Honest feedback - monitoring finances (idea)

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:4)

Would you pay for a mobile app that lets you monitor finances in real-time

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 75.0%
  • If it's free

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4

yemi

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
11
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3
Hi All,
If you could have a mobile application that lets you monitor your budget/finances in real-time would it be something you would pay for?

It would let you monitor sales, expenses, cash, open receivables, and debt in real-time.

Benefits:
1. You don't have to wait until month-end to see your numbers.
2. Get alerts.
3. Run reports and charts anytime, directly in the app.
4. Easy to read visualization for non-numbers people.
4. Share with accountability partner or business coach to track progress.
------
I'm a financial planner and analyst with 13 yrs experience and I've automated financial reports for large corporation but would like some honest feedback from small businesses on this idea (and prototype) before investing more money into it.

Please let me know what you think and what would be the biggest challenge.

Thanks in advance
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
9
Points
3
Sure, I think most business owners would be interested, but it all comes down to cost-benefit analysis. Without knowing the cost (can be a range) I can't compare your solution/value proposition to alternatives.

Can you give us a little more information on your monetization strategy?

Aleks Radonjic
 
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yemi

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
11
Points
3
Sure, I think most business owners would be interested, but it all comes down to cost-benefit analysis. Without knowing the cost (can be a range) I can't compare your solution/value proposition to alternatives.

Can you give us a little more information on your monetization strategy?

Aleks Radonjic
Founder & Principal Consultant | Evolving Digital
I appreciate your feedback, Aleks.

One of the reasons for the feedback request is to determine if there is enough need for this product to justify the investment. I originally designed it for art galleries at a target price of $99 - $299 per month, but to become profitable, there needs to be greater demand.

I've gotten interests from business coaches but I'll rather get feedback from business owners directly.

Below is a link to some screenshot to get an idea of what it does.

Thanks again
Yemi

Rulr.pdf
 

Edvin

MVP
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Messages
328
Points
63
Hi Yemi,

The comp looks great.

As a perspective small business owner, I'm not sure the value of paying for mobile app report to review my financials; after all, I will be at my desk/office daily. Perhaps the value of the mobile app is industry specific (i.e. on the go business owner).

However, I do want to say that part of your job (as an entrepreneur marketer) is to turn a nice to have into a perceived need. If you "build-it then they will come" doesn't really work for most businesses.
You obviously have inside knowledge; so, providing anecdotal use cases examples of the reports leading to strategic corrective actions or avoiding fines is a good place to start.

You certainly need a strategy to market your mobile app (for example).

If you want to gauge the demand, then look at number of similar mobile app downloads and ranks. This research paper can be helpful in projecting mobile app demand for similar apps.
You can also use tools like google keyword planner to estimate traffic and demand.

Lastly, I can't help thinking that with access to financial data you can easily add financial projections, which is something that I don't think most small business owners do.

Good luck with your endeavor.

Best,
Edvin
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
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I appreciate your feedback, Aleks.

One of the reasons for the feedback request is to determine if there is enough need for this product to justify the investment. I originally designed it for art galleries at a target price of $99 - $299 per month, but to become profitable, there needs to be greater demand.

I've gotten interests from business coaches but I'll rather get feedback from business owners directly.

Below is a link to some screenshot to get an idea of what it does.

Thanks again
Yemi

Rulr.pdf
Thank you for providing more information. First of all, the user interface is intuitive, so that's great. However, I think you have too many features for version 1 (MVP).

On the market, demand, and possible customer - I don't have experience around art galleries, but thinking out loud, your App may be a good fit for the restaurant industry.

Use Case: You are an owner/chef of a small restaurant. It's 10pm, you just closed your restaurant and are ready to go home, but instead you have to sit down in front of a computer and go over your sales data & metrics. This is an unpleasant task that will likely take 30min-1h, and you have to do it every night.

Using your App, an owner/chef can easily check financial information between orders, during a quick break, or on the way home. No need to stay back and run financials. Personally, if I got home 30min-1hr earlier every night because of your App, I would be more than happy to pay $99 or more per month.

With regard to the market, there are more than 1 million restaurant locations in the U.S, so market size is a lot bigger (I assume) than your current target market (art galleries).

Finally, I think your ideal customer/business owner 1) spends most of their time away from a computer, 2) is not tech savvy, and 3) operates a low margin business - where they need to keep a close eye on financials.
 
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yemi

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
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Points
3
Thanks for the feedback, Edvin.

I agree, the app would not work for hands-on business owners. I would target owners who aren't financially savvy or rely on bookkeepers. Instead of spending hours on financials and updating plans, you can have a computer do the work on an hourly basis. It's all based on data, so a machine can learn to perform the tasks.

The app would be able to project/forecast based on historical data and user input.

The pipeline section of the scorecard is what the app has projected for the month, making it easy for business owners to spot (also alerted) potential risks and take action to prevent fire drills.

I'm essentially trying to automate the role of a corporate financial planner to benefit small businesses that can't afford to hire one.
 

yemi

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
11
Points
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Thank you for providing more information. First of all, the user interface is intuitive, so that's great. However, I think you have too many features for version 1 (MVP).

On the market, demand, and possible customer - I don't have experience around art galleries, but thinking out loud, your App may be a good fit for the restaurant industry.

Use Case: You are an owner/chef of a small restaurant. It's 10pm, you just closed your restaurant and are ready to go home, but instead you have to sit down in front of a computer and go over your sales data & metrics. This is an unpleasant task that will likely take 30min-1h, and you have to do it every night.

Using your App, an owner/chef can easily check financial information between orders, during a quick break, or on the way home. No need to stay back and run financials. Personally, if I got home 30min-1hr earlier every night because of your App, I would be more than happy to pay $99 or more per month.

With regard to the market, there are more than 1 million restaurant locations in the U.S, so market size is a lot bigger (I assume) than your current target market (art galleries).

Finally, I think your ideal customer/business owner 1) spends most of their time away from a computer, 2) is not tech savvy, and 3) operates a low margin business - where they need to keep a close eye on financials.
Wow!
Your feedback is a gem. Thank you!

Your analysis of the restaurant industry makes a lot of sense. I'll look into it. Art galleries also operate on slim margins and the industry has one of the highest bankruptcy rate.

Planning is vital in business but a lot of owners might not have the time or expertise to update plans frequently, so a machine can be trained to update plans with actuals and forecast the remainder of the month/year, on an hourly basis.
This would save owners time and give them more accurate financial picture.
I need to be able to articulate the benefit and get an idea of what it would be worth to businesses.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Yemi
 

PatrickM

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
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3
Hi Yemi

What is the update on the progress with this app? I think that there is a great need for something like this ... as so many SMB's fail within a few years.

I'm in the process of developing a training program for SMB owners looking at what their businesses need from the skills of a senior financial executive. At best they think that having an accountant or bookkeeper is enough!! Something like this app could focus the owner on what is important and I think it is a great concept.

Does it interface to any accounting packages? Or directly with real-time banking apps? Another concept you may want to consider is "Profit First" as it looks as if it would interface well with it.

I agree that what you've included may be too much as a Version 1. It should focus on what is really important day to day - a business thermometer! Also, I think that generally SMB's should not be looking forward for much more than 3 months and only with a few (3-5) priorities - a year is too far ahead!
 

yemi

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
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Points
3
Hi Patrick,
Thanks for the feedback. We are working on QuickBooks online, bank and credit card interfaces. The goal is to deliver information in near real-time. The first version should be ready for beta testing soon.

The direction we are exploring is building the app for virtual CFOs to help monitor their clients finances in real-time. It would help them act more like CFOs than consultants. That would allow my team to focus on building the app while CFOs work directly with clients.

I like the "Profit First" concept, it's similar to our messaging "build cash reserves". It seems to be the best way to get SMBs to plan. We also discovered that most small businesses don't look to plan far into the future, which is a problem for a planning software like ours, but profit first is a good selling point.

I would love to learn more about your training program and explore how we work together to raise awareness to this need.
 

PatrickM

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
10
Points
3
Hi Yemi

To me what's missing is a target of what cash the SMB owner should have for what. Using something like the Profit First model it is important to first have the business cash objectives clearly defined ... as these should be based on a sustainable financial structure. Many small business owners don't have a clue (or totally ignore) the many signs of potential failure.

Ideally, the app should be a dashboard of the cash (compared to plan) + the key quarterly goals (with progress) + some accountability reminder that keeps them focussed on the priorities.

My course is still being developed but will be focused on the priorities of a virtual CFO.
 

yemi

Member
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Feb 2, 2017
Messages
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3
Hi Patrick,
Thanks for the advice.
Do you see this as something a virtual CFO could use? I've been advised to consider it.
Thanks
 

abdulkaddir

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May 8, 2018
Messages
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When we are trying to control our expense, why should we again pay for something that controls it? Rather do it ourselves.
 

PatrickM

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
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Points
3
Hi Yemi

It is something that a virtual CFO or even better the business owner themselves should use. Have a look at an article on PYMNTS.com (Mobile Devices Take On SMB FinTech Functionality), from this it is clear that there are many opportunities and a long way to go with apps for SMB's.

The functionality goes beyond the cash related transactions to other factors driving the business like orders and shipments, outstanding payments, etc. At the moments these are all over the place and need to be more easily accessible.

I think that your ideas and direction are spot on!
 

PatrickM

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
10
Points
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When we are trying to control our expense, why should we again pay for something that controls it? Rather do it ourselves.
If it was so easy then SMB owners (or their accountants) would be doing it ... and there may be far fewer business failures. Most SMB's cannot afford, nor do they need, a full-time CFO level person but they definitely need some of that level expertise and support.

The high failure rate of SMB's makes it clear that in many cases owners on their own are unable to manage (juggle) all the financial requirements together with the other elements of the business.

So they need some external expertise plus then tools that are comprehensive, integrated and user-friendly that will support them running the business.
 
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