WHAT’S NEXT? HOW DO I GET ORGANIZED? WHAT SYSTEMS DO I NEED?

Gregg Fairbrothers:  What’s next? It depends. There’s no one answer to a question like this.

  1. What you need to do next is affected by where you are, and especially, what are the next risks to your business that you need to eliminate. These are the strategy- and execution-related next steps, things like how to get a product designed and built, how to find people and build up the company, how to get money, how to prove markets. Getting these right creates a successful company where nothing existed before.
  2. In parallel there are the operations next steps that you have to take to get things done, and to operate professionally, things like set up money management and accounting, processes and policies, structures and business commitments. Getting these right saves you from taking a successful launch and having it blow up around you.
  3. Both are important. Jen Gabler has been helping companies do this her whole career. Here are some of her suggestions:

 

Mike Gonnerman(Founder and CEO, Michael Gonnerman, Inc.): 

  1. Arrange for an advisor, who can be a Director, Advisor, or just a mentor.  The point is that you need to speak regularly with someone who has been through it before.
  2. If you have co-founders, get their agreement on company purpose, direction and initial ownership.
  3. Find a lawyer and have him/her
    1. organize the entity (dba, Sub S, C?) and register with the IRS, state, et al
    2. prepare the founders’ agreements (avoid “Winklevoss” issues) – then, get them signed
    3. prepare letters/agreements for other parties (consultants, employees, advisors, et al) and get them signed
  4. Determine your near-term and intermediate term cash needs.
  5. Make it happen!  Remember the sentence of ten 2-letter words:  “If it is to be, it is up to me!”

 

Jen Gabler (Principal, Rochester Point, LLC):  

  1. Setting up basic processing
  2. Get a basic accounting software package
  3. Establish a legal entity
  4. Put together the capitalization table
  5. Open a bank account
  6. Establish authorization levels, AR, AP, payroll, expense reporting, track fixed assets, inventory systems, project accounting, and monthly closing/reporting.

Read more about what’s next and how to get organized on this site…Click on the Resources tab, and then click on Jen’s Thoughts.

About Jen:
Jen Gabler knows how financial leadership for entrepreneurial companies can create substantive value from inception through rapid growth.  From experience in a range of industries, Jen creates and runs financial operations responsive to the goals set by management and by the board of directors.   Her experience in financial governance and controls set clear directions for strategic planning, risk management, financial operations and set the values and culture required to optimize corporate performance.

As principal of Rochester Point, LLC, Gabler provides contract chief financial officer leadership.  Current clients include several Harvard Business School executive program participants.  Jen functions as the financial counterpart to the CEO.  Her project based services include operational finance and accounting, fund raising, mergers and acquisition, incentive compensation, recapitalizations, legal, real estate negotiations, IT, benefits and other strategic projects.  Her industry experience spans high tech manufacturing, software, professional services, biotechnology, retail/consumer products, industrial distribution, real estate, non-profit and investment companies. 

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