Meaningful milestones

Some milestones that receive too much attention:

  • Closed an investment round
  • Cleared 100 employees
  • Leased new office space

Some milestones that receive insufficient attention:

  • Closed the first customer
  • Closed the 100th customer
  • Closed the 1,000th customer
  • First profitable month
  • First profitable quarter
  • First profitable year
  • 1st distribution to owners
  • 100,000th dollar distributed to owners
  • 1,000,000th dollar distributed to owners
  • Etc.

Tracking Cash Position

At GuildQuality, we sell a SaaS solution to home builders, developers, remodelers, and home improvement contractors. Early in our history, the bulk of our business came from developers and builders, and when the economic apocalypse hit, it hit hard and it hit fast. Monitoring cash flow became incredibly important, and the way we do it today is very similar to the way we began doing it when the real estate market started heading south in mid 2007.

Click here to access a Google spreadsheet that is similar to the one we use to monitor our cash position at GuildQuality.

Once a month, I update our (much more detailed) financial model in Excel, and use that spreadsheet when I really want to reflect on the direction of the business. But when I am interested in getting a crystal clear picture of where we are at this very moment I use a Google spreadsheet like this one. This was crucially important when money was tight, and though our position is considerably stronger today, I still look at it several times a week. Read the rest of this entry »