How Float Brings Ensoul Control In An Unpredictable Industry

Mike Lander is a director of Ensoul, a luxury architectural design services firm operating in London and the home counties that marries intelligent architecture with beautiful design to create bespoke living spaces.

Mike Lander, director of Ensoul and Float user

The business was started three years ago by Mike, his wife Vicki and their friend Philip Rogerson who combined their backgrounds in architecture, design, project management and finance to form a truly exceptional business. Mike explains the challenges facing project sales based businesses and how Ensoul are navigating these, thanks to Float.

As with any project based business, Mike says Ensoul’s revenue streams can be lumpy, which has reinforced the need for good cash management. Mike has recognised the need in this industry to not only work in the business but on the business and as a result he is keen to avoid the trap of seeing a project to completion before seeking out new work, something he feels is all too common for SME’s. Consequently, Mike splits his time between selling and delivering on current projects which has helped the company to grow steadily over the past few years.

Mike says “One of the major challenges businesses like ours face is answering the question ‘how do you keep acquiring new business at the same time as delivering high quality service?’ And subsequently, how do you finance that? The danger is that you invest ahead of sales, or you bring on more staff and then you don’t sell as much as expected, which results in a cash crunch.”

“We’ve found that the answer to this question is cash flow, more specifically managing a very tight cash flow. Using Float as a tool to give visibility into all future cash movements on a daily basis has allowed us to safely finance growth. Without these insights I couldn’t risk investing in the business.”

“Float gives me huge amounts of confidence in running my business, certainty of cash has allowed us to do better deals with suppliers and safely invest in marketing, we can now take advantage of time sensitive marketing offers from industry content portals to help drive sales.”

“To me the beauty of Float is in the simplicity and clarity of the presentation, the updates from Xero just make life easy – I always recommend it to my friends in the industry.”

“In the morning Float is one of the first applications I open on my desktop, the combination of this and Xero allow me to have strong financial control over the business.”

Mike continues “If I wasn’t using Float my business would be less predictable. I was previously managing my cash flow in a spreadsheet and it took me half a day every week just to keep on top of it. In our line of business our transactions are not complex, it is the variety and volume of them that catches you out.”

Mike adds that accuracy of data and visibility into what’s going on allow you to keep control, even when external factors threaten to derail your operations. He explains “I recently received an invoice from a regular supplier for 3 months worth of work, they had forgotten to invoice us monthly and so had sent us an invoice for 3 times the usual amount. However, as I was using Float I was able to see that his forecasted invoices had gone unpaid for a few months and set that money aside for collection. Now when I see he hasn’t invoiced me I chase him up, it sounds crazy but if I have a liability I want to clear it.”

“Float has given me insight into how good my forecasts are, I track my budget progress each month and have consistently been ahead on sales and spent less cash than expected, but if my forecasts are out by more than 10% then this is a warning sign. If your budgets don’t match up with your actuals then to me, this says that you don’t know your business. This kind of insight has allowed me to chase invoices effectively, and so far, we haven’t had any bad debtors.”

“To me the beauty of Float is in the simplicity and clarity of the presentation, the updates from Xero just make life easy – I always recommend it to my friends in the industry.”

 

If you’d like to try Float for yourself you can sign up to our 30 day free trial here.

Rebecca Fowler

I'm a marketer and a lover of puns. Terrible but enthusiastic dancer.