Yazin is a UX / UI designer who runs his own agency. He had been wanting to scale since he started but didn’t know if he could afford to do it or where to even start with all that encompasses. He was intimidated by his accounting, payroll, benefits, HR, and not to mention the cash he needed coming in and how much would be going out. We had been friends for over 2 years and had always had discussions of what he needed to do to sort all this out and it was always too much for him to take on so he just let things slide. He had come to me to do a formal engagement when he hired a $150,000 contract employee, he already had 2 full-time contract employees he paid hourly, that he would eventually bring on as a $150,000 W2 salary (HUGE Mistake #1) and he needed to understand the business he had coming in and what he had to bring in to keep scaling and affording employees. After building him a financial model and cash flow forecast, he knew that the deals he had in the pipeline weren’t enough to do what he had to do. He quickly changed up how work was being delegated and increased his profit per project and realized the $150,000 contract employee would end up costing him nearly $200,000 when all is said and done as a W2 employee. With the financial visibility I provided, Yazin was able to focus his efforts and approach his agency with a much more calculated perspective. Now, Yazin runs one of the most respected agencies in Chicago.
Kaeya had had great success being on Shark Tank and selling over a million dollars in product. She had always been great with seeing a need and jumping all over it instantly and getting a product to market, from a box moving box that’s easy to set up, to a jersey that turns in a bag, to a t-shirt with Derrick Rose’s mean mug look on it. Her greatest challenge was understanding the financial operations of it all. She knew that it wasn’t her expertise and like most others in that situation, didn’t want to deal with it at all. She needed a complete understanding of what she was making per product, her COGS, her marketing expenses, and what certain decisions would do to her bottom line. Providing her an easy to use model let her have conversations with her team much more easily and allowed her to drive business towards products that had a high margin and lower business on products that were costing her money. Now, Kaeya serves as a thought leader in the eCommerce space and has been responsible for building dozens of successful product lines.
Dan had been running Third Eye Health for several years after a long career in the medical device world and was having difficulty cracking market product fit for his new idea. After a major business pivot, he found himself having discussions with a VC that were asking questions he couldn’t answer, like how much money he needed to execute on the deals he was closing, how much money he needed to enter into new markets, how much money did all of the regulatory controls cost, and a ton of others. We were connected through a PE firm I was working with and Dan offered me a full-time position after only 3 days of working together. Aside from the great we had together, simply the value of having financial visibility to make decisions and answer difficult questions from was something he didn’t want to lose. After working together to go through all of the inquiries of the VC and showing them the numbers down pat, we successfully raised $1M from them and the race was on. Dan has just raised a $7M Series A and now has now Third Eye Health operates in over 20 states delivering telehealth technologies.
Founder Equity is an investment firm in Chicago that takes an active role in each of their investments. One of their biggest challenges is visibility into their portfolio companies, specifically one that was performing very poorly. I was hired by the founder and CEO of the fund to jump in and figure out what was going on with the finances of the company because they could never get a straight answer from the CEO and the data they were getting wasn’t from the system and they didn’t know what they could trust and go off of. They had analysts trying to build models and track what was happening to no avail. On the brink of having to fold up shop with the business hemorrhaging cash, I was brought on to analyze all the expenses and really get to the meat of the issue. After just one look at their QuickBooks Online data, I could tell there were wayyyyyyy too many expenses going out that didn’t look right and the margins they were communicating were completely wrong. Providing the CEO of the firm the correct data and projections with a cash flow forecast gave him all the information to fire the CEO of the portfolio company and cut monthly spending by over 60%.
CFOs4Tech provide outsourced CFO services to technology companies. One of the most time consuming activities is building and managing the financial projections and cash flow forecasts. I was introduced to the partner of the CFO firm, Ted Stann, by an investment fund that uses him for all of their portfolio companies and to teach classes for the accelerator program they run. Ted immediately through his full support behind Clockwork and even said he’s been wanting to build a tool like this for over 20 years. He uses it for his clients so they can have one collaborate platform so they aren’t passing excel sheets back and forth, to save them money with time he doesn’t have to spend updating those excel sheets, and to give the client more control and visibility into what has happened, what is currently happening, and what will happen.