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Showing posts from January, 2019

Open Source Startup: Investor Reports

Welcome to Chapter 5 of Open Source Startup: Investor Reports. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

You've got investors and shareholders. Now you need to keep them in the loop and leverage them to grow your business. If you start with the simple premise that most investors simply don't have the time to read all your detailed information - then you're on the right track. Less is more.


Start by asking investors what information they'd like to receive and how often. If you don't get good guidelines, I've always found the following approach works well. And in the spirit of keeping this brief (which you should do) - this will be the shortest post in the Open Source Startup series.

Investor Reports should usually include:
Management AccountsAged Payables (who you owe money to)Aged Receivables (who owes you money)Balance SheetCash flow Summary (preferably nicely categorised)Profit and Loss (Monthly and/or Year to Date) All of these can be easil…

Open Source Startup: Investor Pitch Decks

Welcome to Chapter 4 of Open Source Startup: Investor Pitch Decks. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

You've hired outside of the founders (or haven't). You've got a handle on a simple strategy and a set of goals for you and your team to explore. You've even modelled your business from a cashflow perspective and so you know what revenue you need to hit by when. Time to raise funding?


Not always. If you don't need to raise funding, don't. Funding comes with a bunch of strings attached. It is not the cure-all that the developing world believes it to be. Outside of very early stage seed funding (usually from friends, family and fools) - only look to raise funding if you have proof of traction, proof of revenue and you want to grow FAST.

Here's the ugly truth. If your business model doesn't show a 5x to 10x return for investors in 5 years... Don't bother. Think that through. If an investor puts in R1m, you need to give them be…

Open Source Startup: Cash Flow Template

Welcome to Chapter 3 of Open Source Startup: Cash Flow Template. 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 reve…

Open Source Startup: Performance Management Framework (OKR's)

Welcome to Chapter 2 of Open Source Startup: Performance Management Framework (OKR's). 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, the person in charge of the boat) 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 compet…

Open Source Startup: Employment Contract Template for South Africa

Welcome to Chapter 1 of Open Source Startup: Employment Contract Template for South Africa. 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…

Open Source Startup: Contents & 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 way. 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.
Skip straight to the posts here:Employment Contract Template for South Africa  |  Performance Management Framework  |  Cashflow Template  |  Investor Pitch Decks  |  Investor Report Templates  |  Shareholders Agreement and Memorandum of Incorporation Templates  |  Disciplinary Policies - Surviving South Africa's Labour Law  |  Tools, Tools Everywhere and You Probably Only Need a Few  |  Codifying Company Culture  |  The Open Startup Movement


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 s…