Surfing Business Works with Advisor on Short-Term Forecasts to Manage Working Capital

Posted on 24th May 2017 in Customer Stories

Written by Freya Hughes

Skunkworks Surf Co. came into fruition when Ricky Martin’s surf school, Alive Surf School in Portrush, Northern Ireland, was making a loss on their boards. The problem was the soft surfboards that beginners learn on are poor quality and don’t last long, so replacing them became the biggest expense for the school. After speaking to his peers, Ricky realised it was a global problem, so set about to change the way the boards are made, alongside his brother Chris. We caught up with them, and Office Manager and Bookkeeper, Samantha Quinn, to find out how joining up to FUTRLI has helped them combat the pressure of upfront costs, and how they’ve grown their company confidently.

Brothers Ricky and Chris Martin are at the helm of Skunkworks Surf Co.

What has working with FUTRLI done for Skunkworks? What do you mainly use it for?

FUTRLI has helped up to keep track of our cash flow and has made forecasting much simpler. Before we found FUTRLI, we kept track of our cash flow using Excel spreadsheets. We found there was a possibility of mistakes going into our formulas so couldn’t rely on it to give us our exact figures. When we were using it, we were looking to grow so needed software that we could plug our data into where human error would be eliminated. That’s why FUTRLI has been valuable for the growth of Skunkworks. We are the first company of our kind in Northern Ireland so, as innovators in our field, it’s great to have technology like FUTRLI that’s on a similar page to us.

Has using FUTRLI helped you to grow or think about expanding?

Quite simply, yes. As a manufacturing company, a lot of costs are incurred upfront. This often means that it takes some time before we are reimbursed for these costs by the end customer. Because of this, we’ve realised it is important that our expansion is at a controlled and sustainable rate. Using FUTRLI, we create short-term forecasts which has helped to ensure that expansion plans are within our cash parameters and helped us to manage our working capital.

How are you using FUTRLI to collaborate with others?

Our accountant put us on to FUTRLI. We followed his lead on this as he uses it for many of his clients. He’s essentially a VCFO/Management Accountant, coming into businesses that can’t afford a full time CFO. He found FUTRLI at Xerocon one year and couldn’t resist such good value for the service.

 

We collaborate with our accountant every month to prepare a short-term cash flow forecast, and periodically to prepare a KPI dashboard. Our investors like the assurance of regular cash forecasts, and the presentation of key financial metrics in a dashboard layout.

Tips for other business owners getting started with FUTRLI?

Take time to understand the metrics that drive your business. Keeping on top of your KPIs is a solid way of ensuring you’re on the right path. When you’ve identified the relevant ones, make sure that they are measured within FUTRLI as it makes it all a lot easier. It might require setting up your accounting software, be it Xero or QuickBooks to collect the necessary information correctly.

Why do you think FUTRLI is so powerful for people in your industry?

The great thing about FUTRLI is that people without accounting or spreadsheet expertise can create regular cash forecasts easily. You can refer to key financial performance metrics without having to understand how to read and interpret traditional financial accounts so that speeds up the whole process and there’s not such an urgent need for outside help from accountants.

If you didn’t have FUTRLI what would you do?

We would have to try and recreate FUTRLI’s functionality within a spreadsheet. Having all of our figures in one place allows us to operate without worrying about having to manually update spreadsheets. It would be a nightmare to start again with our forecasts – we rely on FUTRLI and use it often so have come to depend on it somewhat.

Sum up FUTRLI in a few sentences

FUTRLI has made keeping track of our cash flow and forecasting much more straightforward than ever before. It is user-friendly and low in cost, so I’d certainly recommend other businesses try it out.


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