Keeping business and personal expenses separate from the beginning, keeping enough buffer amount so that it does not affect your mental health, and making the product market ready as a priority, are some of the key things to mind for startup entrepreneurs, said industry leaders at the recent edition of FinancialExpress.com’s ‘Manage Your Money’. The panellists were Naiyya Saggi, Co-founder, The Good Glamm Group; Priya Mohan, Partner, Venture Highway; and Radhika Gupta, MD & CEO, Edelweiss AMC.
Watch full conversation: Personal Finance for Startup Entrepreneurs
Plan living expenses, initial cash flow into the startup
Speaking about the planning of the initial cash flow while kickstarting a venture, Radhika Gupta, said, “Firstly, you should know the money you need to put into the business.” About using savings, Radhika Gupta recalled how she used around 95 per cent of her savings while starting off. “It is not something I would recommend,” she added. Radhika Gupta recommends parking the savings into more conservative instruments rather than volatile assets such as equity investments. She also recommended planning living expenses and using up savings for the startup venture to an extent where the pressure of lifestyle does not affect the founders’ mental health.
Where to spend money in the beginning, where not to spend
Talking about the most necessary expenses when starting the business venture, Priya Mohan suggested giving first priority to analysing how close the business is to being market ready. “The primary priority is knowing about these aspects, which in our investor lingo is called the product-market fit scenario. How much you know your customers, how ready your product is.. is something to focus on,” Priya Mohan said. “The money becomes the length of your leash. So what you need to do here with the money is to be able to experiment and get closest to the product-market fit scenario. Keep fixed expenses as low as possible,” she added.
How to allocate reserve funds when starting up
Naiyya Saggi explained the allocation of reserve funds to allocate to business and personal expenses. “Having between about a year to a year-and-a-half of basic coverage including your rentals and personal expenses is crucial to factor in,” Saggi said. In addition, Naiyya Saggi noted that having a health care cover for yourself and your family is also necessary. She further said that one must have these funds in a format that is easily accessible.