Put together a realistic budget

Start by putting your management team in a room and do a SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats – look critically at your business for a one year and five year time frame.  Decide what goals and initiatives the numbers will need to support. How will you generate a top line and a gross … Continue reading

Setting up basic processing

Get a basic accounting package like Intuit’s Quickbooks (http://quickbooks.intuit.com/pro/).  Determine what information you will need to get out of your system and this will drive what your chart of accounts looks like.  Think forward, look at peers, ask your outside accountant.   Think about the level of detail you will need for management and board reporting.   … Continue reading

Basic government/tax compliance

You need to determine the state regulations for the states where you are incorporated and potentially where you have employees, assets or office locations.  Each state is different but most will have a business entity tax due annually, property tax, sales and use tax and potentially other local taxes.  The best resources to find out … Continue reading

Putting corporate insurance in place

You need to hire an insurance broker that understands your business so you put the proper coverages in place, set the right limits and deductibles and one that will help you shop carriers for the best value.  Ask peers, check references.  As basic coverage you will probably need: property, general liability, workers comp and management … Continue reading

HR processes – offer letters, on-boarding, granting options, review processes, terminations, benefits

You will have a hiring plan and compensation levels (covering cash, incentive and option grants) from your financial planning process.  You should also have job descriptions written for each of the positions you are intending to fill.  To implement this part of your plan, you will need to figure out how you will source candidates, … Continue reading

Managing boards and advisory boards

Having a Board of Directors or Advisory Board can be a major tool for implementing good governance and risk management in your company.  It should not just be looked upon as a requirement.  Board members are a second set of eyes and ears for the CEO that can insure that the important data inside and … Continue reading

Managing IT

Many parts of IT can be outsourced effectively, no longer do you need to locally house server farms and have extensive in-house support functions. You need to have someone knowledgeable about the universe of available solutions handling purchasing of hardware and software.  If this person can also effectively access support from your software and hardware … Continue reading

Managing Office Operations

Take the minimum office space needed, both in terms of square footage but mostly in terms of keeping the term short. Watch out for long term space commitments that may be hard to unwind if you grow more or fail to grow according to plan.  If you are unsure, take a temporary space as a … Continue reading

Revenue/Operations Support

One of the key functions that a financial person can provide is support to the revenue and operations areas.  Creating that link between finance and operations is one of the ways to ensure a keen understanding of the revenue and cost of sales entries you are booking to the financials.  Proper revenue recognition depends on … Continue reading

How to think about managing legal?

Besides setting up standard contracts, outside attorneys should assist on corporate organization set-up, financings, establishing intellectual property rights (IP), strategic partnerships or any transaction that may have major implications for your company.  Outside attorneys can be used at every turn but they are very expensive.  It is important to align yourself with an attorney familiar … Continue reading