Administration Pornography

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Your admin needs to support your vision (and valuation)

I love good administration. A structured set of documents, all lined up in identical folders with an online cloud mirror with everything scanned and backed up turns me on.

I inherited this love from the Navy, where it was called “staff work” and all junior officers took courses in it and were expected to have exemplary paperwork. Whilst an army marches on it’s stomach, it could be joked that a Navy sails on it’s paperwork. (Or the Navy sails on a sea of paperwork!)

Musing aside, having good administrative practices is vital if you want to be taken seriously in your business. Whilst a little chaos is expected during the early formulate days, eventually you’re going to need to keep things in order.

Now trust me on this one, it’s much easier to implement a process early rather than later. BlueChilli is a very lean organisation. Aside from staff and rent, we have very little in the way of overheads. Which is mandatory given our business model is to provide our services “at cost”, investing in companies for long term capital growth rather than short term profit margins. In order to be run lean, we “invested” in our processes and administration practices very early on – all of which is run by our kick arse Business Manager, Candace and business administrator Mary. The photo above is their business administration at work!

Recently, we went through complete company due diligence for our recent capital raise. In this audit, every piece of our company’s administration was scrutinised. From how we handle IP, to our accounting processes, finances, contract management, recruitment and HR practices – even background checks on key staff! As part of this, a whole checklist of due diligence was requested from us which resulted in a total of 586 documents taking up 210MB. And it only took one day to pull it all together. The reason – because we invested early in our administration.

This extends through to our accounts team, lead by our CFO Eric and managed by the awesome group at Krigsman Partners, who after enduring my crazy requests for structure developed an accounting process within BlueChilli that was so good that at the end of the due diligence process they were told by the investor: “This has never happened before, but your accounts were so good, we honestly don’t have any questions for you!”

The value of BlueChilli is in our team, our vision and our startups. But it’s our administration that gives investors the confidence that we know how to execute. Make sure you invest in your administration early on, it’s worth it.

And I’m really curious to see what traffic this provocative title gets!