Strategically Managing your Cash Flow with Dryrun’s Blaine Bertsch

November 12, 2020

Creative cash flow solutions.

Blaine Bertsch is the Co-Founder and CEO of Dry Run Cash Flow Management Software.

Dry Run is a cash flow management tool that offers a ton of flexibility. They work well with tricky situations and can help in complex money issues that give entrepreneurs a big headache. In this episode we talk about cash flow solutions and the tools Dry Run has.

Learn more about the cash flow solutions offered by Dry run and more in this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on   Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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[toggle title='Read the Transcript' state=‘closed’ icons=‘font awesome-plus/font awesome-minus’ margin_top=‘20’ margin_bottom=‘20’]

Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. Stick around to the end of the show; we'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.

And with us right now, we've got the co founder and CEO of Dry Run Blaine Bertsch playing. Thank you so much for joining us.

Oh, well, thank you so much for having me. I'm been looking forward to this conversation for a while.

Yeah, you know, and I'm really, really excited to talk about driving because, again, it's a very topical subject, we're going to talk about cash flow, which I tell you is, it's something I hear something and, you know, private conversations I have with business owners, you know, they're you know, it's interesting, and I've heard this said, and I'm sure you have a lot of experience with this. When times are good, and when times are bad. Cash Flow almost always seems to be an issue.

Yeah, absolutely. It's, it's a casual topical for, especially for some industries more than others, but it's topical all the time. And, and can be challenging, even with a high growth business. So it's not just during during tough times, you always have to have that cash coming in what you know, you can be highly profitable, and you can literally die off of a cash flow. Cash Flow crunch.

Yeah. So can you just share an overview of what Dry Run is, and the website, I should say, So you get for those who are listening, you can follow along?

Yeah, I appreciate that. I always love people direct and direct it over to our website, where you can learn more, but Dry Run, it's a cash flow management tool. We're a little different than a lot of other products on the market, we automate a whole lot. But we also offer a really high level of flexibility. What that means is we deal really well with volatility and tricky situations. So we're, you know, we're not as much sort of the reporting tool and here's how things are going. We're very much we I'm over $300,000 from six different clients, that's all over do. Plus, I know, this contractor this and they got timing issues, and it's that messiness, that we actually can really help bring clarity to we keep it really simple. And we deal with those tricky things like multi location, multi currency, all these things that give, you know, basically headaches to entrepreneurs, we do really well with it. And we just I'm not sure why we picked up that fight. But we picked up the fight to help people with the really tricky stuff.

What would be some maybe case stories or case uses of clients who like, wow, once we got this all plugged in, like they may be just accounting on on QuickBooks and you know, that sort of thing. But they just don't necessarily have the clarity that you'd have if you had like, say, a CFO doing this work for you.

Yeah, exactly. So we have a lot of CFOs using dry run a lot of si controllers in house finance staff, but we also have a lot of just owners, entrepreneurs that are using dry run on their own. So we have, we can serve a lot of different sizes of businesses. But the part where we really excel well is if your business over a million a year annual revenue, and you get really tricky side, we deal with all of that. And like a great example, in one of our clients, they have four global locations, they deal with four different currencies. And they were spending the first part of their week, basically building out a cash flow forecast for each location. And then they were doing currency conversion. And then they were finally sitting down with and consolidated it so they can Okay, here's how the business is doing overall, then they would sit down with management and they would start to, you know, deconstruct, okay, what's going on over in the UK? How do we deal with this? What's going on the US? How do we deal with those guys, these guys are growing, these guys are struggling. With dry run, they basically plugged it in. I think most locations using QuickBooks Online when I was using zero, we just use it grab it all. We would pull it in build the forecast do their live currency conversion and consolidation is about five minutes. And so literally, they reallocated a staff member and they in early in the week. Now they're talking with management and they're coming up with what if scenarios and planning. They're talking about how to move the business forward, not updating spreadsheets. So that's so that's an example of a really complicated situation. But of course, we have businesses that are using us that are you know, much smaller, having a lot of success with us as well. Yeah.

Say for example, like an agency and they're providing professional services, maybe web design or, you know, SEO or you know, maybe it's maybe it's more project based, maybe it's a little bit more service based, like how would they use dry run?

Well, and it's funny because That's, that's exactly where I came from. So it's, I had an agency and and I learned about cash flow in 2009. Up till then we were just kind of, you know, flying along doing well and everything else. And I had to learn about cash flow when when we got hit with the recession. And that was that was that when you're running a project based business and you've got a bunch of invoices out there, and and at that point, some were never going to come in, we weren't going to get paid for some of them because you know, businesses failed. We were our clients, you know, their budgets were getting slammed shut. So now we have an issue with who owes us money. The due date is relevant by now. It's when do we think the cash is going to come in? Who do we owe money to? And then our sales pipeline, and that's nothing dry one does really well, we we integrate with pipe drive, you can actually build out sales pipelines, because we always say, we love it.

We live on pipe drive.

Yeah, soda, we we love it, we use it for for, you know, even I even track investors with pipe drive. So it's a it's a terrific, a terrific product. And, and so that was really, from my experience was first getting control of the cash flow, and then starting to look at how do we build some discipline into a sales pipeline, and understand when we believe that cash is going to come in when these jobs are going to close? And when it's going to turn into cash and help us you know, frankly, make sure we're making payroll, making our rent and everything else. Yeah.

For someone who is maybe in the really earlier stages of business, and they don't they think all their cash flow issues are going to happen at the beginning. Can you can you give us the kind of a 101?

Yeah, well, you know, it's it. timing issues are one of the biggest one of the biggest things, of course, with cash flow. So it's the inflows and outflows of cash that can start on day one. But I'll tell you that we have businesses, that multimillion dollar businesses, and the amount of times I've heard from the CFO say, is just another zero, we're talking $50 million business, it's just another zero, it means that the the the money owed is just bigger than money they owe is just bigger, it just compounds the issues. But the problems are still the same from if you're if you're starting your first business, and you're gonna make 50 grand or hundred grand this year, all the way through to multi million dollar businesses. It's the timing of those inflows and outflows of cash, especially when they're transaction. So it's not, it's not lots of little transactions, like a coffee shop, you know, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, it's I sent out an invoice for 120,000. It's net 30. We're at 67 days right now. And the guy won't answer the phone. That's an issue and you got to be able to figure out, what's what's going to happen. What if these guys fail? Right now more than ever, we were seeing that happen a lot where money is just outstanding, and it's not coming in. And so businesses are trying to figure out how am I going to deal with this? I have money I owe, how am I going to deal with this and it, it helps you plan it helps you deal with your operations that help you get on the phone with the right people, talk with the right people and figure out how you're going to carry forward. So it's going from data to operations to tasks that can help you move your business forward.

Yeah. So Blaine, tell me a little bit more about the the backstory, the history or like how dry run came to be?

Yeah, so that was a, as I mentioned, we were going through 2008 2009, the recession there. I realized I had no idea what was going on in our business. And so I pulled out spreadsheets, and I started to figure out what's our cash flow look like? What's our sales pipeline look like? And but once I brought discipline in, and I understood, I could make decisions, I could, we could spend our time in the right places at the right time, we could smooth out our our production, our sales pipeline, smooth out our cash flow. And we rebounded really quickly. And by I think 2011, we had our biggest year, I sold the business in 2012. And at that point, I just sort of kept coming back to this cash flow issue and how important it was to understand where we were headed to make informed decisions. And the only option I had at that time was basically spreadsheets, there was nothing that really worked. And so, you know, I always say I bought 50 cups of coffee for 50 entrepreneurs that have been around long enough that all my friends are entrepreneurs, you know, and just ask people, how did you how did you manage your way through and it was either, you know, spreadsheets, and it was you know, spreadsheets were called everything under the sun, you know, Frankenstein, they grow, they get really unwieldy, it's really difficult to deal with. Or they just flew by the seat of their pants. And so I finally thought, you know what, we're gonna tackle this. And so after doing a quick prototype and getting some good feedback from that, brought in my co founder, we released dry run in 2016. And by 2017, we were taught 10 new app with Intuit, we were taught 32 FinTech app in Canada. We were In a ICP accelerator in 2019, world's largest CPE organization, so people recognize cash flow is a big issue. And we just have a scheme that is really helps with the fundamentals, with operations and with the messiness. And we, like I said, we automate, but we give people control, because it's there, there's so many things that, you know, like, right now, if you're looking at cash flow, and you're, and you're looking at what AI is telling you, it's probably going to be off because it couldn't predict what's happening right now. And, and that's where you have to have some people have to be involved. That's where a CFO has knowledge and understanding, and there's information that they have access to a management team had access to, it's not in the system, right? So they need to be able to bring that to the to the table.

You know, it's, you know, we have a V CFO now, and I got to tell you that, you know, the, the decisions that the insight that they are able to bring based on looking at cash flow, it really helps us make more educated decisions. I remember, you know, one time we were talking about, you know, why is just so critical to to have a CFO, because otherwise, how are you making all your decisions, you're basing it on gut. That's not, that's not always the best, you know, what other than that, it's like a magic eight ball and some surf berries. I mean, we need data, and, you know, and data, you know, being able to project and look ahead and say, oh, potential trouble spot here, you should plan for that. Whether that's having access to capital, whether that's like, Guys, we really need to take action to shorten sales cycles, we need to take action to shorten, shorten, you know, input, whatever it might be right to proactively address things, or, you know, you know, being able to take a look at your profit margin, when Well, of course, we're charging $5,000 for this was wildly profitable. Are you sure about that? These are, like, again, I think early, early, early in business, you can kind of get away with being sloppy on that. But as you start business adulting, and you don't get this stuff figured out, you could be in big trouble. And it's in fact, the business mastery of Tony Robbins, I know, he talks a bit quite a bit about this, you hit the adolescent phase in business. And that's when you start going from, you know, kind of a solo operation, maybe a handful of assistance. Now you start like getting a little bit serious. He points out, like adolescent phase, get ready, cuz he, you might think with the increase in business, you're gonna be swimming in cash. Mm hmm. Now, when you're growing like that, you're gonna have, you're gonna have all these little things, you'll be sucking this cash left and right, sorry to kind of geek out on this subject. But to my friends, who are not yet at the adolescent phase, hear me now believe me twice.

Absolutely, it's, it's. And it really, as a company grows, it hits every entrepreneur. And there's a point where like, I still remember a point where you wake up one day and you realize, wow, I don't know if I'm personally making much more money, but the risks are has gone up and the amount of money coming in and the it's just, everything's elevated and elevated, elevated, and then you're trying to go let's bring some discipline in to make sure that the business is healthy, it's sustainable, and that, that as an entrepreneur, you can you can benefit from it as well. And, you know, one of the examples I use, sort of going back to why you know, how important it is, is always say, it's like stepping out in the street in front of a bus. Mm hmm. If that bus is right on top of you, like you're done, you're schmuck. But if that bus is five blocks away, now, you got all kinds of options. On the streets, I go back to it, what do I wave them down? That's like cash flow. So when people say, Well, I don't know, you know, Why, what's the benefit of managing your cash flow and projecting that even though it's not gonna be 100%, right? Is it it gives you time, it gives you options, and you can you can talk with people, you can adjust things. When you're in that situation, you start seeing all the options you have. But if it hits you and you're out of cash by Friday, the banker isn't coming to your rescue. Oh, no, no, no, no, you don't want to go to the bank. You don't want to ask lenders for money when you need money. Exactly. Exactly. That

is not the time to ask for money or an extension of, you know, call, you know, let alone and you're like, I'm on a deadline. Yeah. Then you run into situations you know, the payday lender, you know, but you know, modern day payday lenders for business, you know, the some of those guys are, oh, such crooks, such crooks, you know, and, and but unfortunately business you know, that poor planning. They say, Well, it looks like I got no other solutions other than this piece of junk mail that I got last week. I have to do this. I've more I've talked to some business owners have gotten themselves in big trouble.

Oh, yeah, it's it's you started getting you started. You kill your profit and Yep. And you know, casually killing your business faster than anything else guarantees, yes. But if you're not profitable, it's like death by 1000 cuts, it's common, it's common, and you have to work on both. But first get that cash under control, because that's getting hit by the bus that will kill you so quickly.

Yeah, yeah. You know, one thing that you have on driver I'm really curious about this, too, is, um, training and consulting. Can you tell me about how? And that's the first question I asked, When I said, dry run, I know your product, I actually have your product, I got in on a kind of a launch deal. So I've got access that I'm so excited to talk with you now. But I can tell you right now, I would love to, I would love to get my, you know, my operations, my gal that runs all our payroll and everything like that love to get her and I do like a training class. And then, you know, it could be you know, let's have a session with consulting you someone that can help us on the consulting end, and help us figure out what goes where?

Yeah, yeah. And we have, we have sort of a range of services. And they've been honestly, they've been evolving really quickly during the sort of COVID directions that we're in, because it's changed so much, and so fast. And so we've got anything from a lot of webinars, a lot of education webinars, and in fact, we're, I'm on a lot like, invited to actually host a lot of webinars as well right now, because education of the space is so critical, all the way through to custom consulting, one on one, and, and sort of everything in between. So we can come up with those custom packages. We also have low cost webinars and some free webinars, and a lot of resources. We're, we're really passionate about making sure we're educating business owners as much as we possibly can. And, you know, in fact, I wrote a book, I don't know if you saw my book on our website, I've got a copyright here. pandemic cash flow. Wow. And I've got to tell you, when did you write down like, 18? Yeah, it's Well, before the pandemic, Oh, my gosh. And it's just, it's kind of funny, because at that point, we're looking at cash flow, of course, is a global pandemic for businesses that are really struggling with it. Now, people see the title, and I think they thought I just watched it last week. Yeah, right. There's old, but holy cow. Yeah. And we look at, like, like I wrote about just the real fundamentals, I just realized nobody's actually just taken a start from scratch, understanding from the entrepreneur on cash flow, and, and how you start to manage it and get a handle on things. And so you know, I wrote a book about that. And our entire team is, every one of us is really committed to education and to helping people understand. So that, you know, if they use dry run, we want them to use it effectively. But most importantly, we want them to understand how to manage their cash flow, no matter how they do it, and be able to move their business forward.

Alright, so someone's listen to our conversation. And they're like, okay, I like this. It looks like you have some, some good, you have like webinars available, or if someone wants to, like, I just want to see like a walkthrough or like, you know, if you've got like anything educational, a little bit more long form that we could send folks to?

Well, if they go to dry, they can actually sign up for for basically, for a demo meet with one of our staff, if you're looking for a quick walkthrough, we have a 30 day free trial. So you can actually just re sign up for a trial. And there's an automated walkthrough and you can still reach out to our staff. And then we have a lot of resources, even on our blog, and we can direct you to some resources for for some of our videos, we have a Vimeo channel, we've got you know, I just released a video called state of the app that we release every month. That is, here's kind of an overview of dry run. And here's some of the the latest things that are that are happening in dry run. So another great thing to do is sign up for our newsletter, you can sign up for a newsletter at dry slash newsletter, right on the website there. And that way we can you can just you know, once a month to get a newsletter and it's gonna tell you a little bit about what's new and dry run and also just what's new, and you know, kind of the business world as well.

Wow. All right. I love it Blaine Bertsch, you're the co founder and CEO. Thank you so much for joining us. This is really really great. Again, cash flow is king, my friends. Dry Runs a great, great, great tool. So thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you so much. I really enjoyed the conversation.

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