Ep 69 | Reforecasting to Move Your Organization Forward
So you know, when you're fundraising if you really want to have integrity behind that, you have to know your numbers and you, you it's more than just a dream, you really have to be able to go into documents and be able to say, you know, here's how money is going to be spent. Here's how we've mitigated risk, and all of that. – Lindsey Pate
Understanding your financials can help you prioritize what you need to do and how you can make adjustments. This way in times of crisis you can understand what you need to do, where you can cut expenses and how much time you have before your cashflow becomes tight. While this isn't directly a marketing podcast, it definitely helps in creating the space for you to understand how to continue to market to generate income. And when things are great, it can help you figure out how to scale and add in the staff, equipment, etc you need for the next phase of your organization.
In this episode you'll learn:
→ How understanding your financials helps you move quickly in times of crisis.
→ 3 step process to getting your financials in check
→ Use this framework to help you understand what your runway of cash looks like.
→ Questions to prep for with investors/donors
→ Don't be afraid of the nos.
Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways:
[8:43] When you have a financial model in place you can really make business decisions based on your projections. Understand what your monthly expenses are and proactively reach out to vendors and companies in times of crisis with a plan and a goal in mind.
[11:11] 3 steps to setting up your financials: #1 – look at historical data. #2 – plan for how you're going to scale and what expenses you'll need for that. #3 – create an excel document or a timeline to help you visually see where you money is going and what the priorities are.
[16:24] Understanding your burn rate will help you figure out how much cash you have and how long it will last you for. It will also help you pivot in times of crisis and make your plans work in a new way.
[26:50] Lindsey started basic. She googled questions investors asked and built out her portfolio that way so she could be prepped for what they needed. Get prepped with questions. Have your resources ready and don't be afraid to say, “I'll get back to you on that.”
[Guide] 9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise More Money Online
Think and Grow Rich
Co-Founder, Glass House Grown & Board President, Cascade Cannabis Association
9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise Money Online
Download our free guide to help you get online with your fundraising fast and reach your fundraising goals.
[INTRO] Hey there, welcome to another episode of the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. I'm Sami, your host and thankful that you're joining me today. So thank you for taking time to listen.
Today we are talking about financials. And I know that doesn't necessarily think or scream marketing right out the gate, but understanding your financials and especially re-forecasting and kind of planning ahead is super helpful and times like now. So with COVID with all the things, it's so hard to really understand what the future of your organization is going to look like. And having a pulse on your financials is a big piece of that.
And so I've brought Lindsay Pate, who's a dear friend of mine, I brought her on to this podcast because she has her own business that she's growing, fundraising for and scaling. And she also has a nonprofit that she is the president of the board for. And so she just brings a lot of perspective as far as what types of things to think about how to look at your numbers in order to make the right decisions for your business, in times of crisis, and then also just in general times, right. So it's a good practice just to put in place. And I I'm excited for you guys to hear this conversation and maybe take away some of the insights that she shares so that you can even use it to beef up your marketing to get in front of new audiences get in front of more audiences.
Lindsay Pate is a CEO and co-founder at GlassHouse Grown, which is an award-winning craft cannabis business in Central Oregon. She studied biology at Sonoma State University and was recognized for many contributions as a student leader in the cannabis space. She has also been recognized for her leadership by meeting with county planners, speaking at legislative public hearings to address the needs of cannabis producers and processors and participating in an exclusive marijuana Advisory Committee for Deschutes County. Lindsay's ability to turn ideas into action ultimately led to her becoming the President of Cascade Cannabis Association, a nonprofit organization focused on giving a voice to the legal cannabis community. Lindsay's passion for cannabis advocacy and science led her to be selected by Marijuana Venture Magazine for their annual 40 Under 40 feature.
There's so much good stuff that happens in this conversation, lots of things to think about actions to take ways to kind of prioritize where things are going. And I really I understand that this is not a traditional marketing podcast, but I do think that by really understanding your financials, understanding your projections can help you take things to the next level and open up more funds for marketing and branding. And I also love that Lindsay is not a financial professional. She has done a lot of this work on her own learned a lot on her own. And she's not going to speak a lot of jargon at you that you're not going to understand which I love. So, listen to this episode and let me know what you think.
Before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our new guide “9 Ways for Non-Profits to Make More Money Online.” With so much being done online fundraisers, your events are canceled. Now you need to reach out in new ways from email to social media. And we created this guide to give you nine different ways that you can increase your online fundraising and online awareness. So head on over to https://www.thefirstclick.net/fundraise. Download the guide and pick a couple steps to take in and kind of start to step outside the box and make things happen for your organization online. I really think you'll find a lot of value in it. So again, that's https://www.thefirstclick.net/fundraise So let's get into it.
[CANNED INTRODUCTION] You're listening to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.
Please join me in welcoming Lindsey Pate to the podcast. Lindsey, thank you for joining me.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, thanks for having me.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I love having friends of mine that I trust and love on my podcast. So I know we've been talking about this for a while. So I'm really excited to kind of talk with you about kind of your nonprofit world, your for-profit world and how everything kind of converges together with money.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, I mean, you know, this two different sort of beasts in terms of fundraising.
But there's a lot of similarities in terms of sort of the homework that we do in order to feel comfortable taking people's money regardless of whether it's a for-profit business or nonprofit.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No, totally. And I know that this podcast is typically about marketing. But if we don't understand our financials than we can't understand how we can properly market scale and grow our business. And so that's a lot about what we're gonna talk about today.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay. So I also want to start off by saying you are not a CPA, you are not a financial person by nature. And I I that's why I'm also really excited about this because I feel like a lot of us don't think that's our wheelhouse, or we can't understand any of that. So, before we kind of jump into some nitty-gritty, why don't you walk people through kind of why financials have become a part of your day to day and why that's kind of helped you in your business and growing your business.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, so essentially, for us for my for-profit, GlassHouse Grown, we're a craft cannabis farm in Central Oregon, we had to do some substantial fundraising in order to realize the infrastructure that we wanted to build. So you know, when you're fundraising if you really want to have integrity behind that, you have to know your numbers and you, you it's more than just a dream, you really have to be able to go into documents and be able to say, you know, here's how money is going to be spent. Here's how we've mitigated risk, and all of that. So that's what led me to get into finances and also start by saying, you know, when we first started fundraising, I had to make flashcards basically, with the language that investors use because embarrassingly enough, I did not know all of the words that I should know. And that just screams don't invest in me. So you know, from from the beginning, I started learning vocabulary.
And I will also say I have an incredible business partner, Craig, who is my brother in law, who is really great with Excel, has a knack for numbers. So and he doesn't have a background necessarily in finance. But together, he and I were able to kind of stumble through what it takes to competently close funds. And then I guess I would also add, having a background in science personally, helps me to because I'm very curious.
And so it's not fun to jump into numbers. But it is really cool. Like once once you know, it's very interesting because you realize how you can grow your business, where you have leaks, where you can trim fat, all of that good stuff.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, I think it's just great. And I'm thankful that we have somebody like you talking about this as opposed, honestly, as opposed to a CPA or a bookkeeper because, or somebody in economics or finance. I just feel like it. Anybody can do it. And you've had amazing success. You've had some wins some losses, but you've definitely figured it out. And I love that you have note cards, I think that's really smart to, to speak the language because in general, everything we do is a different language, right? Like in the cannabis industry, it's a different language and marketing. It's a different language of finance, and so understand that baseline. And if you can just understand that you get over so many hurdles, and can just move forward into the next phase. Yeah. So I think that's awesome.
So, we're talking obviously, about fundraising. And I love your perspective on both fundraising on the for-profit side, fundraising on the nonprofit side, we're also in an era of COVID, and all the things so everybody's world is kind of in a different place. And so I'm just curious kind of before we talk about some basics, like how has COVID or how do you feel like I understand your financials, Hi Jack, we got a little baby in the background, so we're gonna we might hear him once in a while, but how has like having your planning in place kind of really helped you navigate through all of these sort of crisis's quickly and make decisions?
[LINDSEY PATE] Well, here's what I will say when you have financial models that project that you understand as the business owner, whether you're for-profit or nonprofit. And you really know you know how to use them to your advantage. You know what the line items are on. A business owner or nonprofit like we will have a crisis happens and when we do have a crisis happen. If you love your business or your nonprofit, you definitely need to know what the bottom line is.
You know, what sacrifices can I make as a business owner not taking a salary for a month? You know, and being able to know exactly what money is owed, when things are tight or things have changed, allows you to react to a crisis in a way that, you know, is educated versus just waiting till the end of the month and realizing, oh my gosh, I haven't, you know, made good on some of these things and being able to be proactive and call your vendors call your health insurance providers and let them know, Hey, we're, you know, we're feeling this crisis, whether it's COVID or not. And we need a little bit of grace on this. So I think that's the big thing in terms of finances, with COVID is being able to communicate and plan ahead.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. And so for people that are kind of looking through their financial projections, what have you guys done or how do you do you? Do you take a look at those on a weekly basis, do you or, I mean, maybe we should just back up a step and just say, Okay, if you're a newer organization, or maybe a volunteer-based organization, maybe you don't even have financial projections in place. So maybe let's start there, like, how do you even start the process of taking a look at in a normal situation what your financial projections are?
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, so like we mentioned earlier, I am not a CPA. So I will tell you how we have done it.
Yeah, so I think it's kind of a three-step process. The first, I found really helpful is going back and looking at historical data. So there's two pieces to this one. If you're a business owner, or the person who maybe relies on a small salary from a nonprofit, you should download a year of your bank history and understand what are the minimum like what do you really need to survive? Because when things get tight, you're going to need to know what your bottom line is.
If you have historical data for your business, for example, and you're deciding, okay, I want to understand this better same thing download, whatever, at least a year. If you have less, that's fine. But what's nice about that is now you can identify, okay, here are monthly expenses here are, you know, annual expenses, here's an expense that happens every two years, so on and so forth. Because now you're able to, to take all that information and project it to say, Okay, now that I know historically, what I've needed to spend, now I can make a model that looks future and and basically, lets me know, you know, come January, I'm gonna have to pay for my DBA and that kind of thing. So that's kind of the first part of it is Look, look historically and use that information to inform your projections moving forward.
Moving forward, you can use that historical data, but you also really need to think what is going to be different. How is my business going to change? How do I want to grow it. So what milestones are there? And what expenses are there that I believe, you know, would occur because of that. And that's not easy. I'm a really visual person. So I actually like to make a timeline. Yeah, definitely. And just write it all out.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So like in step one, you're kind of just figuring out basic cash flow, like what do I actually need to cashflow my business? And in step two, you're kind of starting to go into a scale mode of, Okay, if I want to do more marketing, if I want to buy more infrastructure, if I need to get more product, like I'm going to need to ramp up to support that. Right? Is that what I'm hearing?
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, yep, exactly. Or I don't want to do my own bookkeeping anymore. So by you know, January 2021, I want to pay a part-time bookkeeper to come in once a month and, you know, make sure that everything is up to date. So yeah, and, and that in that place, you really have to visualize where you are. You have to ask yourself questions and the thing that I like to do the most is I like to say, Okay, I'm going to put myself so I'll use the example of our company. So I'll say, Okay, I'm in the greenhouse, the greenhouse is built. I have two employees, I have 100 plants in this room and 200 plants in that room, you know, what do I need? And I and I'll do that for various scenarios to then understand to really just put yourself in that space and think, what do I need? I need toilet paper. I need you know, like everything like what do you need to make this work?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah.
No, it's it's smart. And I think that also helps you then when you're figuring out what you you know, if you have to cut back then you've already sort of prioritized the expenses that are must-haves, the expenses that are nice to have and the expense expenses that are kind of luxury items.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, and if you want to get really fancy with it, you know, in Excel, you can utilize columns to kind of designate certain expenses, whether they're, you know, annual monthly, you can say what is necessary, what is luxuries, things like that. And now you're actually really quickly when things get challenging, you're really able to identify, okay, I can cut all of these things. Excel is incredible. You can have equations in there to make it really easy for yourself to make little adjustments and then look at it from a big picture.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So you obviously have your you've done your financial projections, and does that also help you to understand, okay, like, because you are, you know, fundraising for your business, and then fundraising for the nonprofit organization that you're in which we can talk a little bit more about here a minute. Does that also help you then figure out okay, in this time period of crisis, where things are, the world as a whole is different than what anybody could have anticipated? I now have x amount of space like I have three months where I know I'm okay before. I have to be in crisis mode or, you know, like, this is when I need to start to scale back, because based on historical data, this is what my income is going to look like.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, exactly. And that's something, you know, for us because we weren't in sales for quite some time. Being able to really project and say, here's my burn rate, this is how far it's gonna take me. So I better not wait, you know, a month to make my pitch deck. Right? I need to be I need to have made it three weeks ago. Right.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Right. So let's talk about Cascade Cannabis Association. Did I just say that right or wrong?
Yeah, Cascade Cannabis Association.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]So let's talk let's kind of talk about that for a second. As far as like, you know, you had all these plans for this year, you guys had kind of thought about really doubling down on events and kind of generating income in that way.
So having those projections for your nonprofit, what did that do? And how did that shift your guys' perspective and how you moved forward with your, your plans for the year?
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, well, you know, for us, we're a pretty small budgeted organization. So really, we rely on membership fees, sponsorship for the events that we have planned for this year. They were sponsored by Juniper Lab. And the main thing that we just had to do was, you know, communicate both to the event, the venue, um, that, you know, we're interested, but obviously, we can't put the event on and then to our sponsors to just you know, we're still moving forward, but we're delayed and also just letting our newsletter folks know, you know, we're not falling off the face of the earth but yeah, this was going to be the year events ironically, and now it is not.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Right. Well, and I think going back to what you said a lot earlier, like communication is key, whether it's talking to your audience or your vendors or your sponsors, it's all about open and honest communication so that you can find a win-win for everybody.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, cuz you know, in the nonprofit world, like, money matters quite a bit. And the relationships with the people that sponsor your events, like that matters a lot. And so, making sure that everybody is feeling like those dollars are well spent.
Because, you know, for events, you're putting deposits down and hold your space. So just making sure that everybody feels like that investment is being watched. But it's we're not just going to lose sight of it.
That's, I think the important thing and you know, like I mentioned, our nonprofit is a pretty small budget, but on a bigger scale. When you have people putting money in for the goodness of their heart, you know, maybe it's water conservation, and you have private donors coming in, and you kind of have something like cold that happened. You really have to communicate to those folks. Don't worry, here, we're still true to our mission. You know, we're filming, utilize these funds in the way that we said the word but you know, here's what has changed about things.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Mm hmm. Yeah. So are you kind of working through a period of Okay, I had my financial projections done. This is what you know, this is what we expected 2020 to look like. And, you know, in your case, it could be, there could be a whole host of things, right. It could be COVID. It could be you have some sort of disease come through your greenhouse. I mean, I'm not, that's not gonna happen. But I mean, like, there's all sorts of things that could happen. And so for you, is it like, we have these financial projections so that it's really easy for us to then communicate to our investors and communicate to those that participate with us to say, Okay, this is what happened. But because of this, we have a plan. And we can very quickly switch to that plan in order to still support, you know, maybe a percentage of that, or it might not be the whole thing, but this is what our plan is, this is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to tackle this. So you can go into problem-solving mode instead of just reactive crisis mode.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, and so I'm glad you brought that up, because I'll give you a really real example for us.
We have a production license, that's farming, we have a pending processing license, that is to turn flower into concentrates. And, unfortunately, OLCC was already pretty backed up in terms of those applications. When COVID came OLCCs kind of like you know, we're gonna pick a pause on this we were already slow, but now we're pausing. So we we have to communicate to our investors. You know, we gave you financial projections, you invested money. Well, now this has happened. And that was definitely a significant part of the revenue that we would have. Therefore, this is our plan moving forward.
And so, earlier I mentioned, look at your historical data. Use that to inform your projections. Think about where your business is going to be put yourself in the space, put yourself exactly where you want to be. Once you've done that, something that is incredibly helpful, it takes some, you know, magic in Excel a little time there. But if you can create a variables page, so that you can immediately make adjustments. So for example, we think we're going to make X amount of concentrates in 2021, for example, well, what happens if that is zero? And now our flour sales are double because we're no longer processing.
Now I also have a varial variable page to be able to adjust price per pound price per gram. In terms of concentrates, I can adjust yield. So Craig and I can sit in the office and run these scenarios and go, what happens if we get 50% of the yield we thought we were going to get, what happens if we get double? What happens if we want to pay our employees $2 an hour or more? What happens if we want to give people bonuses, we're able to do these adjustments in the office and then spit out a model that can represent different scenarios, because that's really what lets us plan for the future and help our investors to feel that we're not just shooting in the dark. But if any one of my investors wants to ask me, what would happen if if half of your crop failed? Because I don't know. power outage right? Right happens. I can basically within 24 hours, get back to somebody and let them know here's what that looks like. And if I haven't thought that through it it doesn't take that long to adjust in Excel to make some of these tweaks?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, it's not always a negative, right. I mean, there could be some organizations that, because of COVID, are actually seeing an increase in a surplus, because of the audience they serve, and you know, it could be, you know, health care type situations, or because of all of the racial inequality conversations that are having like there could be, it could be both ways, like you could all of a sudden find yourself not being able to support your audience, because you are, you're the people you serve, because you weren't expected to increase. So having those spreadsheets can help you in both ways.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, because if you find out, you know, I'm going to have to serve, I don't know 20% more veterans in the next three months. I know that I have three full-time staff that can serve my current output. Therefore, if I have you know a 20% increase in people we need to serve. I'm going to need to hire and train this many people. And furthermore, here's what it costs for me to onboard somebody.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. No, that's so good. So do you have really? Oh, go ahead.
[LINDSEY PATE] I was just gonna say and really, that kind of goes back to this idea of everyone's business is different. So getting a template for cash flow statement and all of these like p&l and things like that. That's a good start. But you really have to think about putting yourself in the space of where you are and what it means. What is that p&l mean for your business don't just, and a template because things are different for every single business
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I agree. And that's what I was gonna ask was, um, you know, your crisis management plan is gonna look very different for your business for the nonprofit you sit on and for every other organization because you know, we need to think about things outside of the pandemic and think about things like what if something happens with a board member that's a little bit scandalous? Or what if you're in a, in a pet business, and like humane society or something, and there's some disease that comes through your facility, like all of it, like there's all these things and you it's all unique to what you're doing. And so the financial projections can really help you pivot quickly and understand like where you need to move funds around to support that.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, and then going back to to the fact that whether it's for profit and your fundraising, or even more importantly, if it's nonprofit and your fundraising, the confidence in the folks funding your business, that is so key, and and personally for me not being a finance person. I I studied, you know, biology.
I'm not even a business person, by trade necessarily. So for me, I really had to know that the math was panning out that I had done due diligence on myself, maybe even more so than potential investors with you through diligence. And I would add the layer that in the world of nonprofit, you know, you are oftentimes going back to the same pool of people every single year to fundraise. So you really want to make sure that those people are confident that that your mission and your values, all of those things play strongly into making sure that you do have the cash flows you need, especially for nonprofit.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so let's talk about that for a second. So how was it that you learned, like, what to ask yourself or how to prepare yourself for the conversation like if you don't really know the questions that are going to come at you because that's just not the world you were living in initially? Like? What did it take for you to kind of learn that and how have you honed in? Or what tools? Have you used to kind of keep track of those questions that you can answer quickly?
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, so a couple things when I first started fundraising for our family's farm, I'm not even joking. I went online and I googled, like, you know, questions that investors asked.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I love that.
[LINDSEY PATE] I love that, you know, along with like, vocabulary and investment. So, you know, I would say I'd have my flashcards, right. And then I would have this list of like, 120 questions that you could get asked by a donor and I would no joke, I would go through those hundred and 20 questions. And in my head, I would know if I could respond to them. And it's funny because one of the questions was like, are you sure you're not leaving money on the table? And of course, I had to open a new tab and like Google, what does it mean?
Because, you know, there's a whole language culture behind investment. And I'm telling you, if you don't have confidence in it, it is possible you will not call it fun, because it's just a red flag, you know, they can smell the blood in the water.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. And that's confidence in not just what you're doing, like what your business or organization does, but also confidence that you're worth the investment individually.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, and you know, having having your mission statement, having a set of values. Pride is also really important when it comes to taking people's money because it's okay if you don't have the answer to everything. But if you have a good mission statement, and if you know what your values are, you can feel comfortable saying, You know what, I don't know the answer to that question. But here's the thing. One of the values in this organization is transparency. So just give me a week, I'm going to get the answer for you. And I so appreciate you asking this question because you know, it's opened up an opportunity for me to dive deeper into this business. So being able to have that foundation of what you really stand for, I think really helps in terms of the confidence piece.
And then obviously, mentoring, if I hadn't found good mentors, I also was able to get free pitch coaching through a EDCCO here locally. And that was incredibly valuable. Going back to the confidence piece and knowing how to speak and walk the walk.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Oh my gosh, that's so good. I love like that humble piece of just, we don't always have to have the answer. As long as we have enough of the infrastructure in place that we know we can find that answer quickly and knowing that investors and donors are honestly okay with that.
But when you don't have the foundational elements in place to get those answers correctly and quickly, that's when it kind of falls apart.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah,
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And then for those of you that are not in Central Oregon EDCCO is our economic development for Central Oregon. And so, you know, definitely reach out to those resources in your local community. Most areas have their economic development teams in place to help kind of build and grow. So look out for those resources as well.
Um, so I guess what else like I know that pitching for you is a big thing. I know that fundraising for you is a big thing. And what else has been like a great tool, like a tool in your toolbox, I guess or support for you, and feeling that confidence to go in and kind of ask for those dollars and kind of set yourself apart from other people in your field.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, so a while back, it was suggested to me to read the book, Think and Grow Rich. Okay. And, you know, I come from a science background, so before I would hear people talk about affirmations, and I'm kind of like, you know, and, ah, let's be real about this, I now have in my project management software every single day, a set of affirmations that I say to myself out loud or in my head, you know, but that has honestly brought a lot of confidence. And sometimes when things got really hard for us, I would drive across the field of our property, pull over and look at our property and say, I see the greenhouse. It's right there. I see it. It's tan is beautiful. It's ginormous. It's amazing.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, you did that.
[LINDSEY PATE] Well, definitely. Yeah. So it's putting it out there and saying to yourself, I will close this fundraising round. I am worth every dollar raised. My company my organization is worth every dollar raised. You know, we, we are doing good work, we will continue to do good work like reaffirming to yourself, that ultimately gives you confidence later, when someone does put you in the hot seat, and they're asking you a lot of questions, because I really think most people are investing, yeah, in the vision in the mission, but really, it's the execution which they're investing in people. And that's incredibly true in the nonprofit world.
So it's that if you're not reminding yourself why you're doing this, you you may not be able to speak that very well to the people that are funding it.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And have you also worked on mindset and affirmation stuff around I know this is kind of getting a little bit away from financial stuff. But have you also worked on that where if people say no or they choose not to fund with you that it doesn't necessarily mean that your organization is bad or you did a bad job, but it's that they just weren't the right fit for your like, it just didn't align.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, and the thing that I think, you know, when a door closes another one theoretically open somewhere in the universe and so, one asking that person, why was this not a good fit? Um, because there's two reasons to do that one, you may find out that there's something you can fix that there's something you can improve upon. So that's great. But the other thing is, maybe they say, you know what, you haven't raised enough money. I don't really feel comfortable being you know, an early investor in this. I just not ready you're just not far enough along well, okay. Throw that name and your project management software to remind you to follow up with them when you are further along, because that was why it didn't work for them and they may be a great ally moving forward.
Furthermore, they may say, you know what, COVID just hit. It's really not a good time for me. Um, and you go, okay, totally understandable. Well, you know, anybody who maybe is a good fit, you know, if COVID is why you're not wanting to invest in this or support this organization, do you know somebody who's in a different position? Who can?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, or could I follow up with you in three months, six months time, as things kind of clear up?
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, so I think, you know, hearing know what's going to happen, and especially with fundraising, there's, I think you just have to assume that you're going to knock on a certain number of doors, and they're either just not going to open, not respond. And you just have to know that going into it. Um, and, you know, you don't want to waste your time. You don't want to waste someone else's time just as much as yours. So, if someone says, No, don't take it personally, you just want to you want to be inquisitive. You want to find out why it wasn't a good fit and how you can work with that moving forward.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]Well, that's another data projection right for your financial projections. If you if you reach out to 15 companies You know, on average, you close three of them like, and as you project into, like what you need to do in order to hit your goals, you know how many, like I gotta hit 30 companies in order to hit this number because on average, we close this percentage and we close them at this dollar amount. So that's all Yeah, playing into your historical data.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, that's really helpful. And then I'll also just throw this out there because I can't tell you how many times I've had this in my mind. There's that scene in Pretty Woman where she goes back into the store with her bag of goodies. And she goes, You work on commission them to, you know, big mistakes, I guess, tell you how many times when things got tough fundraising, but I would like visualize that scene and think you know what, it's okay. One day, one day, I'm gonna pull the pretty, you know, I'm gonna pull the Pretty Woman move and that that organization or that venture capital fund is going to look back and go, bi mistake.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]I love that so much. That's so good. That is, so good. And it's so true. And I also think about how many times have you like, just the collective right? You reach out to somebody and it doesn't work out. And then six months, eight months, nine months, three years down the road, all of a sudden, out of the blue, that organization shows up again, and says, you know, we I remember that conversation we had with you a while back. We weren't ready. We're ready now. And we you made a big impact based off of how prepared you were, how confident were you were like your mission, blah, blah. So even if it's a no right now, like being prepared and prepped for those conversations can still leave a lasting impact.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, I mean, another thing too, is, maybe they weren't a good fit for you. Because going back to that whole morals and values and mission statement, I can look back on some of the conversations I've had and realize that some of the nos that we got that was tempting, you know, tempting offers that we ultimately turned down its because it wasn't in line with where we wanted to take things and what our values were. And that's important too, that with fundraising, you can feel like you're in a hard spot, you know that you're about to run out of money because you did your financial projections. So you have to know what is it worth to you? Yeah.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No, it's so true.
And how, how have you when you've had your back against the wall, even if you had mean like, I know that you've had things that you've said no to and really hard times, like, what does that feel like? Like, how do you make that gut choice knowing that it could ultimately be a very serious detriment to your business?
[LINDSEY PATE] It just, I mean, a reaction. Yeah. I think for us, like, you know, our family's farm, the founders are myself, my husband and my brother in law. And there have been times where, you know, Chris and I my husband were like, Ah, you know, we're not getting any younger, like, we feel you know that you know, we want to have a baby. And, you know, thank god Craig was there at times to say, guys, like we stand for craft cannabis, we stand for really excellent product. And I just don't think that this is going to work. If we sell out right now, having the support of your team and making sure everybody's on the same page, because sometimes it's going to feel really tempting. And you need to have the people your tribe around you to remind you why you were here in the first place.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, so I love it. So it's like your financial projections to give you the cash flow. And then you're really core mission vision statement to center you into making those decisions that are right for the long term of the organization. And then having that little bit of woowoo there, right where you're like the doors gonna open, it's gonna open. All of them together.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, and I mean, if you're a solo entrepreneur, too, you know, maybe you need to have like a good board of advisors or a good group of people that can kind of keep you to your true north?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Mm hmm. Yeah. So okay, so let's bring this all kind of back for full circle. And so kind of the way that you have been able to be successful and not to minimize it to just this because I know it's so much more than this. But one of the big contributing factors has been really understanding what your history is and your financials, where you're going, what your long term goals are pulling that all together to see big picture so that you can make the right decisions for your business in times of crisis and in times of stability, and then having the confidence to kind of trust in that and that mission to push your business forward. Is that the oversimplified version?
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, and I think the big point that has really helped us specifically with projections and financials is that ability for those models to be dynamic by having that variables page that ties into your, your cash flows, your p&l, all of that stuff, because that is really what lets you pivot when the crisis is going to hit.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So if somebody's wanting to geek out on Excel and just doesn't know how, like, Where did you learn how to kind of create all these formulas and all of these dynamic spreadsheets?
[LINDSEY PATE] Well, I will say Craig was definitely the mastermind behind the Excel sheets. So he did most of the input. And I mean, I would say, if you're not great in Excel, there's a lot of online support you can get these days. I personally, I call it Excel, it's like calling a tissue-like tissues.
Like calling a tissue Kleenex, but I actually use Google Docs. Yep, I find it to be really idiot-proof and it's very collaborative. So, you know, I can be in my home and I can call Craig at 9pm and say, Hey, get on the sheet with me. You know, let's talk through this, whatever it is. So just using online resources and really being inquisitive.
I'm not great at math, like Advanced Math. But for financial, you don't necessarily need super-duper Advanced Math. Yeah. You know, you need you need multiplication, addition, subtraction, maybe some division here and there. But for the most part, it's pretty simple math. And, you know, being able to just think ahead of time, how do I want this model to work dynamically, we constantly asked ourselves that, how do we make this dynamic every time we make changes to it, and also just being organized when you make copies of things – pop a date on there so that you can remember why you did things if you're going to make a change to a certain cell. There's a way to put a comment in there. So put a comment like adjusted thiss because of this, because yeah, three months later, you're gonna look back and go. Why don't we do that?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]Yeah, totally. Yes. Yes.
I reconcile bank statements for a client. And it's like, a week ago. They're like, what was that? I don't remember. So yeah, notes are key.
[LINDSEY PATE]Yeah. I mean, you can get like our financial models at this point or like, multiple, multiple sheets. I mean, they are really intense. So being able to track why you're doing things.
But I really feel like you know, going back to your business's unique, so like, starting with a template is great. And it really comes down to it. You know, my business is totally different from from your business, Sami, and yeah, and my model, I promise you would never work for your business. So templates. Good. But no, it's just a starting point.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]Yeah, I love it. So start with Excel. Just start to put some historical data in there start to just pay attention to your expenses so that you know what your cash flow is going to be. Pay attention to your income.
Yeah, I just think it's a super, super important cop come, oh my gosh, super important conversation to have with your team so that you can pivot quickly, and you don't get into a situation where you can't provide those services to the people that really need it.
Yeah. Yeah. I love it.
[LINSEY PATE] Well, the good news, too, you can start this and then have a professional, go ahead and dive into it too. It doesn't just have to be what we did where, you know, we really DIY everything we're very bootstrap, like, you can just start to do the homework and then let let the CPA then take over but at least you've started it at least you've really thought through and said here's the variables I think we need to focus on help me turn this into a model.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] That's such a good point because nobody knows your business or cares about your business as much as you do. So they can't interpret data in the same way you do.
Anything else you want to mention about financial projections? Otherwise? I mean, how can people kind of find out more about Glass House Grown and and the Cascade Cannabis ASsociation
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah. Well, I mean, I think the main thing I would say about projections is, you know, I don't love doing bookkeeping, I don't, I don't love by any means doing any of it. However, it is like if you can have a curious mindset to it and be able to tell yourself, yeah, like, this is sort of like taking the trash out, like it has to happen, you know, furthermore, like, I now know my business so much better because of doing that. And it does get exciting because that is how you're going to grow your business. So have a sense of curiosity behind it. So it's not just this mundane task. For sure, I think is that the mindset is really important.
And then in terms of learning more about some of the things I'm involved with, you know, if you are interested in supporting the legal cannabis space, definitely check out Cascade Cannabis Association. Even if you're not a local and you just want to support, you know, good folks doing good work, definitely check out our website. You can just google Cascade Candidates Association, maybe Central Oregon and there it will pop up right away.
And then in terms of our company, GlassHouse, if you're not in the state of Oregon, I'm sorry, we as a country are not progressive enough for you to be able to get ahold of our product. But if you are in Oregon, and you are interested in some really good top shelf, craft cannabis, go ahead and Google Glass House Grown Oregon and you can learn all about what we're doing.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And we will link up all of that in the show notes and hopefully, you know, as the months and months go on, that will change and you'll be able to support more people outside of Oregon.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, let's hope so?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, I so appreciate you coming and talking about financials. I just love your perspective on all of it. Especially because you're not a financial person. I think it's so good for us to kind of feel comfortable with numbers. It's a scary thing. So, I know it's something I'm working on all the time mentally, to like be okay with numbers and and work through it. So thank you for sharing your perspective. I really appreciate it.
[LINDSEY PATE] Yeah, I'm cool. Thank you so much for having me.
[CONCLUSION] Big shout out to Lindsey for joining me on this episode. I you know, am definitely one who avoids financials, and I learned a lot from her as well as we had this conversation. I hope you did as well. So, head on over to https://www.thefirstclick.net/podcast for all of the show notes and additional resources that we can share with you. And I hope you'll subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss an episode and we'll see you in the next one.