How Offploy Uses Float to Make Life-Changing Decisions
Jacob Hill is the founder and Managing Director of Offploy, an awesome foundation created to help get ex-offenders back into work, with centres across Yorkshire and the Humber.
With a growing team and continued funding from the likes of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Offploy has a lot to contend with in terms of cash flow.
Importance of cash flow
Stepping out of a team day with his colleagues, Jacob started from the beginning, and told me about his background as a serial entrepreneur with a taste for business and… a sweet tooth?
“I used to sell sweets on the playground,” Jacob announces with more than a hint of pride, “and had some kids selling for me too.” From humbug beginnings, Jacob soon became Yorkshire’s Entrepreneur of the Year at the age of 21.
“I’ve always had an interest in business and from that, cash flow. Healthy cash flow means, whether or not you’re holding on by the skin of your teeth, or you’ve got all the money in the bank, you can keep going.”
But both Jacob’s business interests and his method of cash flow forecasting have come a long way since his midget gem selling days. Though I’m pretty sure he could still sell the sugariest of sweets to the strictest of dentists.
Software over spreadsheets
Jacob jumped to Xero early on in his Offploy journey, and whilst he loved (and still loves!) it, it didn’t provide everything he needed. “Xero’s pretty! And functional! But it just didn’t have the budgeting capabilities that we needed so I was still using multiple spreadsheets to measure our cash flow.”
It was this lack of functionality that prompted Jacob to look for another solution, and in doing so, he found Float. “The way I measure Offploy’s health as a business is by measuring the runway. And that metric was readily available in Float. So I jumped to it, and haven’t looked back since.”
Jacob’s mission is to have enough money in the bank so that Offploy’s non-contracted costs can be funded by the interest in the bank. “It’s all about trying to push out that runway. Because if the contract team sees eight months left on the runway, they know they have those eight months to get more contracts in.”
As Jacob well knows, it’s the littlest things in a business that can make the biggest difference. And Float has been able to highlight that for him.
“A key change that we’ve made recently is to deliver invoices on a Friday, rather than the Monday. It sounds small, only three days, but it’s made such a difference to our cash flow. And Float charted that for us.”
Making life-changing decisions with Float
But changing the delivery of their invoices wasn’t the only decision that Jacob’s been able to make with Float.
At the time of speaking to me, Jacob was planning to drive up to York to interview a female prisoner to work for Offploy as an administrator.
It is this kind of decision that would have forced Jacob to take an Excel binge involving multiple spreadsheets and lots of time. “Trust me, I’m never the same after an Excel binge. People need to avoid talking to me for a few days.”
But rather than ruining Jacob’s day (and, apparently, his team’s), the decision to hire someone new could be made in just a few clicks with Float.
“By inputting those budgets to see whether we could take on that additional person, I can see immediately that it’s okay and it’s not too much strain on the cash flow.”
“Float just enables me to be a managing director, not a finance person, and has enabled us to make decisions that are life-changing for someone.”
To find out more about Jacob’s story and the incredible impact that Offploy are having on the lives of ex-offenders, check out their website here!