Why You Need a World Class Finance Department In Your Young Cannabis Company
We all know that startups can be crazy and things happen at breakneck speed. At Hifi, we did a great job of growing the product, building the brand and completing all the planning, preparation and execution it took to raise the capital to grow. Once that was complete, I needed to make sure that we hadn't made too many mistakes, or missed too many details as we rocketed along making deals and building our business. It quickly became clear that we needed strong financial and accounting expertise to navigate the process of documenting everything we had done to date and everything we were planning to do in the future. I learned that hiring a top notch CFO, either outsourced and part time, or full time as in our case, is a critical aspect of long term success in a young cannabis company. The biggest mistakes you will make are the ones that will make your company look compromised or ill-managed for future investors or potential buyers. What might cost you a few thousand dollars to get right today could cost you a few million dollars in lost valuation in the future, and the complexity of financial management in cannabis is not something that most of us are equipped for.
You might think you can’t afford a CFO. Actually a part-time CFO who oversees an accounting staff or a bookkeeper, will cost much less than a full time Controller or Accounting Supervisor, and add much more value to the business. Also, a really good CFO can do much more than just oversee your accounting and bookkeeping. They can ensure that you have the best software package for your business and help you integrate your tracking and compliance with your QuickBooks or other accounting software. They will also add a huge amount of legitimacy to your team and, frankly, help you sleep at night knowing that you are properly protecting your founders and investors, and buttoned up in relation to the IRS.
We were lucky to find Andrew Hunzicker. His background was a perfect fit for our stage and our needs and, more importantly, he was genuinely excited about our company and our vision. He, like a lot of other highly qualified service professionals, was looking for an opportunity in an exciting emerging market and we, like most cannabis startups, desperately needed professional level oversight as we looked ahead at future growth and the possibility of additional rounds of fundraising. We wanted the right skills and the right fit with our team. Someone who could be flexible, roll their sleeves up and become as obsessed with our young venture as we are.
Now there is one more person in the world who wakes up at 3am thinking about Hifi and how to tackle the myriad of challenges and opportunities we face every day in this incredible exciting new industry.