It is something I should have done from the very start – as I am clearly outlaying some cash & am not accurately tracking it. I know many companies will use simple solutions like an excel sheet to track their incoming & outgoing expenses. I have always been a MYOB user, but also decided to look around at some of the Software as a Service (SaaS) providers of accounting software like Australian based Saasu & New Zealand based Xero. I also took a look at the offers available for BizSpark members and noticed that at the moment – Xero are offering BizSpark members 1 year of free use UP UNTIL THE 31st of OCTOBER – so check it out now!.
Also of note is that Xero were a BizSpark member who has grown substantially over the last year – to the point where they no longer qualify for BizSpark (a good problem to have!)
So I clicked through on the above offer, followed the bouncing ball and in a few clicks I had an accounting system set up, chart of accounts in place & its ready to input data into! Now – to find someone to help me with that data entry/book keeping process….
The importance of Mentors & Community
Today was also about connecting with Mentors and Community. I am very fortunate to have a great Mentor already and spent a good portion of today’s meeting bouncing ideas around about this application, fine tuning some suggestions and regaining focus – something I really need a mentor to help me out with! The value of finding a good mentor is not a new idea and nor is it limited to just me. Niki Scevak founder of StartMate (who, by the way is currently taking applications for the next round of Seed funding) talks about the value of picking the right mentor in his article published today on www.startupsmart.com.au. In a chat I had with him about the value of mentors he adds “"Mentors can help your business tremendously but knowing who could be a good mentor for you and what they can help with is essential for you to get any value out of your meetings with them. Decide what your problem is first (fundraising, hiring, online marketing) and then seek out your mentors from there."
Kim Heras, one of the founder’s of the startup mentoring program PushStart (proudly Sponsored by Microsoft ) also has the following to add in this article where he talks about looking to launch an Australian version of Tech Stars, but with a twist. “We realised when we were putting this together last year that the real value for start-ups in these programs is the mentoring aspect,” he says. “They get $15,000 or $20,000 from Y Combinator, but it is the mentoring that makes the real difference. We wanted to de-couple the mentoring element from the funding element. We started with advice being the main philosophy.”
There seems to be some additional alignment in the Webinar series run by The Entourage where this week they had guest speaker Stuart Cook is the CEO of Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill (Australia' Fastest Growing Franchise) share his tips on how to engage a multi-million dollar mentor. Be sure to subscribe to their mailing list to find out about their upcoming webinars as they are always valuable.
Friday is also a great day to be in the startup community in Sydney as every Friday night, the Silicon Beach drinks are held at the Grace hotel kicking off at about 6 (in time for happy hour!). It is a melting pot of entrepreneurialism. Occasionally with guest speakers, but normally a collection of serial Entrepreneurs, angel investors, students, developers and community members. Its a great way to perhaps locate your next mentor, or even just bounce your idea off like minded others. This community is so welcoming and supporting I strongly suggest you make the time to pop in and say hello.
As for the Application development aspect of the project…. Well… so far today it hasn’t even got a look in from my side – planning to catch up on this side over the weekend .
I see the benefits of having a co founder or completely teaming up with a development partner as the challenges of working in the business vs on the business are making it tricky to get everything done!