BY TURNING TO AN EXTERNAL BOOKKEEPING SERVICE, STARTUP FREES UP TIME TO FOCUS ON BRINGING IN NEW BUSINESS
To maintain credibility, a startup that offers financial modeling for prospective startups must keep its own finances in order. Deziner Software accomplished that by outsourcing its bookkeeping to Supporting Strategies — and went on to score a major coup by landing a large international client.
Founded in Naperville, Ill., in 2014, Deziner Software provides prospective entrepreneurs with the resources to create custom business plans. Clients pay a monthly subscription fee to access the company’s Intercept program, which tailors proposals for specific investors.
Finding A Starting Point
When investment banker Mark Quigley realized there was no roadmap to help prospective startups secure financing, he saw an opportunity. Why not create an app that would guide entrepreneurs through the challenging process? The result was Deziner Software.
Launching a small business of his own has given Quigley, Deziner’s President and CEO, additional insights into the process of building a startup. Two of the most valuable lessons, says Quigley, are the importance of networking and budgeting your time efficiently.
Making A Connection
Quigley was a regular attendee at events sponsored by NaperLaunch, an initiative of the Naperville Public Library designed to bring together local entrepreneurs for educational and development purposes. It was there that he met Dawn Hershik, Managing Director, Supporting Strategies | Chicago Far West Suburbs, and her husband Elliot, the franchise’s General Manager.
Although he wasn’t ready to use an outsourced bookkeeping services provider at that point, Quigley was looking ahead. “That upfront due diligence is very important,” he says. “That’s why you go to these networking events — to figure out who is going to be part of your back-office team.”
He was impressed by the scope of the Hershiks’ influence in the local business community. Among other things, they conducted workshops for the local chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit organization that provides free advice and counseling to entrepreneurs.
“The Hershiks actively connect you to other people that might also help your business,” Quigley says. “They’ve set up a miniature chamber of commerce in a way, and that’s unusual for a bookkeeping services provider.”
It's Go Time
Like many entrepreneurs, Quigley was a jack-of-all-trades during the early days of Deziner Software. He used QuickBooks to keep track of finances, but he also filed paperwork in shoeboxes. “You can make that work short term, but after a while the shoeboxes start stacking up,” he says. “Once you become a legal entity, with legitimate investors, you need to make sure all the bookkeeping gets done professionally and reliably.”
Quigley decided it was time to outsource his bookkeeping to Supporting Strategies. It was a seamless handoff. Supporting Strategies assumed responsibility for everything from reconciling accounts to tracking payroll entries and expense reports.
“It was stress-free for me,” Quigley says. “Most of the business we do right now is through credit cards, so it’s a matter of gathering the data and inputting it into the QuickBooks system. I’m pretty good with numbers, but I prefer to spend my time building the business and focusing on new clients and new deals.” That focus has paid off handsomely.
One Great Partnership Leads to Another
In June 2017, Deziner Software launched a partnership with a leading provider of research tools and technology for library systems worldwide. The result was a major coup for Deziner Software so early in its existence.
Quigley thinks his decision to outsource bookkeeping to Supporting Strategies played an important role in landing his company’s largest client to date. It’s an approach that he recommends to other startups.
“I think a business not having this type of support function is going to suffer because you can never get out the door,” Quigley says. “If you’re spending all your time doing your books instead of going out and getting clients, what good is that?”