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Startup

Sedang Cari Investor? Begini cara Startup Sempurnakan Laporan Keuangan

Perusahaan perintis (startup) saat ini sedang giat mencari investor. Tujuannya untuk menjalankan bisnisnya terutama di sektor ekonomi digital. Untuk itu semua perusahaan startup diimbau harus membuat laporan keuangan yang baik. Tujuannya untuk menarik minat para penanam modal.

Sehingga perlu diperhatikan lagi apakah pencatatannya sudah benar. Apakah para startup memiliki sistem untuk mencatat transaksi keuangan. Apakah para startup dapat membuat laporan dengan baik.

Pengelolaan pembukuan yang kurang maksimal sudah sangat cukup untuk membuat takut banyak orang yang ingin memulai bisnis mereka. Namun dengan sistem yang tepat, mengurus catatan keuangan yang sederhana tidak harus menjadi hal yang sulit. Itu hanya tentang merinci pendapatan dan pengeluaran usaha dari awal dan menjaga catatan agar akurat secara berkala.

Berikut adalah pembukuan dan akuntansi sederhana untuk startup yang dapat langsung dilakukan.

Ada beberapa hal yang Anda butuhkan untuk menjalankan pembukuan secara mendasar adalah:

  • Buku kas untuk mencatat uang masuk dan keluar;
  • Buku besar penjualan untuk merinci uang yang diterima dan jumlah hutang;
  • Buku besar pembelian untuk melacak pengeluaran;
  • Dan sebuah buku upah, yang memberikan rincian pembayaran gaji dan asuransi.

Sebagai sebuah start up, Anda mungkin memutuskan bahwa menggunakan sumber daya untuk menemukan bookkeeper dan akuntan yang sesuai untuk menyimpan catatan keuangan Anda adalah pilihan yang lebih baik – terutama jika Anda tidak merasa cukup percaya diri untuk mengatasinya sendiri. Seorang bookkeeper atau akuntan yang baik dapat memastikan Anda menyimpan catatan keuangan yang tepat, terus memonitor keadaan finansial Anda serta membantu membangun dan mengembangkan bisnis Anda. Mereka juga dapat membantu Anda bahkan untuk menghindari kesalahan yang berpotensi sangat mahal dan merugikan bisnis Anda!

Jika Anda memutuskan untuk melakukan pembukuan sendiri, Anda akan perlu:

  • Menyimpan tanda terima dalam penerimaan pembelian tunai dan faktur untuk semua pengeluaran bisnis seperti tagihan listrik, laporan bank dan kartu kredit;
  • Mengurus catatan gaji (jika Anda mempekerjakan orang);
  • Dan menyimpan catatan PPN (jika Anda terdaftar).

Anda dapat menyimpan ‘pembukuan’ ini dalam bentuk catatan kertas atau spreadsheetdalam komputer. Tetapi kebanyakan bisnis sekarang lebih memilih untuk menggunakan software pembukuan sederhana untuk melacak pendapatan dan pengeluaran. Disisi lain, Anda harus menyiapkan rekening bank yang hanya khusus untuk bisnis. Hindari menggunakan akun pribadi Anda untuk menerima pembayaran atau membeli sesuatu untuk bisnis Anda.

Sistem Pembukuan Elektronik

Software akuntansi memiliki harga yang variatif, berkisar dari puluhan hingga ratusan ribu rupiah perbulan (tergantung kebutuhan pebisnis). Anda bahkan bisa membuatnya dengan sebuah lembar sederhana dalam perangkat spreadsheet populer, seperti Microsoft Excel.

Kesadaran akan pentingya akuntansi dalam bisnis serta didukung oleh berkembangnya kemajuan teknologi digital melahirkan proses akuntansi khusus yang mutakhir dan mudah digunakan, bahkan bagi mereka yang terbatas pengetahuannya terkait akuntansi. Beberapa manfaat yang ditawarkan:

  • Kesalahan dapat diperbaiki dengan cepat (yang lebih rumit bila menggunakan sistem manual),
  • Mendapatkan gambaran arus kas Anda semudah klik mouse,
  • Laporan keuangan juga dapat diperoleh dengan satu sentuhan tombol. Anda juga dapat melihat pola penjualan dan biaya, yang dapat membantu dalam penganggaran dan pengambilan keputusan bisnis.

Investor akan melihat kemampuan perusahaan start up kelola keuangannya. Jika sebuah perusahaan startup sudah memiliki pembukuan yang baik, para calon penanam modal akan mendapatkan bayangan bagaimana kinerja perusahaan pada masa awal berkembang yang kemudian akan dijadikan sebagai bahan pertimbangan.

Laporan keuangan adalah penting sebagai basis penghitungan prospek ke depan. Sehingga, ketika investor menyetujui untuk menanamkan modal, dan di masa mendatang ada kebutuhan untuk menambah kapasitas sumber daya manusia (SDM) atau fasilitas seperti gedung, laporan itu bisa dipakai sebagai landasan.

Jika sudah memiliki pembukuan yang baik dan benar, hal selanjutnya yang perlu diperhatikan perusahaan startup ialah non financial majors atau sisi nonkeuangan yang dapat diukur dan dikaitkan dengan uang di masa mendatang.

Menjalankannya sendiri atau menggunakan seorang akuntan?

Mempekerjakan secara penuh seorang bookkeeper ataupun akuntan tidak layak bagi banyak start up. Kadang-kadang peran tersebut dikombinasikan dengan tugas lain seperti administrasi dan manajemen Sumber Daya Manusia (SDM). Namun, Anda dapat menggunakan seorang paruh waktu atau mungkin outsourcing seorang akuntan yang sudah berpengalaman dalam melakukan pembukuan dan laporan keuangan dengan pemanfaatan teknologi dalam pembukuan dan proses akuntansi secara online.

Seperti di FMB Partner, para akuntan kami telah berpengalaman dalam membantu para startup ternama dengan laporan keuangan, pembukuan dan review keuangan. Dengan klien mencakup hingga 30% nya startup, kami mengerti keunikan dan kebutuhan khusus masing-masing startup. Untuk tanya jawab atau diskusi lebih lanjut, Anda dapat hubungi:

Managing Partner,
Ivan Liyanto
ily@fmbpartner.com
+62 899 6777 879

Temukan kabar bisnis terbaru di akun resmi media sosial FMB Partner:

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Sumber : TribunnewsJurnal.

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Inilah Perkembangan Startup di Indonesia Pada Tahun 2018 Menurut Para Investor

Ikhtisar

  • Dari tiga startup di Indonesia yang meraih predikat unicorn, GO-JEK, Tokopedia, dan Traveloka (GTT), para VC memprediksi di tahun 2018 tidak akan ada startup unicorn dari tanah air.
  • Kekurangan developer berkualitas masih menjadi salah satu isu bagi startup tanah air untuk bisa menjadi unicorn. 
  • Salah satu cara untuk bisa mengikuti kesuksesan GTT adalah dengan banyak-banyak belajar dari Cina.

Hingga saat ini, telah ada tiga startup tanah air yang berhasil menjadi unicorn, alias mempunyai valuasi di atas US$1 miliar (Rp13,5 triliun). Mereka adalah GO-JEK,Tokopedia, dan Traveloka, atau yang dikenal dengan istilah GTT. Pertanyaannya, bagaimana perkembangan startup tanah air di tahun 2018 nanti? Adakah startup yang akan bergabung dengan ketiga startup tersebut dan menjadi unicorn?

Sayangnya menurut Managing Partner dari East Ventures Willson Cuaca, tidak akan adastartup yang mendapat predikat unicorn pada tahun depan. “Ada gap yang cukup besar antara startup besar tersebut dengan para startup menengah di Indonesia,” ujarnya.

Vice President dari Sequoia Capital Pieter Kemps, juga berpendapat bahwa para startuptanah air masih butuh waktu untuk mengejar GO-JEK, Tokopedia, dan Traveloka. Namun hal ini bukan berarti perkembangan startup tanah air tengah “kering”.

Kita telah melihat gelombang pertama dari para startup yang berasal dari bisnis marketplace, transportasi, dan travel. Mereka telah mencuat ke permukaan dan sangat dominan saat ini. Namun banyak hal menarik yang akan terjadi setelah ini, akan ada gelombang kedua yang siap datang

 Pieter Kemps, Vice President Sequoia Capital

Menurut Kemps, hal ini sejalan dengan perkembangan startup yang terjadi di Cina. Sebelumnya, negara tirai bambu tersebut hanya mempunyai tiga startup yang begitu terkenal, yaitu Baidu, Alibaba, dan Tencent. Namun kini telah muncul para startup lain dengan valuasi di atas Rp135 triliun, seperti Toutiao, Meituan, dan Didi Chuxing.

Indonesia sendiri merupakan negara dengan banyak sekali masalah dan aktivitas yang kurang efisien, yang menanti untuk diselesaikan. Bisnis e-commerce yang saat ini telah begitu marak saja baru menguasai sekitar dua persen dari total transaksi retail.

“Ada sangat banyak hal yang salah di negeri ini, banyak masalah yang bisa diselesaikan,” tutur Willson.

Masalah kurangnya developer di Indonesia

Namun sebelum masuk ke gelombang atau siklus kedua, ekosistem startup di tanah air masih harus mengatasi salah satu masalah terbesar mereka, yaitu kurangnya developer lokal yang berkualitas. Baik Willson maupun Kemps pun mengamini masalah ini.

“Saya bisa katakan kualitas developer di Cina kini telah setara dengan Amerika Serikat, berbeda dengan kondisi di masa lalu. Banyaknya perusahaan yang ada, besarnya operasional mereka, serta semakin rumitnya masalah yang ingin mereka selesaikan, mengharuskan banyak inovasi. Di sini, hal tersebut masih merupakan tantangan,” jelas Kemps.

“Kami telah berbincang dengan para startup, baik yang besar maupun yang kecil. Banyak dari mereka yang mengatakan “kami telah bertemu dengan setiap developer bagus di tanah air, dan kami tidak bisa menemukan developer berkualitas lain”,” tutur Willson.

Untuk mengisi kekurangan talenta tersebut, banyak startup yang kemudian lebih memilih untuk merekrut pekerja asing. GO-JEK, yang merupakan salah satu portofolio dari Sequoia, saat ini telah membuat pusat pengembangan di Bangalore dan sebuah pusat data di Singapura.

“Dengan GO-JEK, kami banyak membantu mereka mencari developer dengan kemampuan tertentu, mengakuisisi beberapa perusahaan, serta membangun pusat pengembangan di Bangalore. Dengan Tokopedia pun sama. Kami terlibat banyak di awal perkembangan mereka, termasuk membantu mereka merekrut VP of Engineering,” ujar Kemps.

Founder startup tanah air harus belajar dari Cina

Alibaba-Emprendimiento

Hal lain yang bisa dilakukan para founder startup tanah air agar bisa lebih cepat mengejar GO-JEK, Tokopedia, dan Traveloka, adalah dengan banyak belajar dari para startup di Cina. Para investor bahkan menyarankan founder startup untuk terbang langsung ke negara tersebut, dan menimba ilmu dari para startup lokal di sana.

GO-JEK jelas mengambil contoh dari WeChat, yang berevolusi dari sebuah aplikasi chat menjadi sebuah platform e-commerce, game, hingga video. Saya berharap masuknya investor Cina seperti Alibaba ke Indonesia tidak hanya membawa dana segar, namun juga membawa teknologi dan ilmu,

 Grace Yun Xia, Principal Jungle Ventures

Menurut Principal dari Jungle Ventures Grace Yun Xia, aplikasi chat WeChat merupakan salah satu contoh model bisnis yang sukses di Cina dan bisa diterapkan di Indonesia.

“GO-JEK jelas mengambil contoh dari WeChat, yang berevolusi dari sebuah aplikasi chatmenjadi sebuah platform e-commercegame, hingga video. Saya berharap masuknya investor Cina seperti Alibaba ke Indonesia tidak hanya membawa dana segar, namun juga membawa teknologi dan ilmu,” pungkas Xia.

 

Sumber: Techinasia

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Top questions to raising funding for startups

Startups that already set previous records, like Go-Jek and Tokopedia, continued to raise impressive boosts in capital, as the funding gap between top players and the mid-field is widening.

funding

In the nascent stage of the business, every entrepreneur wonders about these questions:

When to raise money

There is no specific period after which a business needs to raise funds. The founders need to have set foot on the ground, figured out their plans and its feasibility, and spent some time in the market, studying trends and profiles. They should have a clear picture of the position of their product and identified their set of customers.

What is most important to raise funds is to be able to persuade the investors and convince them about the market fit and show actual growth.

Whom to raise money from

A company can raise finance in two forms – debt or equity.

Debt (convertible) – This kind of financing protects the investor. It is like a loan offered to the business with a principal amount, interest rate, and a maturity date at which principal and interest have to be repaid. The intention of this kind of funding is that it converts into equity when company does equity financing.

Equity – This kind of financing includes evaluating the company and fixing a share price and selling these shares to investors. This kind of financing involves more legal complexities and is thus not very popular in the initial rounds of funding.

Financing methods can be

Angel investors – Angel investors provide funding at initial stages of business. These investors operate in a friendlier way and provide smaller amount of funding. They would mostly not get very technical, and invest in the business if they have a good gut-feeling about it.

Venture capitalists – These investors come in when business grows beyond the innocent startup phase and starts generating revenues. These investors fund in huge amounts if convinced by business models, valuations and growth trends.

They come with expertise and vast industry knowledge and mostly invest for smaller windows with expectations of high returns.

Business incubators and acceleratorsThese programmes assist hundreds of startup businesses every year, giving a platform to make good connections with mentors, investors and other fellow startups. Incubators nurture the business, providing shelter tools and training and network to a business. Accelerators helps a stagnant business to run or take a giant leap.

Friends and family – This is the most reliable and least troublesome source of financing. If friends and family have spare cash, it can be taken at a low or no-interest-rate loan or even equity. This source of financing allows freedom of operation.

Crowdfunding – This type of funding is gaining popularity wherein the website allows businesses to pool small investments from a number of investors instead of forcing companies to look for a single investment.

SME lending – Businesses can opt for unsecured or secured working capital loan offered by numerous micro-financing firms in market today. However, this option comes with a fixed monthly obligation and relatively higher interest rates.

 Grants – Businesses in certain lines of operation such as research and development should approach and inquire for government grants or aids. Various schemes are run by the government to promote these industries.

 

 

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A Lightweight Branding Exercise for Startups

A bottom-up, alignment-oriented approach.

Airbnb Branding Logo.

Airbnb Branding Logo.

While a logo might be the most recognizable manifestation of a brand, it’s only one of many. Brands cut across media, and present themselves in colors, shapes, words, sounds, and even smells. That’s because a brand, at it’s core, is immaterial. It’s about abstract attributes and values which present themselves in concrete ways:

  • Virgin America is about quality, fun, innovation, challenging assumptions. You can see it in purple aircraft lighting and quirky safety videos.
  • Honda is about affordable quality and trust. You can see it in reliable, albeit generic-looking vehicles, and simple and approachable visual design.
  • Ikea is about cost-consciousness, simplicity and togetherness. You can see it in incredibly affordable furniture, family-oriented stores, and approachable visual design.

Building a brand is a long-term commitment which results from thousands of interactions between a customer and the brand’s touch points over time.


“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
– Roy E. Disney


Startups lack the time to develop this relationship: it’s a race against the clock, and every dollar spent needs to bring the company closer to validation and traction. But users impressions — especially first impressions — matter greatly. How can a startup make the most of its branding efforts for the best results?

Here I describe a simple branding exercise I’ve used and evolved with the companies at Expa with success. It can help your team get into alignment and articulate the core attributes of your brand. The output will enable designers to define how it looks, writers to how it speaks, and for any vendor or team member to make coherent decisions by themselves. And it won’t cost you more than two 90-minute sessions and a few dozen sticky-notes.


The Basic Idea

This exercise has four phases:

  1. Brainstorm possible values and attributes for your brand
  2. Separate those into what belongs and doesn’t belong to it
  3. Group the ones which belong into abstracted groups
  4. Distill them into values, key attributes and analogies

Every brand stakeholder in your company should take part, so if your team fits in a room, get them of all in there. If it’s larger, get the people who’d be expressing the brand day-to-day: designers, marketers, executives, salespeople, recruiters. You can also bring whoever demonstrates interest — you want motivated people brainstorming. In any case, just don’t do this by yourself: you’ll end up with a limited perspective.

Once you’ve listed the participants, schedule a 90-minute block for the first session in a room with whiteboards or foam boards. Get plenty of colorful sticky-notes (at least 40 per person) and Sharpies for everyone. Don’t use fine point pens so ideas can later be read from a distance. Snacks could be handy too.

1. Brainstorming Attributes

For starters, keep in mind (and reinforce with the group) the basic rules of brainstorming: there are no bad ideas, and be additive to other’s ideas. Set a timer for 10 minutes to instill some urgency.

Start writing out random adjectives on stickies, words (simple, exclusive) or short expressions (gender neutral, on your terms) which could be used to describe your brand. As people write down each idea, they should say it out loud and place the sticky on the table, so others can hear it. This lets participants build on each other’s ideas.

People will be tempted to stick to “good” adjectives — like smart, professional, etc. Those can be acceptable, but also tend to be generic, which isn’t helpful in differentiating a brand. So try to include controversial or even silly ideas, just to get the discussion going. A few of my favorites are complex, hard, expensive, aggressive, powerful, for dummies, rough. They often cause people to write down the opposing notion — or something in between — , which leads to interesting discussions later on.

Throughout this brainstorm, make sure to keep people generative and on topic — no discussion about what works or doesn’t should happen yet.

After about 10 minutes, the popcorn might stop popping — ideas might start slowing down. If not, do another 10-minute round. Avoid stopping until after 2 minutes have gone by with no new ideas (the silence can be helpful sometimes).

2. Yeses and Nos

Next, write on opposite sides of the whiteboard, the words Yes and No. As a group, go take every single sticky note and agree on where it should go. yes means “this word could be used to describe our brand”, and no means, uh, no. Since you’re the facilitator, you might want to stand up and do the actual moving of stickies, but everyone’s participation is encouraged.

Yes, no, and a tiny bit of maybe. You might notice how the concentration of magenta stickies on the no side. That was my color, and I deliberately suggested ideas which didn’t fit or where simply controversial, to spur discussion.

The discussions which happen during this step are the most important part of the process. There will be plenty of disagreement, which is healthy, but which needs to be sorted out. Some stickies might actually start on one side and move to the other (that’s why we’re using them!). When you hit a wall, try to deconstruct the meaning of the word in question. A few tactics I use:

  • Try to find a close synonym. Sometimes a specific word carries implicit meaning to some people, and replacing it with an equivalent can filter it out.
  • Use an antonym. If it’s clear the opposite of the original word belongs under yes or no, then it’s easier to place the original.
  • Separate the brand from the product. A product might be easy to use, but it doesn’t mean the brand make ease one of its core values.
  • Separate the brand from the customer. Your product might cost $5,000/seat, but it doesn’t mean the company should be perceived as exclusive.
  • Skip it and come back to it later. A word you discuss later might clarify the disagreement about the current one.

This process will take quite some time, and you should use all the remaining time in this session to finish this sorting. A few disagreements might remain unresolved, and that’s OK (up to about 5 or 6 adjectives — if you have a large “maybe” group, you probably haven’t gotten to the bottom of it).

You should be exhausted at this point, so call it a day. Document your board (photos are great, transcribing each word is ideal) and feel free take down all the stickies, but keep yes and no separate!

3. Surfacing Patterns

For the second session, get back to that same room and bring the yes stickies from before. This should also take 90 minutes, but it’s often done in less time.

This step is about organizing ideas in groups of emerging patterns, a process also known as clustering or affinity mapping. To get started, spread out all the yes stickies on a table.

Start picking stickies at random, and placing them on the board, grouping related adjectives close to each other. This might feel awkward in the beginning, but after 3 to 5 minutes the team will start to spot similarities, and tight groupings will emerge. You will probably see groups like these three:

  • Presentation. Visual ideas about style, color, light, polish, etc.
  • Tone. Communication-related adjectives such as voice, authoritativeness, friendliness, etc.
  • Personality. Human-like attributes, such as being expert-like, teacher-like, childlike, etc.

As well as other groups, mainly about values: abstract, almost philosophical notions — transparent, affordable, innovative, etc. These will probably be unique to your company’s mission or offering.

Try to organize all stickies on the board in up to 60 minutes. As groups become clear, write a descriptive name for it on the board (or on a different color sticky), above the adjectives. Once you’re done, your board should look somewhat like this, and you’ll be ready for the last step.

What your affinity map board might end up looking like. Note the different handwriting above each group: everyone is participating.

4. Distilling into Values

This is the last step, and the most analytical. Going through each of the groupings, transpose them to a hierarchical list in a text document, including titles and content. You can work off this template if you want.Example:

Visual

  • Clean
  • Bright
  • Colorful
  • Handmade
  • etc

Tone

  • Funny
  • Colloquial
  • Deferent
  • etc

If any of the groups doesn’t feel unique to your brand, ignore it. If it seems to be about abstract values, put it under a Values header, with all adjectives in a single line. Then, with the team, try to sum up what that group of values encompasses. Example:

Values

  • Safe, Secure, Trustworthy → Secure
  • Easy, Empowering, Low Barrier To Entry → Easy
  • etc

Then take another pass at the resulting list and, try to coalesce each group further. Aim to limit each header to 4 items, to ensure the result is actionable.

These attributes by themselves can still be a bit ambiguous. That’s when brand comparisons can be helpful.

Use the remaining 10 minutes of your session to add to the document a “Brand Comparisons” header. Under it, list at least 10 sentences using the format “More like ___ than ___”. You should fill in the blanks with other brands. But brands in the broadest sense possible: well known public entities about which there’s consistent perception between people. They should ideally not be in your industry, and can include celebrities, cities, typical dishes, etc. This part usually leads to fun discussions. Examples:

  • More like Google than Apple
  • More like Toyota than BMW
  • More like Tag Heuer than Swatch
  • More like Sketch than Photoshop
  • More like George Clooney than Ryan Gosling
  • More like burgers than sushi
  • etc

Try to get at least 15 of these; 30 if possible.

And that’s the end of the exercise, you should have now a document which looks roughly like this. It outlines your brand values, shows concrete ways those values present themselves, and anchors your brand relative to others in different spaces.

Conclusion

You could work with a branding agency for a richer — and more expensive — process, which could achieve more granular results. But you have little time and money to spend, and this will get you what you need to start establishing a brand.

Share that document with a graphic designer, and you can expect logo designs which fit your brand. Work from it with your marketing team, and it will be easy to define what language and tone to use.

Hopefully this exercise was useful. If you have any questions, please add them to the comments, or get in touch.

This article is written by Bruno Bergher and originally posted on his Medium.
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How Startup Costs Can Be Your Friends As Your Business

Starting a new business can be very exciting — and expensive. Yet, that initial financial investment should not scare you away from pursuing your dream. It is a common cost shared by most new business owners, and it’s one you can spread across many years in order to help lower your tax burden.

When I started my first business, there were all kinds of associated costs: computers, desks, chairs, printers, lamps, supplies, website development, branding, cards and more.

The IRS has defined what qualifies as startup costs, describing them as the following:

“Start-up costs include any amounts paid or incurred in connection with creating an active trade or business or investigating the creation or acquisition of an active trade or business. Organizational costs include the costs of creating a corporation or partnership.”

Usually, startup costs are capital-related, but they can also be soft costs such as research, making a business plan, logo design, website and so forth. These little things can really add up when building a startup and should be tracked by using reliable accounting software.

 Many owners are understandably tempted to write off their startup costs right after their first year. However, that may be a costly mistake.

Here are three things to think about when considering when to write off your startup costs:

Don’t expect a first-year profit.

Go into your first year knowing that you are likely to take a loss — and keeping in mind that it could take up to two years to be profitable.

Regardless, if you take your business seriously and find a customer base, then you can likely show growth the following year, and even more the year after that. However, the more your startup grows, the more you will pay in taxes. Here is an example of what you might anticipate paying as your business grows:

• Year one: 10%

• Year two: 15%

• Year three: 25%

In short, the more money your business makes, the greater percentage of profits go to Uncle Sam, and therefore, the more valuable it will become for you to deduct those startup costs later.

Consider using a startup write-off when you need to show lower earnings.

My third year in business, I made so much money that I also owed a huge tax liability, which I was unprepared to pay. The cash just wasn’t there, and I could have really used $3,000 to write off as startup deductions. However, I had already deducted my startup costs when I only had a 10% tax liability. It would have made an almost $700 difference if I had waited to use this deduction when I was in the 33% bracket! That’s the value of a 15-year statute of limitations.

Your startup cost write-offs can do you more good when you’ve grown your business to a higher tax bracket, so hang on to those startup costs until it benefits you to show lower earnings. When it comes time, the most current rules to be aware of, as of this writing, include the following:

• You can’t deduct more than $5,000 in startup costs in your first year.

• You need at least one sale before you can deduct ANY startup costs.

• You have up to 15 years to make these deductions.

Don’t forget to track your tax bracket.

Startup costs are your friend, so you should use them when your business has grown to a new tax bracket, and you want to lower your reported earnings.

A good strategy is to correctly categorize your startup costs using a dependable accounting app that includes features such as bank account reconciliation and categorization. Here are some ideas you can use right away:

• Get in the habit of mentally categorizing what you pay for. Every time you make a business purchase, some part of your brain should be asking, “Is this a startup cost?”

• Find accounting software that will let you categorize your expenses. As soon as you make a startup purchase, jot it down in that software with both a category and a note so your accountant can understand how you used the item.

• Remind your accountant that you’re not planning to claim all of your startup costs this year and that you want to look at a situation where you can spread them out over a few years in order to mitigate your tax liability over time.

Taking these steps can help make startup costs your friends and help your business grow the way it deserves to.

Profit and Loss

To know more about finance and tax management for startup, FMB Consultant with Pakar will held a Tax Workshop for Small Medium Enterprises (UMKM) on 13th May 2017. This is the time for any business owners from various industries to join and get full insight from our best experienced team and partners.

Further information and details go visit bit.ly/FMBtaxworkshop

 

Source of the article: Joshua Waldman, Forbes
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How to Develop a Winning Pitch

There are so many ideas out there in the market. The reason why some survive over the others is a plain and simple case of investor money or funding. While most entrepreneurs do prepare a lot for investor meetings, they forget some basic communication rules. It doesn’t matter if you spend days and nights preparing the perfect pitch but often forget the basics in the end. Here are some rules to keep in mind when you’re faced with your investor and pitching your idea.

Image : shutterstock

 

 

Be crisp and precise

Time is money. A brilliant idea isn’t so unless it can be explained within a few minutes. Investors simply can’t afford to spend more than a few minutes on your pitch. Concise and effective speeches often impress the investors. Sometimes, entrepreneurs get into unnecessary details of the business idea forgetting the time clause. This is something to be mindful of.

Numbers matter

Investors like to see numbers. Project your finances in terms of cashflows, EBITDA, and balance sheet status within realistic numbers, and there is no way that the investor will not be impressed.  It reveals your seriousness and commitment towards the vision of the company.

Humility

While entrepreneurs should really believe in their ideas and take pride in their venture, humility is an ingredient that keeps one grounded. In the spur of the moment, it is very easy to gain a hot head if your idea is criticized. However, there could be some truth or wisdom in what the investor is saying, so receive it with an open mind. Basic etiquette should be maintained to build a long lasting relationship.

Uniqueness

You need to explain exactly what is unique and different about your offering. A run-of-the-mill product will immediately render the investor uninterested. With their sharp mind and business acumen, they can easily tell how exactly your product or offering really is. This makes it crucial to keep developing on your pitch or the idea.

Sync, align, and answer accordingly

One of the signs of a great entrepreneur is his ability to sync himself with another person’s thoughts and anticipate their moves. Even with an investor, always understand where they come from and what kind of questions they are likely to ask. Be prepared with an amazing answer which shows your abilities and talents. Investors love it when things are presented to them with absolute clarity and they don’t have the need to ask any questions.

Focus

Getting an investor’s time is really difficult. So when you do, it is vital that you respect their time. Investors judge your ability to use the funds based on the pitch you present. Translate laser sharp focus into your speech and idea. Time should be spent to understand the key components that need to be spoken about, and these core components should form the essential part of the pitch.

A winning pitch is not the one where you beg for funding, nor is it driven and flamboyance and ego. It is essential to follow the rules given above to cave a middle path. Developing a nourishing and healthy relationship with the investor is important and difficult at the same time. However, once these basic rules are followed, the job becomes easier and the battle is half won.

Source: Develop Winning Pitch

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Financial Modeling for Startup, Final Part: The Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Unit Economics

In the first three articles in this series, we looked at the big-picture motivation for startup financial modeling, why it’s important to start with your assumptions, and how to practically build your income statement and custom detail tabs.

Today, we’ll finish off the series by examining how to construct the final components necessary to complete your model, including a quick discussion of unit economics and how to best keep your model updated.

Download a Copy of the Example Model

To make following along this final article easier, download a free copy of our example financial model here. Remember, understanding the nuances of your own unique business is critical, so only use this (and any other model you find online) as a guide while you build your own model from scratch.

The Balance Sheet

Create a new tab entitled “Monthly Balance Sheet” and set up the 60 month columns similar to the other tabs we created thus far in the series. The balance sheet is designed to give you a quick look at your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity situation (past, present, and forecasted).

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You can see that, similar to how we rolled up numbers from custom detail tabs for the income statement, right out of the gate in cell C4 here we need to calculate the expected cash at the end of month 1 by creating a cash flow tab (which we’ll do below).

But first, in your downloaded model, take a look at the rest of the cells down column C to see how the numbers are calculated from the assumption values. While explaining the details of each formula is beyond the scope of this article, it’s helpful to Google for terms like Inventory Days on Hand and Accounts Receivable Days if you are unfamiliar with them and how they are used to calculate the applicable cells on your balance sheet.

While we left these two assumptions at 30 days for our example model for teaching purposes, take a look at what happens to your balance sheet when you drop the Accounts Receivable Days to 3, which may be more realistic for an eCommerce business with credit card payments and relatively low transaction values.

Cash Flow

Swinging back around to cell C4 (month 1 cash) on your Balance Sheet, now it’s time to create a new tab called “Monthly Cash Flow” and set it up appropriately for your business.  Here is our example (with added rows we didn’t model, for you to consider):

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From top to bottom, notice how Gross Sales and Change in A/R (Accounts Receivable) affects your Total Receipts, based how your Accounts Receivable Days assumption value affects your balance sheet (i.e. with our assumed values, we are modeling collecting zero cash in the first month).

Also notice how your Net Cash Flow from Operations is significantly less than your expenses, given that it takes time for money to leave your bank account to pay your vendors (i.e. our “Average Accounts Payable Days” assumption).

Finally, the Ending Cash Balance you calculate can then be used to populate your month 1 cash on your Balance Sheet tab.

Unit Economics

For many business types, it is extremely useful to create a separate tab called “Unit Economics” to calculate the forecasted Lifetime Value (LTV) of your unit (which is a “subscriber” in our example model) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

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With our assumed 4% churn percentage, this means we can model that our average customer stays with us 25 months. Multiple these 25 months by the Gross Profit per subscription (which is also an assumption value) and that leads to our projected LTV of $213.59.

Pulling in the CAC per outbound channel we are modeling (from our assumptions) allows us then to see how we are anticipating to tangibly grow the business. As long as the LTV/CAC ratio is (and remains) over 1, then your model is telling you that your business can grow.  Obviously, the higher the LTV/CAC ratio, the better.

Roll up your Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow into Annual Summaries

Finally, to give you, your team, and your investors a helpful glance at what your projected five years look like, create separate tabs called “Annual Income Statement”, “Annual Balance Sheet”, and “Annual Cash Flow” and use formulas like “=SUM(‘Monthly Income Statement’!C4:N4)” to roll up 12 months worth of values from your monthly tabs.

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And on your annual cash flow tab, for example, we suggest adding add a helpful row that reveals your lowest balance of the year:

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Congratulations! If you’ve been following along thus far, you now have a complete financial model for your business. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ve most likely identified many assumptions that will need to be rigorously validated, and understood the key target assumptions that must be met in order for you to build a viable business.

Keeping your Model Updated

It’s hard to overstate the importance of reconciling your model to what actually happens month over month. This will help you drill down your assumption values and face the reality of the long-term health of your business.

Practically, be sure to keep a copy of your original model for reference. Then, after you’ve reconciled your books every month, open up your “active” financial model and (1) tweak the assumptions to get the current month close to actual, then (2) plug in the actual numbers in your monthly statements (i.e. replacing the formulas from your assumption values, which will remain in place for future months and now be more accurate).

This article is cited from: Startup Financial Modeling, Part 4: The Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Unit Economics
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Financial Modeling for Startup, Part 3: The Income Statement and Custom Detail Tabs

In the previous two posts in this Financial Modeling for Startup series, we examined why building a financial model for your startup is important and how to practically get started with your assumptions tab. Today, we’ll continue by diving into the income statement and supporting tabs used to calculate your projected revenue and expenses. The final part of this series will go over cash flow, the balance sheet and keeping the model updated.

But first, in case you aren’t yet convinced that it’s worth your time to build a financial model for your business, here’s a quick video we put together showing how a model can be used to gain insight about what assumptions drive forecasted cash most significantly:

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Financial Modeling for Startups, Part 2: Assumptions

In the previous post of Financial Modeling for Startups, its described what financial modeling is and why it is important for startup founders to build their own models from scratch. Now, we’ll begin by diving into how to practically start building a financial model. In coming weeks, we will also be covering the income statement as well as cash flow, balance sheet and keeping the model updated.

Good financial models are built from the bottom up. They have assumptions that flow into backup sheets that flow into monthly statements that flow into annual summaries. You literally start with the smallest component and start building up.

What is an Assumptions Tab?

The assumptions tab should be the first tab within your spreadsheet and contain variables that will be referenced from other tabs. Rather than manually enter data into your income statement, you’ll roll up variables across your assumption and detail tabs. The ONLY place you should ever type a number is into an assumption cell. Every other cell is a calculation based on the assumptions!

The types of assumptions you’ll want to define are unique for your business type. Most commonly they are related to expected revenue from each product/service you sell, expected costs, initial investment dollars in the bank, etc…

Where to Get Your Data?

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Financial Modeling for Startups

We are calling all startup founders!

A startup financial model is important in raising funding, building startup financial projections or planning the future of your business. To have a startup financial model, you can learn and read other people’s financial model. Well, that’s one thing. But how about create one that professionally designed for your startup? This article will guide the Startups business for building their own financial model from scratch and ultimately communicate clearly to a great deal of investors.

What is a Financial Model?

In short, a financial model is an abstract mathematical representation of how a company works (and more importantly, how it will work going forward). The model has inputs and outputs. The inputs are the assumptions that drive the model, things like what drives your customer acquisition cost, what your churn rates are, how much you pay people, etc. The outputs are a set of projections that show how the company will perform if the assumptions are true. One model can produce multiple sets of projections given different assumptions.

Based on a set of assumptions, a financial model is used to make smart decisions (e.g. how many sales people to hire and what to pay them). The model includes financial projections that are tied mathematically to the assumptions, which allows operators to “play with the variables” in order to understand how certain decisions might affect the future health of their company.

Why Should Founders Care about Building a Financial Model?

Troy Henikoff (Techstars Chicago Managing Director) has an important story to share on this topic:

“When fundraising for SurePayroll, we had some very high level financials in the pitch deck. Inevitably, VC’s would ask where the numbers came from. I would tell them that we had a very detailed financial model that drove it, I was setting the bait…

They would ask to be sent a copy of the model and I would refuse. I would only share it by first sitting down with them and an associate and reviewing the model in person and after that 90 minute session, I would leave them a copy of the model to play with further.

They would insist that they could figure it out without the meeting, but I ALWAYS held my ground. I wanted the meeting not just to save them time and frustration learning a new model, but more importantly to get more face time with them in a situation where I was going to shine.

I knew the model inside and out since I built it; I could answer any question about any cell and look like a genius. In the end, I did eight of these meetings and EVERY ONE of the firms that did the 90 minute meeting with me on the financial model either made an investment in the company or made an offer to invest in the company. Every single one.”

Why is it Important for Founders to Build a Financial Model from Scratch?

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