CEO and Co-Founder, Blaine Bertsch, recently interviewed Dryrun client Drew English about his journey to becoming Founder and Creative Director of Charter & Co., a video production services agency. During their conversation, Blaine discovered that Drew was facing a problem that many entrepreneurs encounter during their business journeys – lumpy cashflow.
While his business had been thriving in the early stages, Drew noticed that the company was beginning to struggle with cash flow problems. "Suddenly this feast or famine cycle was really starting to hurt because we had all this overhead, and cash flow is so much more important than it was a year prior," he said.
"Not having cashflow on the back of your mind all day is really a big game changer."
The Emotional Toll of Cash Flow Problems
Drew had been “laser-focused” solely on his bank balance and deal sizes to meet his financial needs for the month, but he realized that he needed to look more closely at the ins and outs of his business and become more granular in his approach. "Cash flow I wouldn't say I was managing at all. I was looking at the bank balance quite a bit or are we red or black for the quarter?" he admitted.
The problem was that Drew's clients weren't always paying on time, and projects were often taking longer than expected. This made it difficult to plan for the future, and it took a toll on Drew's personal life. "When a client pays five days late or a project goes a little longer than you expect it, it really does change your day. It changes your evenings. It changes the way I interact with my family, my friends," he said. Not only that, but he also had to worry about his team’s salaries, rent, and other overhead expenses.
Drew realized that cash flow was critical to his emotional health and, if he had a grip on where he was going, he could make an impact and move the needle that way.
How Dryrun Eased the Pain
To solve these issues, Drew turned to Dryrun, a tool that would help him model and look ahead to see what was coming. "All the data was there. All the data was ready to go. I just needed this ability to model and look ahead and see what was coming," he said.
One of the benefits of using Dryrun was that Drew could model different scenarios and see how they would impact his cash flow. He could also see the impact of delayed payments or unexpected expenses, which helped him plan better and avoid surprises. He could now see what was coming in and going out of his business a month or two ahead, not just day to day.
"You'll have the positive days, the negative days, everything in between. And once you feel that pain, at least for me, once I felt that pain, it hit. I really need to have a tough season for me to see where the business needed to go."
By using Dryrun, Drew was able to become more granular on the types of people he wanted to work with, understand the projects that he could do well, and built a great pipeline of projects he was excited about. He realized that it takes two or three months of pre-planning to get to a situation where he could actually listen to his gut and say no to projects that did not fit his niche.
Through this process, Drew learned that the value of being able to say no was related directly to finance. "Niching down is one of the scariest ideas an agency can face until you realize that there really is an endless ocean of people that you could do work with out there. And you don't have time in a single lifetime to do work with them all," he said.
No Cash Flow Problems = Opportunity to Create and Grow
Although Drew had a though season where he felt the pain of cashflow problems, he realized that running a business was not just about making cool stuff but also about managing the financial side of things.
"And I actually think there's probably a lot of people who get themselves in over their head in this world who say, 'I can make really wickedly cool stuff, and people actually want to pay me for it. How cool is that? I'm going to start an agency, I'm going to start a production house,' and next thing you're not a freelancer anymore. You're running a business, and it's a whole different story," he said.
With Dryrun, Drew was able to devote a little bit of dedicated time to his finances and cash flow and go into his week feeling confident, or at least knowing what actions he needs to make to ensure his finances are set. He found that this was life-giving and allowed him to focus on creating wickedly cool content and growing his business.
Your Single Source of Truth
Overall, using Dryrun and focusing on cash flow and niching down helped Drew overcome his cash flow problems and build a more successful business. He learned the importance of forecasting cash flow, understanding fixed costs, and saying no to projects that didn't fit his agency's niche. With the right tools and mindset, Drew was able to turn his business around and achieve success.
If you'd like to have the same kind of insight into your business and start making decisions from a place of strength, rather than stress, click here to start your free trial with Dryrun.
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