File this under "Good Problem to Have." SASKIA, a Brooklyn jewelry startup, grew so fast that its bookkeeping demands soon exceeded the capabilities of its husband-and-wife co-founders.
Of particular concern was the company's irregular cash flow. At the start of each year, SASKIA had a lot of upfront expenditures for the materials needed to create their unique designs. The company relied on no-APR credit cards for purchases of up to $50,000, knowing the return on that investment wouldn't come until much later in the year. But in the meantime, they still had to meet their regular expenses, including payroll for eight employees. The math on how to accomplish that could get a bit fuzzy.
Into the Right Boxes
As is often the case, the first step in solving this problem was to acknowledge it. Partner/COO Scott Kerns, who had been doing the company's books, realized it was time to outsource that responsibility to a specialist. "We needed someone who could put things in the right boxes in the right way," he says, "Then we could look at all of the data together and make informed decisions based on where the money was flowing."
Kerns and his wife, jewelry designer Saskia de Vries, turned to Jane Lvovskiy, Managing Director of Supporting Strategies | Brooklyn – Staten Island. Lvovskiy not only took the bookkeeping off Kerns' plate, but also compiled the data into an easy-to-understand dashboard showing SASKIA's key performance indicators.
Beyond that, says Kerns, Lvovskiy is "someone that I can use as a sounding board for ideas from a financial point of view, like whether our projections are realistic, and ends are going to meet at the end of the year."
Peace of Mind
With Lvovskiy and the Supporting Strategies team working alongside them, Kerns and de Vries have been able to operate their thriving business with greater peace of mind.
"Jane has helped us to not rely so much on credit cards," Kerns says. "She has showed us how to create a true budget and to forecast better — how to hold onto more cash and not just count on those big paydays. That's allowed us to breathe easier, knowing we'll be able to pay our employees and all of our expenses in a timely manner throughout the year."
To learn more about how Supporting Strategies can help businesses with irregular cash flow pay their bills year-round, read the case study.