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From start-up to scale-up: How an effective accounting strategy can help you reach new heights

What is accounting and accounting strategy?

Accounting is a systematic process of summarizing and reporting financial transactions and information of an organization. It involves maintaining and managing financial records, such as ledgers and financial statements, to ensure accurate financial reporting and compliance with accounting standards and regulations.

Accounting strategy, on the other hand, refers to the planning and implementation of financial management practices to achieve an organization’s financial goals and objectives. It involves developing and executing a plan to effectively manage financial resources, optimize profitability, reduce risks, and enhance the organization’s financial performance.

An accounting strategy typically includes determining financial objectives, identifying key performance indicators (KPIs), establishing financial policies and procedures, implementing accounting controls, and ensuring compliance with accounting regulations and standards. It is an essential component of overall business strategy as it enables an organization to effectively manage its financial resources and make informed decisions based on financial data and analysis.

How accounting stimulates growth

Accounting in general can help businesses make informed decisions, manage cash flow effectively, plan for the future, and reduce tax liability. All of these factors can help stimulate growth and drive business success. But being a growth company you might have to adjust your strategy depending on the stage you are in.

What are the stages a growth company goes through?

Some of the most common terms used when talking about different growth stages are start-up, ramp-up and scale-up and those are the terms we use at Cooach and will use going forward in this article.

The start-up stage

A start-up is a newly created company that is in the process of developing a product or service, finding its target market, and establishing its business model. Start-ups typically operate with a small team of founders and may have limited funding or resources. The goal of a start-up is to validate its business concept and achieve a sustainable level of growth.

The ramp-up stage

Ramp-up is the stage of a company’s growth where it starts to expand its operations, increase its production or service capacity, and attract more customers. This stage usually involves hiring more employees, investing in equipment and technology, and establishing partnerships and collaborations. The goal of ramp-up is to reach profitability and achieve economies of scale.

The scale-up stage

Scale-up is the stage of a company’s growth where it experiences exponential growth, rapidly expands its operations and revenue, and enters new markets. This stage requires significant investment in human and financial resources, as well as effective management and leadership. The goal of scale-up is to become a market leader and establish a sustainable competitive advantage.

Accounting in the different stages

Overall, accounting is a crucial aspect of any business, and it is important to take it seriously from the early stages of your company’s development. By keeping these considerations in mind, you can establish a strong foundation for financial success and growth.

Accounting in the start-up stage

  1. Set up a robust accounting system with possibilities to expand. We have a few tips further down in this article.
  2. Create a budget and forecast your financials regularly.
  3. Ensure tax compliance by registering for tax numbers and filing tax returns.
  4. Maintain accurate records of all financial transactions.
  5. Seek professional advice from a qualified accountant or bookkeeper.

Accounting in the ramp-up stage

  1. Establish a proper accounting system that is appropriate for your company’s size and industry.
  2. Manage cash flow to ensure you have enough funds to cover expenses, bills, and growth opportunities.
  3. Maintain accurate records of all financial transactions.
  4. Ensure tax compliance by registering for tax numbers and filing tax returns.
  5. Prepare regular financial reports, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  6. Seek professional advice from a qualified accountant or bookkeeper.

Accounting in the scale-up stage

  1. Review and improve your accounting system to ensure it can accommodate your company’s growth.
  2. Implement robust cash flow management practices.
  3. Prepare regular financial reports, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  4. Conduct regular audits to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  5. Manage tax planning and compliance for domestic and international operations.
  6. Seek professional advice from a qualified accountant or financial advisor.

Leverage technology for financial management

Technology has transformed the way businesses manage their finances. By leveraging the latest accounting software and tools, you can streamline your financial processes, automate accounting tasks, and gain real-time visibility into your company’s financial performance. This can help you make informed decisions, optimize cash flow, and manage financial risks more effectively.

What to look for when scouting for financial management software

Choose software that meets your business needs: When selecting financial management software, it’s important to choose a solution that meets the specific needs of your business. For example, if you have a large inventory of physical goods, you might need software that can help you track and manage your inventory levels, while if you offer services, you might need software that helps you manage client billing and invoicing.

Look for software that integrates with your other tools: Consider software that integrates with other tools you use in your business, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) system or your point-of-sale (POS) system. Integration can help streamline processes and reduce the need for manual data entry.

Check for ease of use: The software you choose should be easy to use and navigate, even for those without extensive financial management experience. This can help reduce errors and ensure that your financial data is accurate.

Evaluate the software’s reporting capabilities: Good financial management software should offer robust reporting capabilities that provide insights into key financial metrics. Ensure the software you choose offers the reports you need to monitor and analyze your business’s financial health.

Consider cloud-based solutions: Cloud-based financial management software can offer several advantages over traditional, locally installed software. For example, cloud-based software can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, which can be useful if you have remote team members or need to work on the go.

Look for security features: Any financial management software you choose should have strong security features to protect your financial data from unauthorized access or breaches.

Tips on software that could live up to above standards

Fortnox: Fortnox is a cloud-based accounting software solution with flexible functions that help you book, receive payments and find new customers. It has automatic connections to banks, authorities, and other systems, which makes your business more efficient. With Fortnox, there are opportunities to shape the range depending on your company’s needs.

Anfix: Anfix is ​​also cloud-based. It is accessible from anywhere and with any browser with the tools you need to manage your company, such as billing, collections, and document storage, among others.

In a fast, simple and secure way you can create electronic invoices, budgets, orders, keep track of collections, payments, etc.

Do you need help with accounting?

At Cooach we help growth companies by offering Business Support services. Accounting is one of the services we offer within Finance.

Cooach Accounting services are designed to streamline your bookkeeping process and ensure accuracy in records. We handle all aspects of your accounting, from daily bookkeeping updates to period closings. This allows you to have access to up-to-date financial information and the ability to make informed decisions for your business. We also ensure compliance with all regulations and reconciliations of specific accounts such as a bank, tax authority, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. With Cooach’s accounting, you can focus on core business while we take care of the numbers.

As a Cooach client, you can access templates, Q&A, and expert help via Slack. If you are not already a customer, you can still register for a free account and enjoy our template library.

Here you can log in or register an account, free or paid, depending on your current needs. https://cooach.io/en/signup/

What is Customer Experience, and how can you make it drive growth?

Customer Experience (CX) involves the interactions between a business and its customers throughout the entire buying journey. This spans from marketing, through sales, to customer service, and every other touchpoint in between. In large part, it’s the total of all interactions a customer has with your brand.

CX is not just a set of actions. It encompasses the emotions your brand evokes in your customers or potential customers. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider how they feel about your brand.

Every interaction with a customer, or touchpoint, has the power to either enhance or damage their perception of your brand. Therefore, the decisions you make at each touchpoint are critical and can significantly impact the overall success of your business.

How can Customer Experience (CX) drive growth?

Remember the old saying: “The cost of acquiring a new customer is five times the cost of keeping an old one.” Therefore, providing each customer with a positive experience is vital for sustainable business growth. Great Customer Experiences can lead to incremental growth through cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Great CX also drives customer advocacy, practically bringing new customers to your business for free.

Negative CX is a leading cause of declining growth. Customers with negative perceptions leave, pushing customer churn through the roof. In the digital world, this can happen very quickly.

Social media and online review sites provide customers a platform to share their experiences with a wide audience. Unfortunately, customers are more inclined to share complaints than compliments, and a single negative comment can quickly spread to millions. As a result, customers hold significant power in shaping a business’s reputation through their experiences.

At what part of your growth journey should you start to focus on CX?

A company’s growth journey is often divided into the stages start-up, ramp-up, and scale-up. A common and very general definition of ramp-up is that a company has reached a turnover of 1 million euros or has about 10 employees. And for a scale-up, it would be a turnover of 10 million euros and about 100 employees. But please note that this is a very general definition and can vary depending on lots of circumstances.

It makes sense to start focusing on CX once you reach ramp-up. Your product or service has been launched, you have paying customers, and you have started to form teams. Now is the time to broaden your perspective from chasing new customers to also keeping existing ones.

Who is responsible for the Customer Experience?

Every employee is responsible for Customer Experience. Customer-facing functions like marketing, sales, and customer service stand for a large part. But not all. Below are some examples of how the rest of the company shares responsibility:

  • Inventory management must ensure that a customer gets a product they ordered, so they don’t have to be told it has run out of stock.
  • E-commerce sites need to provide the same experience to online customers as that received by in-store customers.
  • Accounts receivable (AR) and billing needs to assist and alleviate any issues around billing and payment.
  • Human resources (HR) must ensure that the right employee, with the right skill sets, is hired for the right job.
  • Logistics needs to guarantee that the product arrives when promised.
  • Finance must ensure that your company can support the subscription-based pricing models customers want.

What is a CX strategy?

A Customer Experience (CX) strategy outlines the necessary steps to ensure a positive, valuable, and distinct CX at every touchpoint. It should consider competitive intelligence, market and consumer data, and internal strategic objectives, initiatives, and value statements.

Moreover, a CX strategy must encompass all departments, not just those traditionally viewed as customer-facing. In today’s business landscape, every employee plays a role in customer service. Including teams across the organization can help align everyone around customer-centric goals and improve the overall CX.

Best practices for Customer Experience management

Collect feedback from your customers

It is a great idea to ask for feedback when and wherever possible. Review functions can be included as plugins to your website; you can send surveys via email, ask on social media or just phone some of your customers sometimes and ask.

Follow up on feedback fast

If a customer takes the time to give you feedback, you need to act on it or at least answer and explain. A customer who feels heard/not heard can have a big impact on your NPS (see NPS described below).

Create a customer-oriented culture

A clear brand message through all functions across the company will enable a seamless experience in the customer journey. As a manager, you want to make this a priority. Another tip is to reward excellent customer service amongst your employees.

How to measure Customer Experience

In order to determine the success of your Customer Experience strategy, you need to find KPIs relevant to you. The KPIs you use depend on your business, customers, and industry. But since customer experience is designed to increase customer satisfaction, some general KPIs might be inclusive enough to list here. These would be:

  • Revenue growth
  • Customer retention/customer churn
  • Cross-sell and upsell amounts
  • Customer service costs
  • Net promoter score (NPS) change
  • Various digital metrics like page visits, time spent on-site, conversion rate, etc.

Do you need help advancing Customer Experience?

At Cooach we help growth companies by offering Business Support services. Subscription Customer Experience Insight is one of the services we offer within Customer Insights.

Cooach Subscription Customer Experience Insight provides you with customer insights gathered by conducting quarterly Voice of Customer (VoC) surveys provide complex feedback on key moments of contact with customers and customers’ needs and expectations that need to be fulfilled to be competitive in the market. Finally, you gain a clear indication on how to create the best customer experience ever and how to deliver it consistently. Our VoC survey results in two metrics that are benchmarked and visualized in a Dashboard in our portal. A specialist will present the result and advise on appropriate necessary measures.

As a Cooach client, you can access templates, Q&A, and expert help via Slack. If you are not already a customer, you can still register for a free account and enjoy our template library.

Here you can log in or register an account, free or paid, depending on your current needs. https://staging-cooach.velumi.site/en/signup/

Crafting an effective employment contract

As an employer, crafting an effective employment contract is critical to the success of your business. Not only does it establish the terms of the employment relationship, but it also protects your company from potential legal disputes down the road. In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips for crafting an effective employment contract that benefits both you and your employees.

Do you need to set up an employment contract?

As a Cooach client, you can access templates, Q&A, and expert help via Slack. If you are not already a customer, you can still register for a free account, where many templates (such as the employment contract template) are available.

Here you can log in or register an account, free or paid, depending on your current needs. https://staging-cooach.velumi.site/en/signup/

Please continue reading this post if you are curious about general information on crafting effective employment contracts. Cooach operates in Europe and helps companies achieve growth. This text is based on European standards.

Legal scope

Consider the necessary scope based on your business, the role the incoming employee will have and what tasks are involved. Do you need clauses on non-solicitation, customer protection, and penalty/compensation? If yes, involving legal expertise to set up the template for your employment contract is a good idea.

Specify the parties

You need to specify which party is the employer in the case of multiple companies within the group. It should also be clear that the person being entered as the counterparty has the authority to sign an employment contract.

Specify position/title

This is usually evident if you hire a person who has undergone a recruitment process. Otherwise, the dialogue with the employee should have been transparent regarding the position/title before the agreement is sent over.

Specify the first day of employment and primary workplace

For example, the primary workplace can be in your office or completely/partially remote. To correctly manage and divide work in the future, it’s crucial to be clear when creating the employment contract.

Specify the employment form

The employment form governs conversion rules and preferential rights. Specify if it is a permanent or fixed-term contract. Permanent employment can begin with a trial period of a maximum of six months if you consider it necessary.

Fixed-term employment can be a substitute, or you have identified a temporary need (special fixed-term employment). If you only need an employee for specific occasions, specify a special fixed-term employment with an hourly wage.

Specify the working hours

Full-time employment assumes 40 hours per week unless otherwise specified in a collective agreement. Here, you specify what the employer and employee have agreed on in terms of scope.

The employment covers specified periods in the time report. Otherwise, the employment is subject to applicable legislation.” Specifying what overtime compensation looks like for the current employment is also essential.

Specify the notice period applicable to the employment

You can include a longer notice period from the start but can´t apply a shorter one than the law implies. This may also be regulated if you have a collective agreement in the workplace.

Determine the form of compensation

When it is clear how many hours per week the employee shall work the usual practice is a monthly salary. When there is no clear need for a certain number of hours per week, it is common to set up a fixed-term employment with hourly pay, for a temporary need.

Salary review

Specify in accordance with what is stated in your internal policy or collective agreement. The most common practice is to have an annual salary review where you, as the employer, also evaluate the employees’ performance.

Vacation and advance vacation (this part is based on Swedish vacation law)

In Sweden, employees have the right to take 25 days of vacation per year, regardless of age or employment type. If there’s a collective agreement, there might be additional regulations for more vacation days, which could also be mentioned in the company’s policies. It’s possible to agree on more vacation days than the legal or agreed amount, but never less than 25 days.

Vacation pay refers to earned compensation that hasn’t been taken yet. It can be paid out when an employee takes their earned vacation or leaves their job.

Some companies also have the option to offer advance vacation, which is paid vacation that is taken before it is earned. Specify in the agreement what applies to the category of employees you are now writing the agreement for.

Other

Under “Other,” you can specify essential details related to the individual employment agreement. This may include a bonus model, an attachment related to the agreement, or whether this agreement replaces a previous one.

Conclusion

When you have filled in the agreement and carefully read through all parts, you should also ask the employee to check all information before signing to get an accurate agreement.

How to reach the next stage! From ramp-up to scale-up.

How to reach the next stage! From ramp-up to scale-up

At Cooach, we understand the challenges that growing companies face, and we are committed to helping you scale faster, more efficiently, and with reduced risk. This guide is aimed at growth companies in the ramp-up stage, which means you have passed the initial start-up phase and made some progress.

Download the guide today and receive our checklist for nailing ramp-up!

Five questions to our new Finance Manager for customers Daniel Hallenberg

Who are you?

My name is Daniel Hallenberg. I am half Swedish and half Finnish, and I grew up in a small town in Östergötland, Sweden. During my upbringing, ice hockey was my biggest interest, and I spent most of my spare time at the ice rink. After my second degree at the university, I moved to Stockholm for work, but when I started working at Cooach in January, I moved to Spain.

Your role at Cooach?

At Cooach I work as Finance Manager for our customers. It is a very varied role. It can be anything from supporting and ensuring processes and implementing control functions to supporting budgeting and follow-up. I help the clients according to their needs regardless of the financial issue involved.

Did before?

Before Cooach I worked as COO at Hemply Balance.

Best with Cooach?

I am very impressed with how Cooach has built an organization where you can work remotely. It is noticeable how the team appreciates that. I strongly believe in Cooach’s business model and enjoy being part of an organization that helps growth companies scale faster.

In your spare time?

I prefer to spend my free time on the golf course. If the weather doesn’t allow golf, it’s often restaurant visits with friends or a good book at home on the sofa.

Looking forward to?

I look forward to getting to know more clients and helping them with their growth journey and streamlining processes.

What is a CMO on-demand, and how can it benefit the growth company?

How can we build an effective digital marketing platform? There are so many CRM systems; which one should we choose? How do we ensure a successful SEO tactic? Making the right decisions regarding budget, paths, and pace is crucial. A CMO-on-demand (Chief Marketing Officer) can be a flexible way to provide your company with senior marketing expertise cost-effectively and with low risk.

The growth journey is challenging. Competence, capital, and lack of time are often the entrepreneur’s most significant concerns. When it comes to sales and marketing, a common scenario for growth companies is hiring a senior CMO resulting in strategic competence. Still, the needs are also operational, so different agencies are signed to help with SEO, advertising, content production, and social media. It can become expensive and inefficient. Another common scenario is hiring a junior operational marketing person who lacks experience. As a mid-way solution, bringing in a CMO-on-demand can provide senior expertise and hands-on power to match the growth company’s needs.

What does a CMO do?

The CMO is responsible for the company’s marketing and branding, designing and implementing strategies, developing a marketing plan, identifying target groups, and creating advertising campaigns and sales tactics. A CMO is also responsible for evaluating and enhancing the marketing results and improving methods and tactics to reach the company’s target groups more efficiently. The CMO can work with various marketing channels, such as social media, print media, radio, and TV, and is responsible for managing budgets and related resources. A CMO usually reports to the company’s CEO or business management.

Common challenges for the CMO of a growth company

The growth company needs to quickly create an efficient marketing and sales function and create a framework for scaling up and down. It is crucial to have the right strategy for different phases of the growth journey, and the key to success is often about the following:

• Identify the target groups and understand their behaviors

• Produce value-creating content efficiently

• Drive organic visibility via a variety of (digital) channels, but in sync

• Advertise via many different digital channels with a compelling ROI

• Set up and use systems and tools (marketing automation and CRM systems) for efficient processes

• Create relevant KPIs and analyze data

• Work data-driven, constantly analyzing and adjusting for better results

• Create and manage possible new customers (leads)

• Automate and optimize the process from leads to orders

• Get new customers to start using the company’s products and services (onboarding) and monitor customer satisfaction (satisfied customers buy more over time)

Bringing in new customers and new businesses is crucial for growth. Marketing and sales need tight cooperation, and a sales-oriented CMO could bridge the gap and make growth happen.

What are the benefits of buying CMO on-demand?

A CMO on-demand can contribute to the growing company to a greater or lesser extent based on the actual needs and over time. During specific periods the need may be more significant and then decrease. The arrangement with a CMO on-demand creates flexibility and reduces risk but gives the company resources and support when and where it is needed.

How can Cooach help your growing company with marketing services?

Cooach has a broad network of marketing managers with extensive experience from growth companies, and they know the common challenges and opportunities. Based on the customer’s needs and actual situation, we will tailor a scope to support in the best way. Cooach can also provide experienced HRM:s, CFO:s, and legal counselors to give the smaller growth company quick access to skills and expertise usually only affordable for larger companies.

Purchasing services and functions

The hybrid organization opens up great opportunities and provides enormous flexibility. Today, as an entrepreneur, you probably spend a lot of time on tasks not connected to the core business and are perceived as unnecessary “admin time” instead of value creation. But you take help with individual services or even entire functions. As a company founder, you will release time, avoid fixed salary costs and reduce risk. You can get traditional business support functions within Finance, HR, Company Administration, and Marketing & Sales to your smaller start-up/ramp-up company without hiring staff resulting in lower risk and the possibility to scale up or down as needed. 

Cooach’s business support platform allows you to scale up and down according to how your conditions change. The platform also offers innovative automated services and features, making repetitive tasks cost-effective. Cooach’s platform makes it easy to handle demands and needs from investors and employees, and you, as an entrepreneur, get support and relief.

The digital workplace and flexible communication tools enable easy collaboration. And even if the core competence should stay tightly linked to the company, business support functions – distributed among several people – can become the internal resource previously missing and give you, as an entrepreneur, support and relief to focus on building your company.

Access a Human Resource manager when you need: how does it work, and how can it help the growth company?

How should we recruit? Where do we find the right types of employees? What skills are most important at what stage for our company? Who should draw up an employee policy? Rapid growth requires competence, commitment, and structure. And the people you employ will be crucial to your company's destiny.

Regardless of whether the company’s ambition is a handful of employees or many different teams, someone must take overall personnel responsibility. The growth company’s HR responsibility (Human Resources) must be in place early.

A common approach for the smaller growth company is for the founder or a financial manager to be responsible for personnel matters. Depending on the company’s phase and size, it usually becomes overpowering and, therefore, soon neglected. The advantage of hiring an HR manager is building a team and acquiring in-house competence. Still, the challenge can be finding a senior person with experience and competence at a reasonable cost. Taking the help of an HR manager on-demand can be an excellent and flexible alternative.

What does an HR manager do?

An HR manager or personnel manager is responsible for developing and managing everything related to the company’s personnel-related issues. It can be about everything from recruiting, creating structure and employment processes, salary negotiations to staff development, work environment issues, the company’s insurances, and other things that concern the company’s employees. The HR manager can also be an advisor and support to management in various personnel-related matters.

What challenges does an HR manager of a growth company often face?

Building and running growth companies often means quick decisions and new conditions. Within the framework of personnel responsibility, there are several immediate business-critical processes, such as:

• Recruitment of different types of skills at the right time and at the correct cost

• Onboarding of new personnel, i.e., welcoming and getting new employees into the company and their role

• Ongoing competence inventory and needs planning

• Support in ongoing competence development

• Employee engagement and culture

• Feedback and feedback within the organization

What are the advantages of taking the help of an HR manager on-demand?

An HR manager on-demand can help to a greater or lesser extent over time based on the company’s needs and budget. Sometimes the condition is more and sometimes less. On-demand gives flexibility and reduces risk while offering growth company resources and support when needed.

How can Cooach help your growing company with HR services?

Cooach has a broad network of HR managers with extensive experience in growth companies,  their challenges, and opportunities. Based on the customer’s needs and actual situation, we will tailor a scope to support in the best way. Cooach can also provide experienced finance, marketing & sales, and legal counseling experts to give the smaller growth company quick access to skills and expertise usually only affordable for larger companies.

An HR manager on-demand from Cooach can be physically present in the client’s office when needed. Still, usually, a remote-first policy with Slack or similar as the primary communications tool will result in maximum efficiency.

Purchasing services and functions

The hybrid organization opens up great opportunities and provides enormous flexibility. Today, as an entrepreneur, you probably spend a lot of time on tasks not connected to the core business and are perceived as unnecessary “admin time” instead of value creation. But you take help with individual services or even entire functions. As a company founder, you will release time, avoid fixed salary costs and reduce risk. You can get traditional business support functions within Finance, HR, legal counseling, and Marketing & Sales to the smaller start-up/ramp-up company without hiring staff with low risk and the possibility to scale up or down as needed. 

Cooach’s business support platform allows you to scale up and down according to how your conditions change. The platform also offers innovative automated services and features, making repetitive tasks cost-effective. Cooach’s platform makes it easy to handle demands and needs from investors and employees, and you, as an entrepreneur, get support and relief.

The digital workplace and flexible communication tools enable easy collaboration. And even if the core competence should stay tightly linked to the company, business support functions – distributed among several people – can become the internal resource previously missing and give you, as an entrepreneur, support and relief to focus on building your company.

How to succeed with your growth company?

Building and scaling up a growth company is one of the most challenging things you can do in business. How to expand from ten employees to 20, to 100, and so on? Only four percent of all started companies grew to over ten million SEK in turnover, and fewer than 0.5% reached a turnover of 100 million SEK or more.

In recent years, entrepreneurs started more companies than before (in Sweden), and many, not least young people, dream of becoming entrepreneurs. The influx of risk capital into the Swedish start-up scene has also increased considerably in recent years, making it possible for many start-ups and scale-ups to scale up their business. But the current turbulence and world political situation that has led to increased inflation and lower risk appetite among investors make it even tougher to build and scale up companies.

This blog article was written for entrepreneurs and founders of a venture capital-financed growth company who want to know more about growth obstacles and how to overcome them.

Growth tips

Build a hybrid organization

After the pandemic, most people have probably realized the advantages of remote work. Also, expertise and niche skills have become much more accessible as geographical limitations no longer matter.
Modern organizations work both remotely and in physical offices, and the forms of employment are flexible based on what suits the growth company and the employees best:

• Permanent employment
• Sub-consultants who work part-time or full-time
• Project employment
• Outsourcing of entire functions

But with the hybrid organization, new demands are placed on entrepreneurs and leaders.

Let go of the need for control

As the leader of a hybrid organization, you need to focus on tracking results rather than controlling what employees are doing. Otherwise, you lose efficiency. Ensure that there are the right conditions, expertise, and competence, as well as give confidence and express trust.

Establish good communication channels

Communication is essential for good collaboration. Digital communication tools become central when the team is physically in a different place. There are several intelligent digital collaboration tools. We particularly want to highlight the communication platform Slack, which many smaller companies benefit significantly from. Slack does not require a significant initial investment, is quick to start, and is easy to integrate with other systems and tools.

Bring in the skills you need

There are no geographical limitations in a hybrid organization, and access to competence is wide open globally. The range of expert knowledge and resources becomes much more significant when temporary employees, freelancers, and consultants are “a chat message away,” sharing documents in the digital workplace and meeting online regardless of geographical location. Do you need help with a one-time effort or a more extended project?

Buy services and functions instead of hiring

Today, as an entrepreneur, you probably spend a lot of time on tasks not connected to the core business, often referred to as “unnecessary admin time”. But you take help with individual services or even entire functions. Imagine that you take help and buy individual services from people with hands on experience or even entire functions. You get relief, avoid fixed salary costs and reduce your risk. For example, you can add traditional business support functions the smaller start-up company usually can’t afford but with low risk and the possibility to scale up or down as needed. You can bring functions like finance, HR, legal counselling, marketing & sales.

Growth as a Service

GaaS is a collective term for business support services that primarily stimulate economic growth. Cooach offers a GaaS platform with products and services tailored to your growth company’s budget and specific needs. The scope can scale according to current needs and status. The platform offers intelligent, automated services and functions and access to senior experts with specialist skills. The experts can help with one-off topics or on an ongoing basis. Taking help makes demands and requirements from investors and employees more manageable, and you get support and relief. Taking help makes demands and requirements from investors and employees more manageable, and you get support and relief.

Growth obstacles and how to avoid them

In the book Scaling Up by Verne Harnish and Pelle Tornell, the authors list the five most common growth barriers. If you are aware of these when building your company, the chances of succeeding on a growth journey are better than the other way around. Please read the whole book! Below we share our insights and experiences linked to the obstacles.

The founder/leader becomes a bottleneck

The best chance to make it work is to surround yourself with expert competence. You know your business and industry best, but get help for tasks and issues others can handle so you can focus on what creates the most value for the company. Remember, you can get help without hiring. Many roles can be purchased as a complete function. Growth as a Service (GaaS) is business support services that contribute to your growth and that you can flexibly adapt (scope and content) to scale up or down.

Reduced focus on the customer

Keep the focus on the customers at all times during the growth journey. Your time is limited and it is impossible to handle all tasks and functions yourself. New eyes can often see needs “from the outside in” and take the customer’s perspective. External help can contribute both with sharp customer insight and product development. Cooach has a dedicated team specializing in customer experience and can provide valuable insights of customer behavior.

Responsibilities and roles grow and become unclear

Growth companies change rapidly, as do needs, requirements, and conditions. Make a plan for roles, responsibilities, and functions today and tomorrow early. Which part or function is responsible for what, what skills are required, and how best to solve whatever needs to be solved on the growth journey? A GaaS-support could be an excellent way to go, especially given today’s financial turmoil. You can get help with mapping, role descriptions, and planning of functions, as well as growth resources that can be quickly scaled up or down depending on development.

Competence does not grow with your turnover

It is hard to simultaneously be a legal counsellor, an economist and a marketer. New phases in the company’s development, new demands and needs and the uncertain global situation create changing conditions. The newly started company has different competence needs compared to the one that has been around for a while. Plan and stay one step ahead regarding mapping needed skills. Take help from an HR expert and make a proactive plan, and you will avoid unnecessary “intermediate situations” that could stop your development.

Systems, routines, and processes are not scalable

Build infrastructure, routines, and processes that are scalable, integrable, and easy to get started with from the start. And prepare your organization for a flexible workforce, including permanent employees, project employees, freelancers, and gig workers. Communication tools, working documents, and tools must be simple, flexible, and secure. Cooach has helped hundreds of growth companies, has a solid knowledge bank, and can provide business support services and products focusing on growth. We constantly work to automate and streamline our delivery for our customers to get increased efficiency, scalability, and cost savings.

Do you want to know more?

If you want to know more about Cooach and how we can help you, feel free to book a meeting with us, and we can discuss how we can help you grow.

If you want to know more about growth n general, please follow us on LinkedIn, where we continuously share knowledge, tips, guides, etc.

CFo

CFO on-demand – what does it mean, and how can it help the growth company?

The need for CFO increases on a company's growth journey with demanding investor requirements and rapid growth goals. But an experienced CFO often equates to high salary costs. The smaller company usually hires an economist given the title CFO and sets it to handle a lot of different tasks. The advantage of hiring is that you commence team building. But you take on a risk with a fixed cost and could also need to compromise regarding the person's competence and experience. Taking help from a CFO on-demand can be an option and a flexible alternative.

What does a CFO do?

A CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is ultimately responsible for the company’s finances and thus controls how the company runs and performs financially. A CFO ensures the accounting is correct and is accountable for the company staying within the financial framework and budget. Furthermore, a CFO is responsible for the ongoing reporting of crucial figures and follow-ups, which is often a large and important task, not least in venture capital-financed growth companies, as the board and owners often demand excellent transparency.

What could be the challenges for a CFO of a growth company?

A CFO of a growth company is an essential part of the company’s success. Running growth companies often means fast decision-making, handling changing conditions, and balancing liquidity and an externally demanding environment. Situations like this place high demands on companies in general and on CFOs in particular. A growth company CFO needs to build a forward-leaning and data-driven business support from the start with a high degree of automated processes to create clarity through financial storytelling. The use of real-time data and clear dashboards facilitate. It is common for the CFO to also deal with questions concerning HR, legal, and general administration. So, even more skills and competence are often needed to prevent non-critical questions from ending up on the desk of the founder/entrepreneur unless they have a pronounced responsibility for these areas.

What are the benefits of buying CFO services?

A CFO on-demand solution creates flexibility, reduces risk, and provides the company with resources and support when and where needed. A CFO on-demand service/function can help out more or less based on your company’s status and needs, which could also vary over time. At specific periods, for example, during a financing round, the need for support can be significant and then decrease when the round is finished.

How can Cooach help you as a growth company with CFO services?

Cooach has a broad network of CFOs with extensive experience from growth companies, and we know their challenges and opportunities. Based on the customer’s needs and actual situation, we will tailormade a scope to support in the best way. Cooach can also provide experienced HR, marketing & sales experts, and legal counseling to give the smaller growth company quick access to skills and expertise usually only affordable for larger companies.

A CFO on-demand can be physically present in the client’s office when needed. Still, usually, a remote-first policy with Slack as the primary communications tool will result in maximum efficiency.

Buy services and functions

The hybrid organization opens up great opportunities and provides enormous flexibility. Today, as an entrepreneur, you probably spend a lot of time on tasks not connected to the core business and are perceived as unnecessary “admin time” instead of value creation. But you take help with individual services or even entire functions. As a company founder, you will release time, avoid fixed salary costs and reduce risk. You can get traditional business support functions within finance, HR, legal counselling and marketing & sales to the smaller start-up/ramp-up company without hiring staff with low risk and the possibility to scale up or down as needed.

Cooach’s business support platform allows you to scale up and down according to how your conditions change. The platform also offers innovative automated services and features, making repetitive tasks cost-effective. Cooach’s platform makes it easy to handle demands and needs from investors and employees, and you, as an entrepreneur, get support and relief.

The digital workplace and flexible communication tools enable easy collaboration. And even if the core competence should continue to be tightly linked to the company, business support functions – distributed among several people – can become the internal resource previously missing and give you, as an entrepreneur, support and relief to focus on building your company.

Samarbete på arbetsplatsen

How to use Slack for efficient collaboration

Slack is a messaging app for businesses that has become very popular over the last few years since it is considered cost-efficient and easy to use. You can message people inside or outside your organization and collaborate just as you would in person. Since remote work is becoming more and more of a norm, Slack is growing increasingly popular.

At Cooach we have a remote-first policy which makes Slack our most important tool for collaboration. It is the hub of our service delivery, integrated with all our standard applications such as the payroll system, Fortnox, Trello and our own application “Toolbox” with smart workflows and tools for growth companies. Our back-office and gig experts are just “a Slack message away” to help our clients. Since Slack is essential in our work and service delivery, we’d like to share some helpful links and insights.

8 Best features of Slack that streamline work communication

Before we dive into details on How to use Slack, let’s make sure you are as excited about the advantages as we are. Here are the 8 best features of Slack according to webdev.com

  • Makes remote work easier.
  • Know team availability.
  • Set reminders.
  • Get notified.
  • Voice and video call.
  • Apps and integrations.
  • Privatization of channels.
  • Channel details.

Setting up Slack for your company

If you don’t already have Slack, we recommend that you checkout the different pricing plans and articles in the Slack Help Center. Here are some links.

Learn more about Slack’s pricing plans pricing plans
Getting started
Creating a Slack Workspace

Already have Slack?

If you already have Slack but are new to using it, here are some valuable tips.

  1. Set your profile
    Your profile will help the others you work with in Slack to know who you are. Click the default picture in the top right. Choose Profile and Edit profile. Click the default picture in the top right. Choose Profile and Edit profile.
  1. Configure your notifications
    Click the profile picture in the top right. Choose preferences and notifications. We recommend choosing Notify me about direct messages, mentions and keywords. Here you can read more about configuring your notifications.
  2. How to send messages
    In Slack you can communicate with a group of people via a channel or one-to-one via direct messages.
  3. Find your partners on Slack
    If you have their email address, you can use Slack Connect to find your partners and invite them to start a direct message conversation.
  4. Connect your tools to Slack
    Having everything in one place means less juggling and jumping between tools. Connect your tools to Slack and collaborate efficiently with your team.

How to set up a Channel with an external company?

Instead of communicating by email, you can use Slack Connect to cooperate with people from other companies in the same Slack channel. When you work with other companies in Slack, people can only access the channels they’ve been invited to join.

  1. Open the Channel you want to invite people to.
  2. Click the profiles in the top right.
  3. Click Add people.
  4. Enter the email address or name of anyone you’d like to invite to the Channel, then click Add.
  5. Select From another company, then click Next.
  6. Review the message and select Got It to confirm.
  7. If you have permission, you can choose if people Can post & invite or Can only post to the Channel you’re inviting them to. Select Next to continue.
  8. Add an optional note if you’d like, then click Send Invitation.

Read more here

Productivity tips and insights

Use Channels for a topic, project or team. Invite the right people and start slacking. Your message history will be in one space, so it is easy to get up to speed, and the files you have shared will stay together with the conversation. Remember to keep different discussions in separate threads by clicking the “Reply to thread symbol” when answering a message from a conversation starter.

One thing we learned about naming conventions of Channels is that prefixes for internal and external Channels are good. We often add, for example, int_project name for the team that is working together on a project and ext_project name when communicating with a customer or external partner.

If you, like us, have many Channels, it is often a good idea to “star” your most frequent ones for easy access.

Other good features in Slack

You can record and share video or audio clips in direct messages or channels. That can be a popular way for the CEO to connect with a 1-minute Friday video. Or for a new employee to say “hello” and introduce themselves.

When text is not enough, you click the headphone icon to start a huddle, where you can talk in the Channel or one-to-one.

There is a lot more to learn from the Slack Help Desk Center. We just picked out a few highlights to guide and inspire you.

If you want to know more about how Cooach can help entrepreneurs grow, please visit our website https://cooach.io/en

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Do you need help growing your business?

Book a meeting with Cooach and let us tell you more about how we  can help you. We are happy to provide you with more information on how we can help you grow your business.

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