from the chaff

This is the second in a series of four blog posts in which I share the steps and processes we followed when making the all-important first two hires at RecruitLoop. In the first post, I focused on how we identified candidates. Here I discuss strategies for the screening and interviewing process.

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