The Importance of Finance to the Startup

The majority of entrepreneurs have a brilliant service or product idea based on a prior expertise, passion or interest. However, when they launch their startup business they now need to be an expert on marketing, sales, finance and accounting, human resources, manufacturing, research and development, and information technology – as well as be chief executive of the business. These new areas are not where they have expertise, passion or interest; they are forced into it by necessity.

The entrepreneur is thrown into the “deep end of the pool” to gain experience. They have an even chance at sinking or swimming, but even if they swim it may be too late to deliver a successful startup as they focused on income statement preparation, pro forma financials, or book vs. tax depreciation schedules. Instead, the entrepreneur should be focused on consumer or customer-centric activities like marketing development, fast cycle product development and testing, or design execution to delight the consumer or customer.

This is where finance can step in.

Critical Development Phases of Finance Leadership

The chart below shows where finance plays a role for each of the critical developmental phases of a new business.

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