For my inaugural FinanciElle “Statements” interview, I had the opportunity to talk with Jennifer Mackinnon, CEO of Fenix Solutions, an Ottawa based web software firm specializing in enterprise application development for those companies looking to leverage the opportunities offered by the web, including: automation, revenue generation, consolidation of online systems, workflow automation, e-commerce and enterprise Drupal applications.
Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?
Jennifer: Cash flow is everything.
If you don’t manage your company in a fiscally responsible manner, you won’t have the money to see you through tight times, because there will be tight times. You must be “in business” in order to take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Many businesses operate without a fiscally responsible mindset and then go out of business.
I recommend operating in a manner that sustains the company over the long-term.
Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?
Jennifer: Although I knew how to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, other “practical” aspects of running the financial side of the business felt unknown to me, things like: payroll, HST taxes, payroll taxes, EHT etc. Find an excellent bookkeeper and accountant from day one who will navigate that for you, so you can focus on the business.
Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?
Jennifer: I have an interest in two areas:
- learning more about offering equity/shares as an incentive for employees/possible partners
- learning more about future exit strategies I can employ to allow me to benefit from the value I have built in the company, through a buy-out or similar arrangement
Jennifer is also the founder of the online publication, Ottawa Women of Wonder.