DownApp’s Colin Hodge – “Advice on managing your finances from entrepreneurs”

I’ve built startups as a solo founder, including the viral Bang With Friends / DOWN dating app []where our rapid marketing success resulted in our app with millions of users, run only by me and a part-time team of remote control Developers – on a tight budget of <$10,000!

Throughout my journey to make DOWN App the best hookup app in the world, from its inception, through its initial rapid growth, a successful company sale, buyback and now rapid growth again, I have carefully managed the finances to support myself meet the moment.

In times of struggle and success

In times of stress, you can quickly downgrade to a minimal team, save money, and keep only the people you can’t cover the 60% of tasks that are absolutely necessary to keep things running. I majored in computer science and quickly got into organic marketing during our bad days. So when I needed to save our entry fee, I got into marketing, backend development, and app development! Leaning on a former employee and friend who occasionally provided me with design help that I purposely kept to a minimum, I ran the company barebones with a laser focus on reaching our next milestones.

So don’t be afraid to bet on yourself and call in some favors to take your startup to the next level! Necessity is the mother of invention, so see what you can do when your back is against the wall.

During a period of strong revenue, I built the team with two goals: freeing up my time where I can make a greater impact and bringing in professionals who can handle their field better than me. When planning positions and salaries, I try to allow for a 30% buffer for any drop in sales or cost increases.

Extend your runway

As a startup or small business, take advantage of every grant you can! A good rule of thumb is if you want to pay for a service, look for a “startup program” they may run and provide significant credit – or check with their competitors. This lengthened our runway significantly as we hopped around from each provider until we found the one that suited us best.

Check with startup accelerators (both online and local), startup groups, and VC firms to see what programs they partner with so you can make those huge savings. AWS and Azure both have generous programs like this one, as well as analytics platforms like Amplitude and many other services you’re likely to need.

Make your accounting and finance free: We’ve been using WaveApp for the longest time to manage our books and generate reports on where we’re spending.

Pro tip: Set up alerts on your account for new vendors or large transactions through your accounting software or bank accounts.

Think globally

Finally, use global arbitrage to minimize your costs and understand where you can save money. I’ve traveled the world mentoring startups through my growth consulting services, focusing on organic growth strategies using ASO, SEO, product growth, growth marketing and more (

Through these experiences I have learned that you can salvage your startup’s finances by tapping into the global market for services and talent in marketing, design, development and just about anything. For example, Ukraine and Taiwan are great for finding developers, while Brazil, Indonesia, and the Philippines are great for finding different types of marketers.

The same SaaS service that costs an arm and a leg in the US may still be free in other regions or have suitable competitors with lower prices. Increase flexibility in sourcing talent and services to save crucial money for your business! DownApp’s Colin Hodge – “Advice on managing your finances from entrepreneurs”

Fry Electronics Team

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