For this edition of FinanciElle “Statements”, I had the opportunity to interview Merideth Schutter, Founder & President of PROtect – alert your circle.
PROtect, is a mobile app that acts as a personal security guard, it allows users to engage their global community to keep them safe and preserve independence – whether you’re a solo worker, student, working late, or on a date, it’s an easy to use safety solution.
Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?
I would say the hardest thing is the overall costs that I was initially not anticipating. I originally had a much smaller self financed budget when I developed the concept and was deep in R & D, but quickly realized in order to make PROtect a global success I was going to need more money in the bank. This lead to a very well received friends and family raise and this cash injection allowed me to reach my goals of bringing PROtect to market and work with some of the finest individuals in the business. I learnt a ton about business finance, reporting and bringing on investors.
Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?
Good question. It sounds simple, but it is so important. As soon as you start a business get a company credit card. Keep all business expenses separate and never mix business with personal expenses. Fortunately I was able to get on track pretty quick, but things get messy fast and once you bring on outside capital it is never an option to muddy the waters.
Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?
I am always keen to learn more about company evaluation and comparing results vs. targets and using forecasting to achieve your business goals. By using financial indicators one can evaluate how their company is performing and how it compares to other companies in their industry. Learning to be objective and work on your business instead of in your business. Understanding your end game and exit strategy and working backwards to achieve your goals.
Lastly, I would love to continue to learn about corporate taxes (as dry as it sounds). This is such an important topic to empower a business owner.