Process Tools -Keep it stupid simple

Alicia Kenworthy – Process Tools -Keep it stupid simple to stay productive.

So in terms of our mind mapping and our brainstorming and getting together the business model, honestly, I’m a little old fashioned, I’m a big fan of pen and paper. So we literally get out big white boards and markers and sketch out our customer journey, sketch how we’re going to get to our different customer types, how are they shopping , who are we targeting. And at the beginning, we’re doing it online. We have given thought to mobile first, and then we realized that the focus just really needed to be on the web experience and bras aren’t necessarily that women are ordering from their mobile phone quite yet.

So it’s already a hurdle to get over in terms of online shopping. So we’re focused on that, and we have some unique things that we’re going to do with the distribution model and with our collections. But, yeah, it was really just sketching it out on paper and putting that into a financial model. And we had some help with that. Neither of us have a finance background, per se, so we sort of put together our own scrappy excel based on how we were thinking and we had someone come in  and help us refine that and help it look a little more professional.

But I think that’s something that’s important to remember in startup world. Even if you can’t do something perfectly, it’s worth doing it. A lot of people will learn to code and code up a first version of a website. That is not going to be the final product, but at least it shows the people that are helping and the people that will refine them what you’re thinking and gives you a little more intricacy.

So we’ve done as much as we can in terms of financial modeling, in terms of getting pitched and putting business presentations together and this and that, and then we have other people come in and help us refine it. What other tools have we used? Definitely Asana. Mostly I think that’s really it. It’s been a lot of—for accounting, honestly, it’s been Excel at this point. Down the line, we’ll have to use inventory management  software and we’ll have to actually bring in a CFO part time to help you with cash flow and inventory.

At this early of a stage—actually, that was something that we spoke with up start up founders about, on this space. How do you manage your inventory, and they said I have a list on Microsoft word. A lot of companies are a lot scrappier than I think people think, and that’s part of what being a startup is. It’s kind of creating an illusion and making it look like you have everything together and often times I think you look at the back office of these companies and how they’re keeping track of their next orders, and their finances. It’s actually kind of scary. So no, we don’t have anything fancy at this point.