The Founders Behind Kin, Blueland, and More Share Their #1 Piece of Money Advice for New Entrepreneurs

October 5, 2021
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Here at Create & Cultivate, we’re privileged to have a network of successful founders to tap for everything from podcasts recommendations and books to add to our to-read lists to tips for pitching to investors. Seeing as entrepreneurship is on the rise with applications for new businesses up 40% since this time last year, we asked the women behind some of the buzziest, most successful brands to share their best financial advice for new entrepreneurs—and they didn’t hold back. Scroll on for expert money tips from the founders of beloved brands by the likes of Kin, Blueland, Clare, Partake Foods, and so many more.

Tai Beauchamp, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Brown Girl Jane

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Set aside a portion of revenue whenever you can.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “It’s inevitable that unexpected expenses will arise, from tax bills to a quick need to increase inventory. Being conservative from the beginning will help when you require a quick influx of funds.”

Priscilla Tsai, Founder and CEO of Cocokind

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Cash is everything.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “No matter how much profit your company is bringing in, you need to adhere to a tight cash flow model.”

Karen Perez, Founder of Second Wind

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “The best advice is to love what you do.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “No matter how much money you are making, how much money you have to spend, if you stand by your product and business you will see financial gain.”

Chari Cuthbert, Founder of ByChari

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Start slow and steady.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Build a strong infrastructure and scale from there. I started ByChari with $100 in my account. I started relatively small and would buy enough materials to make exactly what I needed. For the next year, I would re-invest the profit from my sales back into the company. I wish I would have saved more to start, but then again, I started so small and really wasn’t focused on building a company but more on having a creative outlet.”

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Learn about venture capital and investing before you start.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “It’s way more complicated,  personal, and nuanced than anyone tells you. I did my best to read and research but only as I  was hearing no’s during our initial raises. I even did a killer pitch where every investor in the room asked for follow-up discussions. But sometimes it’s not just about your business track record. Sometimes it’s about the color of the money on the table or how much more money is needed and it’s hard to stomach when you think everything else is A+ and you still can’t close the deal.” 

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Arm yourself with knowledge.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Talk to anyone and everyone who can give you insight into your industry. Make projections of your expenses to the best of your ability, and then add a 20% cushion to that figure.”

Nicole Gibbons, Founder of Clare

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Ruthlessly prioritize what’s most important to your business and what’s in the best interest of your brand mission.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “When you’re running a young company, everything feels like a priority and so many opportunities come up that seem worthwhile, but when bandwidth is slim, you have to prioritize like a boss. Focus both your dollars and your human capital on the initiatives and opportunities that will propel your business forward and deliver the most value.”

Nicole Hartwig, Founder of Capri

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “First, heal your money traumas (we all have them in some form).”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Reflect on the past experiences and beliefs that might be holding you back. Second, listen to your intuition. It won’t steer you wrong.” 

Roxana Saidi, Co-Founder and CEO of Táche Pistachio Milk

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Become intimately comfortable with the financials of your business.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Overall, the sooner you can be fluent in the economics of your business, the sooner you will be able to confidently lay out a path for the business, raise capital, and understand its runway.”

Jacquelyn Rodgers, Co-Founder and CEO of Greentop Gifts

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Don’t blow your money.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “It is going to be tempting to think you’ve made it in the beginning and go out and spend money. Avoid that urge. Think about your business. Plan for your business. You haven’t made it just yet.”

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Assume you’ll never raise money.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Build your business to achieve profitability with the runway you have.” 

Sarah Paiji Yoo, Co-Founder and CEO of Blueland

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Shop around and sign up for a high-interest savings account.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “After raising funding, we had millions of dollars that were now in the bank and could be earning interest. We looked around for savings and money market accounts to find which banks offered the higher interest rates. The difference in annual income we could earn just from interest rates could support one to two full-time hires, so it definitely was an area worth spending time on and only took about 5-6 hours in total.”

Samara Walker, Founder of Àuda.B

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Build personal savings before starting your business, if possible.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Create a budget from the beginning and start using personal funds to save for the desired budgets if your revenue doesn’t cover expenses. Keep all logistics in-house until your business has scaled!”

Carolina Acosta, Founder and CEO of Tragos

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Watch your bottom line as much as possible.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Even in good times, capital should be treated as gold, and investments should have a 100% or close guaranteed return. Yes, there will be risks but there are many ways to mitigate them as much as possible. A CFO or financial advisor looking at your day-to-day financials would be key.”

Nicole Bernard Dawes, Founder and CEO of Nixie

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Deeply understand your cost of goods, P&L, and balance sheet.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Never let anyone else tell you the financial state of your company. If there’s something you don’t understand, learn it.”

Rochelle Graham-Campbell, Co-Founder and CEO of Alikay Naturals

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Build a relationship with a business banker.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “As a small business owner, we open a business bank account, and then we think that is it! We don’t realize that there are so many additional resources that are free and available to us but we will never know if we don’t ask. Now, don’t allow people to talk down to you and bully you into getting additional things that you may not need, but it’s really nice to know you can pick up the phone and call a business banker direct instead of having to always call a 1-800 line.”

Denise Woodard, Founder and CEO of Partake Foods

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Know your numbers.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Know your burn rate. Know how much it costs to acquire a customer (if that’s relevant to your business). Stick to your budget. Do everything you can to make the most of every dollar.”

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate.

Why It’s So Crucial: “If you are a product-based company, your inventory will always be the biggest expense. Ask vendors for terms, don’t bite off more than you can chew. You can always buy more and replenish when you see demand.”

Jasmine Lewis, Founder and CEO of Vie Beauty

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Secure capital.

Why It’s So Crucial: “You have GOT to spend money to make money, so consider your funding options before launching your business.”

Eunice Byun, Co-Founder and CEO, Material

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Know your pathway to profitability.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “There used to be an overabundance of focus on top-line growth, no matter the costs. Nowadays, the focus has shifted towards profitability which is important because it means you have greater control over your financial future if you don’t always have to rely on bringing in funding.” 

Shobha Philips, Founder of Proclaim

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Find a good CPA!”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Even if it seems pricey when you are first starting out, in the long run, it will save you money.”

Jen Batchelor, Founder and CEO of Kin

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “I’m a big believer in raising a hair less than you think you need.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Just because someone is willing to sign over a check for $10 million, if you only need $3, take $2.5 million. Trust me, it will make you a stronger, more creative leader and you’ll leave yourself less exposed to micromanaging or dilution of vision (not to mention, equity!).”

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “Create a budget early on for how much you plan to spend on the business.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “Have someone in place to report to who will hold you accountable. Without spending controls in place, things can gradually pile up.”

Evan Guiton, Founder of Bee Kind

Her #1 Piece of Money Advice: “If you have a good idea and a blossoming business, you will get approached ALL the time for investment opportunities. If you’re thriving, people will want a piece.”

Why It’s So Crucial: “While this is incredibly flattering and exciting (especially at the beginning), the people you want on your team are not the ones asking for a piece of the pie during their first conversation with you.”

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