Austin Wright

CEO, California Beach Co

What were your biggest challenges that you were faced and how to Fully Accountable help you?

I would say some of our biggest challenges were, we launched our company about two and a half years ago. We launched it on Kickstarter first.

So we kind of came out of the gate with a bang. We had a fairly large Kickstarter campaign. We did about half a million dollars in the first month.

And so the first initial year or so of our business was it was really a roller coaster.

It was initially just a huge launch and then it was just tons of struggling for the next six months, just trying to really keep up with the demand and fulfilling that initial order and figuring out worldwide logistics and just all that kind of stuff that we had never really dealt with before. And so we made it through that initial obstacle, if you will.

It was more of an obstacle than it was a blessing, but it was definitely tough. And then really the next year of the business before we connected with Vinne and Fully Accountable.

It was just a lot of ups and downs really trying to manage the flow of the business, keeping up with known consumer demand, running out of inventory and really managing like cash flows of the business. We bootstrapped the whole thing ourselves.

We went from having, you know, three hundred grand the bank account one month to like three bucks the next. And it was just it was very, very a lot of highs and lows and it was really tough to manage. And so we had an accounting firm prior to Fully Accountable.

But it was just a lot of it was just very basic, basic accounting.

It was not not very high level. And so as we started to grow, we got connected with Vinnie through somebody else in my network.

And he said, yeah, you know, we can do whatever you guys need.

So we jumped ship with the other group and signed on and it’s really helped kind of smooth the ride. That’s what I would say is the biggest thing that’s been so beneficial to us in terms of managing the business, managing the cash flow, seeing reporting, dashboards, all that kind of good stuff.

How do you describe working with Fully Accountable?

I would describe it as it’s a great experience because I feel that the team at Fully Accountable, really is a part of our team. They go above and beyond to not just do our books, but jump on the phone if we want to talk strategy or planning or future budgeting, things like that, so I do really feel like it’s you know, it’s almost like even though it’s outsourced, we feel like it’s family, like it’s in house. I would say that that’s a huge benefit to us.

What made you happiest when working with Fully Accountable?

I would say probably when I got the first report that so I’m like a numbers guy. I like geek out over reporting and like analytics and finance and all that kind of stuff.

So I typically will build out like spreadsheets and reports and stuff that I want to see that I can’t pull from like software that I’m using. So I’ll just give you a quick example. So I’ll say, like, you know, to me for the longest time I was saying to our three, our logistics company, I was like, I need to see.

So I have three warehouses. Right. That we’re shipping from. And I have Amazon and I have Wal-Mart and I have Canada and the US. So I have all these places. I was like, I need to see basically all of my inventory that I have in stock at each place and in aggregate. And next to that I need to see what’s on the way. Like what’s what have I already ordered that’s on a boat that’s going to get here and when is it going to arrive? And then I need to see, do I have any backorders of specific Skewes when I’m going to run out? When do I need to order more like these? Very, very, you would think, basic metrics. And there’s, you know, the costs associated with that.

There’s really I haven’t found in two and a half years any kind of good reporting that at the click of a button just can kind of show you that stuff until I got with Clay and and Kelly and Patrick with Fully Accountable.

And we kind of went through what they were going, you know, what are your biggest challenges?

And I was like, it’s really this dashboard, this visibility of the business that I need to see. And they were like, we’ll build it for you.

And so they started putting together reports and we started adding to it. And then we started talking about like, OK, well, now let’s talk about metrics. Let’s you know, how much are you spending on Facebook? How much are you spending on Google? How is this impacting your business and the cash flows and the ups and downs? And now we’ve gotten to a point where we have, you know, every single day I have a daily performance snapshot coming in with every metric of the business. So at any given time, I can just pop in my email whether I want to skip a day or not. I can just pop in and I can see exactly where the business is. Real time scoreboard of the game. And I think when that when we first, like, really got that built out, that was like my sigh of relief moment. I was like, oh, finally, like, I have a scoreboard now. And so that was a big part thanks to the Fully Accountable team.

What have you been able to achieve since working with Fully Accountable?

I would say the most impactful is better managing our cash flow. That was one of the biggest challenges of our startup..

Like from the start, I get a good team, get a controller, get a CFO. You don’t need to go all out and have a six figure CFO from day one. But, you know, having clean books and good reporting from the beginning is crucial. It’s super beneficial and it really helps you manage the cash flow.

What about the Fully Accountable surprised you the most?

I would say the fact that you guys offered CFO type positions, I was unaware of that when I first signed on, I thought it was just basic accounting and I would have signed on anyway. But it eventually got to the point where, you know, when we started doing over, you know, over eight figures, once we got to the ten million dollar level, that’s when the team approached me and basically said, you know, you guys should look at this.

You should look at having a either a fractional CFO or comptroller type of position, because, you know, at that level it becomes a lot. It becomes the future. And forecasting and budgeting and those kinds of things become equally as important as accounting. Accounting is in the past, finances in the future looking forward.

So when you get to a pretty healthy level of revenues, you want to have both. You want to have quality accounting, make sure your books are clean, make sure you have a great balance sheet. And also that future finance. What kind of projections are you looking at? What kind of valuation is your company at doing discounted cash flow analysis? You know, those kind of things. It’s really forward looking, especially if you’re looking to either raise capital in the future or have partners or ultimately exit the business. That’s super valuable to have. And I didn’t know you guys offer that as soon as they told me you did. I was like, sign me up. And we brought on a guy named Patrick with Fully Accountable who’s been our CFO for I don’t know, I think we’re going on a couple of months, maybe four or five months now and just been really, really happy with him and Kelly and the whole team. And we still have everybody else that’s kind of handling our books. But we really work with him on a week to week and sometimes day to day basis. And it’s been super beneficial to the business.

About his company:

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