Seasonal Ranching Firm Lassos Its Cash Flow, Thanks To Float
Byron Palmer is the CEO of environmentally-conscious ranch management firm, Grounded Land & Livestock. It’s a seasonal business that until recently relied on outsourcing to deliver some of its key services. Byron reckons that Float saves him 6 hours every month, and, more importantly, it has helped him make strategic decisions worth more than $40,000 to the company.
Byron manages ranches an hour north of San Francisco, he says “we use cattle in a very specific way to promote the subculture of sustainability and usability. People buy ranches and they’re usually horribly run with cattle tearing them up, so they bring us in and our job is to reverse that.”
Up until a few months ago Byron was doing cash flow management manually using Excel templates and he hated it, he had been continuously looking for cash flow solutions before eventually finding Float.
Byron says “I was so excited to get rid of my spreadsheets! I have a pretty good understanding of what my time is worth. I’m a small business owner, I have 2 partners but I’m the CEO and I manage all of the financials and the reporting. I know that for managerial tasks I pay myself $50 an hour and if it takes me more than an hour to get my spreadsheets set up every month just reconciling actuals with budgeted costs, then having an automatic tool that does that for me is a no brainer. In short, if the cost is under $600 a year then the solution is cheaper than my time.”
“I love that the graph allows me to know exactly when there’s going to be a problem, visual decision making at a glance is exactly what I was looking for.”
“Because of Float I’m able to make better strategic decisions, right now I’m saving an hour or 2 a week but I’m making higher level strategic decisions that are worth tens of thousands of dollars to the business.”
In addition to saving time Byron wanted a visual representation of his cash that would make it easy to understand what’s happening in his business. He explains: “This is where I get the real value from Float as it’s so hard to do this on your own. I love that the graph allows me to know exactly when there’s going to be a problem, visual decision making at a glance is exactly what I was looking for. The cash flow sheets that I was looking at before weren’t really allowing me to understand what was happening with as much ease, I had to make my brain hurt to get there. I’m now able to easily communicate what’s going on to my business partners, I send a quarterly Float report to them and it’s so much more understandable. I don’t even have to explain it. Whereas when I would send them our Excel cash flow they’d have no idea what it was telling them.”
Byron explains that seasonal businesses face unique cash flow problems which mean good cash management is essential to survival and how Float is making that even easier: “We make money 6-7 months out of the year and the other months we don’t, so I need to make sure that income lasts throughout the low period. Now as a result of the visual display I’m able to really get a good grasp on how we are going to manage our cash flow until the next cycle starts up and it allows me to make reinvestments in my business with confidence.”
“You don’t make money from the profit in your business, you make money from the profit you reinvest in your business.”
As an ambitious business owner Byron is keen to grow his company, and he knows that to make that happen reinvesting is key, he says: “You don’t make money from the profit in your business, you make money from the profit you reinvest in your business. Float lets me see if the reallocation of that profit is going to be a good decision or if it is going to put me in the hole. This year our business is making a number of capital purchases some of which we want to make in the off season when we are not going to make any money, Float has allowed me to figure out how to safely reinvest in my business and I’ve been able to easily share this with my partners to come to a decision.”
“The first reinvestment we are making is for flexibility in transportation, a huge part of our business is logistics as we manage 8 ranches with about 4600 acres and 500 cattle between them. Float has allowed us to purchase equipment that allows us to do a better job for the animals and the land.”
If you’re a seasonal business looking to manage your cash flow then you can sign up for a free trial of Float and start forecasting your cash today!