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Open Source Startup: Cash Flow Template

Welcome to Chapter 3 of Open Source Startup. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

Cash flow. The lifeblood of any business - and a tricky little devil to keep under control.


Something I've always struggled with is a solid, simple, cash flow (or cash forecast) template. Accounting can get cloudy for everyone except accountants - and all entrepreneurs need a tool to tell them whether this idea or business they're testing has a chance of succeeding.

DOWNLOAD A CASHFLOW TEMPLATE
I particularly like this template because it can be used to test an idea and estimate revenues. It can also be used to run a business - it provides a very clear picture on whether you're making or losing money every month and how many months runway you have before you run out of money.

I've included some of the more common cost categories to get you started. Out of interest, the test data I've included shows a small business that's generating revenue and angel invest…
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Open Source Startup: Performance Management Framework

Welcome to Chapter 2 of Open Source Startup. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

Once you start building a team, the single most important thing to do is get them aligned with the vision and get them moving in the same direction (as fast as possible). Do not underestimate how difficult this is. You may think everyone is in the same boat simply because they arrive at the same office. More often than not, everyone is rowing in a different direction and the cox (you) keeps changing the orders.


You can read for months on how to set up a performance management framework (we prefer to call it Goals, far less authoritarian) - and by no means do I think ours is the best. I've just always liked to go for something that is simple, something that can be created and moulded together with your employees and something that errs on the side of transparency.

There is a movement towards competency-based performance reviews - which is largely fancy talk for actually engagi…

Open Source Startup: Employment Contract Template for South Africa

Welcome to Chapter 1 of Open Source Startup. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

Handshake employment is fine. Until something goes wrong. Two out of the three businesses in my immediate vicinity have been visited by the Department of Labour for an audit. And everyone has hired a bad nut.


Covering yourself with a simple but effective employment contract is really important - both for you and the team you're building. Here's a nice, solid employment contract example for you to use.

DOWNLOAD EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT TEMPLATE FOR SOUTH AFRICA.
Notes and things to think through:

Clause 4: Job Description. This is important and should be updated every year, even if just to reconfirm role and responsibilities. Startups have lots of role creep, so make sure you account for that in the job description.

Clause 5.2. Termination time frames. You might want to double check this - the wording on Basic Conditions of Employment can be a little confusing. It's designed t…

Open Source Startup: Introduction

This is something I've been wanting to write for a while. One of the frustrating things about a South African startup journey is the lack of open source material to help you along the journey. I'm not talking about code - there's plenty of that. I'm talking about the nuts and bolts of building a business: contracts, cashflows, policies and procedures.

In the US, you can download a term sheet, pitch deck and employment contract - from multiple sources. Here, it's a little tougher.

Over the next few months, I'm going to be sharing some sanitised versions of some of the documentation and processes that we've used to build forgood into SA's largest corporate volunteering platform. It's a fairly typical SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) SME - just playing in the new social enterprise space.

Hopefully these posts help you in some way. I'll answer any questions I can on @andyhadfield and if there's something in particular you'd like me to cover, …

The myth of entrepreneurship.

Being an entrepreneur is like getting punched in the face every day - and trying to convince people you enjoy it. It's not glamorous. You're not a rockstar. And you're only accountable to yourself.


The Heavy Chef Guide To Starting a Business - Internal Training Experiment (Part 5 - FINAL)

Welcome to Part 5 of the internal "entrepreneur training" series we're doing at forgood.

Using the Heavy Chef Guide to Starting a Business in South Africa (it's a super light read and presents quite a nice structure for the do's and don'ts of getting going in business) - we're doing bi-monthly learning sessions, discussions and exercises.

This is the last post. The final 4 chapters wrap up this "beginner's guide" quite nicely. It's been a fairly uncontroversial common sense read, so I was pleased to slightly disagree with one of the points. We'll get into that soon. 

If you missed Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 - go give them a read. If you're wondering why we're training our team to be entrepreneurs? Why not?

Chapters 7 to 10
Look beyond competitors being threats. 

Sure, they can eat your lunch. But the modern business world demands a slightly more open and innovative approach to competitor analysis. Treat them as sources of i…

The Heavy Chef Guide To Starting a Business - Internal Training Experiment (Part 4)

Welcome to Part 4 of our internal "entrepreneur training" series we're doing at forgood.

Using the Heavy Chef Guide to Starting a Business in South Africa (it's a super light read and presents quite a nice structure for the do's and don'ts of getting going in business) - we're doing bi-monthly learning sessions, discussions and exercises.

I'll chronicle them here so you can follow along.

If you missed Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 - go give them a read. If you're wondering why we're training our team to be entrepreneurs? Why not?


Chapter 5 and 6
This is a shorter post. The advice in these chapters is simple and practical. Hopefully I can reinforce a few themes...

Raising funds. 

This subject is talked about the most and often accused of being the single biggest barrier to entrepreneurship in South Africa. It is - and it isn't. I only have a few rules to think through when raising funds.

1. Get paying customers first. Before raising funds.

2. Tr…