1. What is your background & experience?
I have a bachelor’s in Business with an Accounting concentration from IUPUI and passed the Certified Public Accountant exam. While completing my degree, I worked full-time and was a single mom. Throughout my career, I’ve held several different accounting positions including Controller, Vice President of Finance, and Chief Financial Officer. I carved out a niche for myself working in technology companies, including Made2Manage Systems, Consona Corporation, and most recently Healthx. I’ve also done consulting work for TechCXO that provides C-level services for technology companies. Feeling the personal drive to be an entrepreneur, I owned and operated Puptown, a dog boarding and daycare business for about five years as well. Currently, I’m the founder and principal of Lift Bridge CFO.
2. Single mom, working full-time, and getting your degree. Many women can relate. How did you do it?
I achieved my degree in six years going to school at night and on weekends. I had lots of support from my mother who helped care for my son. It took a lot of discipline and time management. Plus, I had to keep my priorities straight, like homework before playtime, but it was worth it.
3. What prompted you to start Lift Bridge CFO?
I began helping a friend with her startup Boosterville after leaving Healthx in 2017. I really enjoyed the experience. When Boosterville was acquired by Beyond Inc., I decided to start Lift Bridge CFO so I could continue helping startup companies in the tech space.
4. How does Lift Bridge CFO help startups?
I use my experience with technology company business operations and financial reporting to help entrepreneurs do things like: plan their startups, grow scaleups, create business plans, manage cash flow, and prepare to obtain financing. Lift Bridge CFO focuses on the critical back-office work small businesses need but often lack funds to pay a full-time resource to have. I encourage new business owners to engage a financial professional early in a company’s life, at least on a part-time basis, to avoid costly errors. Lift Bridge CFO provides that service.
5. When it comes to financial management, what should new business owners know to be successful?
1. It always takes longer to get funding than you think. Plan ahead. 2. Always be fundraising. 3. Cash is king. Know your cash burn rate and how much cash it takes each month to operate. 4. Be stingy with your spending. 5. Know your sales pipeline and create a realistic sales forecast to use for financial planning.
6. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs when considering investments, credit, or loans to fund their business?
There is no universal answer. Each type of financing has pros and cons that may differ depending on the stage of the business. The right answer might also change depending on speed of growth or prior rounds of funding. I would recommend that a business owner consider all types of funding at each round to determine what’s best for their business at that time.
7. The thing I wish more entrepreneurs would consider is:
Reading relevant books on startups to gain background on items they will have to address. I recommend the Founder’s Pocket Guide series by Stephen R. Poland. They are quick reads, to the point, and provide helpful hints and guidance.
8. What person or life event sparked your own entrepreneurialism?
I grew up in a family business. From a young age, I’ve always been interested in how businesses make money. I learned so much from my father about leading employees. He would say, “Treat your employees like they are volunteers,” and “Please and thank you goes a long way.” I still use these pieces of advice today.
9. What’s your best piece of advice for startup founders?
Don’t give up. Things will always take longer than you think, so just keep working hard, manage your cash, and know your finances.
Connect: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathy-kinder-bbbb1710/