Tech Insights is a new series where we speak to experts in the DWEN community about hot technology topics.
Has your business run out of cash? Jo Haigh looks at your options.
You know the saying ‘sales are vanity, profit is sanity’? This little sentence should end with ‘but cash is absolutely essential’.
Businesses do not fail because they don't make profits (at least, not immediately), they fail because they run out of cash. Once it’s gone it’s gone!
If your cash wells have all but dried up, keeping what you have, and squeezing the last drops out of your assets, is more than desirable, it’s essential to survival.
So, first things first, are you fully exploiting your key assets of stock and debtors? In other words do you have optimum stock levels and are you collecting as promptly as possible?
Try this simple formula to work out what each day tied up in stock and debtors is worth to you. You may also like to check if you may just be paying too quickly. I call it the RIP ratio, so try ripping into your assets.
The NextWomen Technology Theme.
Yifan Zhang tells us about the early days of her tech startup, which has been funded and supported by Techstars, Startup Chile and Resolute.VC.
One of the most common questions I get asked about my startup GymPact is, “How did you come up with that?” I take pride in hearing that because to me it means we’re doing something so innovative that people can’t imagine even thinking up the idea. After all, GymPact gives cash rewards to those who meet their exercise goals – paid by the non-exercisers!
Three years ago, I was a senior at Harvard College. I had just written a paper for my behavioral economics class on loss aversion, which says people hate losing money 2.5x more than they like gaining the same amount. I could not stop thinking about this idea, and I wondered if this stronger motivator of loss could impact hard-to-change behaviors like exercise. (yes, this is what I spent senior spring doing).
When our blogger Mary Juetten attended the fabulous Simmons Leadership Conference last month, she met with keynote speaker Josie Natori, a native of the Philippines who was the first woman vice president in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and went on to found lifestyle brand Natori.
Fashion was never in her plans
I had the pleasure of interviewing Josie Natori prior to listening to Mrs. Natori address a packed room at the Simmons Women’s Leadership Conference in Boston on April 2, 2013. In its 34th year, the conference attracted over 3,000 attendees and with a Women of Influence theme, Ms. Natori was a headline speaker.
We meet the Co-Founder of Two Chicks, a company producing a range of liquid egg white products which has grown to a million pound business, despite the recession.
Anna Richey and her business partner Alla Ouvarova, 31, launched Two Chicks in 2007 with the aim of catering for increasingly health conscious UK consumers.
Hugely popular in Los Angeles, liquid egg whites did not exist in the UK in retail prior to the launch of Two Chicks. Together, Anna and Alla built and grew a whole new UK market in liquid egg and today the range of egg whites and egg white omelette mixes is sold in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Whole Foods and Selfridges.
Sue Stockdale looks at how asking the right questions can change the focus of your employees and your business.
When was the last time that you were asked a great question? One that really made you stop and think, or that caused you to come up with new ideas or insights. It is likely that it was quite a long time ago, as my experience in day to day business is that powerful questions are rarely asked.
In Western society the focus is often more on finding the right answer, than asking the right question.
The NextWomen Tech Theme.
Amy Sheng is Co-Founder of CellScope, a venture-backed mobile health startup creating a suite of optical attachments for smartphones to enable remote diagnoses.
Its first product is the CellScope Oto, a smartphone otoscope for capturing diagnostic quality ear images and videos to diagnose ear infections.
CellScope spun out of a bioengineering lab at UC Berkeley creating mobile microscopes for disease diagnosis in the developing world.
Amy previously led a team to develop an automated hematology analyzer with automated classification of white blood cells that was cleared by the FDA. She has an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Berkeley-Haas. She can be followed on Twitter @amysheng.
Amy was named in Inc Magazine's 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013.
The winner of The NextWomen Pitch Event tells her story about leaving the legal sector to fulfil her ambition to start her own business with her brother.
In a past life I was a commercial lawyer, advising clients ranging from startups to multinational corporations on commercial, contract, advertising and IP issues. I enjoyed the work, loved my boss but in terms of my vision for the future, as the months ticked by I found that I never aspired to be a partner in that organisation.
And, if you don’t aspire to be the top dog in the place you work then my view is that you are probably in the wrong place.
Sissy Müller, founder of Green Crowding, reviews "Dear Entrepreneur: Letters From Those That Have Made It & Are Making It Happen", a collection of letters from business founders who have been there and done it. It includes letters containing advice, words of wisdom, motivation and true-life stories from top businesses including Innocent Drinks and Morphsuits.
Since starting my own company Green Crowding last year, I’ve absorbed a lot of information about entrepreneurship. I read business books in the evenings, listen to podcasts while running and watch youtube videos during lunch breaks. Stories of fellow entrepreneurs, their struggles, achievements and lessons interest me most. So I was excited to review the book ‘Dear Entrepreneur’, a collection of letters from entrepreneurs for The Next Women.
Let’s evaluate the book like a 3-minute startup pitch. First of all the idea, the execution and the presentation. Then, I’ll provide my overall rating on a scale from 1 to 5.
Rebekah Monk, Founder at Bathrooms.com, talks to Lexi Mills about how she grew what started as a side project to a £5m turnover business.
Bathrooms.com is a consumer website that sells bathroom products; built on the ethos that good design should also be affordable.
The business began has a side project when Rebekah Monk had her first child, however it grew sharply to such a scale that her husband, Ian Monk, had to leave his full time position to help manage it. Since then, the business has grown to more than 50 employees in the UK and China and has a turnover in excess of £5 million that is expected to more than double over the next 18 months.
Lexi spoke with Rebekah about the tactics she used to scale the business; what she thinks were the key success drivers for her company; and how she dealt with the challenges of raising funding and international expansion.