How to implement systematic cash flow management in business after almost 5 years on the market: the case of KLEI
KLEI is a sticker printing service
Nikita Anikanov, the founder and head of KLEI,
- Wants to develop his business.
- Seeks to get his finances in order with Finmap.
- Likes when stickers don’t rub off.
Could something slow down the development of a business with a cool product and a cohesive team who are passionate about what they do? Yes. For example, non-adjusted cash flow management.
“Scaling business growth does not need to be chaotic,” Nikita told us in a recent interview. And really, how do you plan for growth or entering new markets when you don’t know what’s going on with the money in the business at all? Is there a profit or is the company losing money?
In the fall of 2021, Nikita decided to systematize the finances of his project and bring all the data together in one place. Why he did this and what it did for his company is explained in this case study.
KLEI started its work in 2017 and will celebrate the company’s five year anniversary in March, 2022. It is a small, family-friendly business, with a team of ten people.
Why did Nikita choose this niche?
“Stickers are the last bastion of the physical on this planet, where everything is digitized,” he explained.
Within a few months of starting, they managed to select equipment, set up the production process, achieve the desired quality and got their first customers, who were designers. They, in turn, appreciated the product and began to recommend KLEI to their customers, and that is how the business started to develop.
Now they make stickers for a variety of cool projects and companies, among them Wix, Wikimedia Ukraine, Reface, Banda agency and others. At Finmap, we were so impressed with KLEI’s stickers that we also became a customer.
Now the people at KLEI see their stickers on everything, from coffee houses in Kyiv to skateboards in Canada. Their uniquely artistic stickers have even shown up on SpaceX rockets.
In spite of the popularity of their product, Nikita acknowledges that the company has not grown as fast as it could because of financial problems. There were cash gaps and unprofitable periods. Also, there was no system to identify and resolve financial issues.. Because the product itself is multi-component, the orders are very different, from 1 sticker to 1,000 or even 10,000. They offer a wide variety of styles and sizes, but had no way to track which were profitable and which were not.
In order to create an accounting system, identify the financial issues, and figure out how to proceed, Nikita decided to use Finmap.
The task: To make a healthy business
“I strive to build a company that is reliable and able to withstand changes in the economy. It takes time. And finances are my weakest part; I had a lot of trouble with that,” says Nikita.
Although KLEI has been successful in Ukraine, they want to branch out to international markets. Nikita says that their goal is to go where the bad stickers are, and replace them with good ones.
In order to achieve this, Nikita decided that he had to take financial management seriously. His first step was to contact Finmap. What he wanted from us was a way to:
- institute systematic cash flow management of money;
- collate debts, in order to know how much is owed to the company, as well as how much the company owes:
- identify and prevent cash gaps
- understand if and when the company is making a profit or if there are periods of loss;
- collect data on which products are the most profitable and which are not selling.
As with most entrepreneurs, Nikita is passionate about his company and products, but is less interested in bookkeeping and financial management. As a result, he delegated much of his cash flow management to his financial director, who it turns out is also his mother. She had never previously kept financial management in online services however, Finmap is so simple and straightforward that no prior bookkeeping or accounting background is required.
“Finmap is strong where I am weak: understanding, organizing, and making sense of company finances. I can’t emphasize enough just how easy it is to use, both in terms of entering data, and in collating that data for useful analytics. The monthly reports have given me a true picture of my company’s financial health for the first time.”
In addition to implementing the financial management service, Nikita also took a Finmap course called “Business Money: From Chaos in Financial management to a System in 5 Steps”. This course helped him to understand the financial workings of his company, including organizing income and debt, reading key indicators, tracking profit and loss, and understanding the financial life of his company on a daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly basis.
By using Finmap to analyze the company’s payment system, KLEI was able to identify cash gaps that were the result of late or sporadic customer payments. As a result, KLEI established a policy of prepayment which immediately put an end to those cash gaps.
By using Finmap’s cash flow management system, Nikita quickly identified this accounts receivable debt* and made a change in his billing procedure.
* Accounts receivable is when someone owes your business. For example, KLEI has already printed stickers, but the customer hasn’t yet paid for them. Finmap has a separate “Accounts Receivable” report that shows who owes your business and how much. It helps to control such debts, reminding both you and your counterparties that a debt is owed.
In addition to accounts receivable, Nikita started tracking the cash flow in Finmap with the Money report*. Now he not only monitors financial results, but is also up to date about money the company earns and spends
* In Finmap, the Money report shows cash flow so that the entrepreneur can see what amounts are coming in and what amounts are being spent by the company.
Nikita mentioned the P&L report as one of his most useful reports. After all, when he implemented the cash flow management system, he wanted to understand where the company was making a profit and in which areas there were losses, in order to scale KLEI’s growth. After all, setting the stage to enable and support company growth means first eliminating unprofitable projects or products.
* P&L is a profit and loss report. In Finmap, it automatically subtracts expenses from all income for a specified period (e.g. a month). Thus, the entrepreneur can see if the company has made a profit or incurred losses during this period.
And in order to figure out which stickers bring the most profit, Nikita uses the Category* function. By using this feature, he has divided his product into two categories; individual stickers and sticker sets of multiple stickers on one sheet. As a result Nikita can track the receipts in both categories to determine which is the more profitable.
* Categories in Finmap allow the user to designate income and expense types. This helps keep track of income and spending in each specific type. For example, KLEI can see income from both individual and sticker set orders.
At this point, KLEI is primarily focused on gathering and organizing financial information. Nikita is fully immersing himself in the many features Finmap offers, as well as watching the online course material. However, he has already seen improvement in his company’s financial management and is becoming increasingly more confident in his ability to stay on top of KLEI’s expenses, accounts, profits, and various product lines.
✅ KLEI implemented systematic accounting of finances for the first time in almost 5 years of business existence.
✅ They identified choke points in their accounts receivable, which often contributed to cash gaps, resulting from a lack of prepaid orders. They introduced a new policy of prepayment which greatly reduced the volume of debts on the part of their clients.
✅ Nikita began tracking the flow of capital, thereby controlling expenses and earnings.
✅ KLEI successfully identified areas of profitability and loss, which became the basis for the decision to scale.
✅ They found that the ease of use of the various Finmap features gave them more time to devote to business development. After all, keeping records in Finmap requires little effort.
“Finmap appeared, we closed the holes in our finances, and we realized that we could do something more serious,” says Nikita. Here at Finmap, we are already rubbing our hands in anticipation of new KLEI stickers to conquer this digitalized world.
To implement systematic cash flow management and see the full picture of your business at any time, connect Finmap at the link:
14 days free. Our care service will help you find a deep solution and use maximum service opportunities for your company.
Also, learn more about the cool stickers from KLEI here: https://klei.co