Blaine Bertsch is the CEO & Co-Founder of Dryrun and oversees the strategic direction and core operations for the company. Prior to starting Dryrun – Blaine founded a Creative Agency that drove his passion for business management and design.
Successfully weathering the 2008 recession inspired the creation of Dryrun. In 2019, Blaine released his book, Pandemic Cash Flow, which takes an in-depth look at root causes of cash flow problems and offers an effective solution to crushing the affliction. Blaine has a Master of Design degree from the University of Alberta and a lifetime of entrepreneurial experience.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Blaine Bertsch: My name is Blaine Bertsch and I am Co-Founder & CEO at Dryrun. I learned about finance the hard way, when my creative agency was hit by the recession in 2009. We had just expanded and suddenly were slammed with a slowdown.
I turned to spreadsheets to get a handle on our cash flow, our sales pipeline, our productivity, and to make the essential move from Government contracts over to the commercial market. Having the essential data buried in those spreadsheets powered our decisions and got us on track nearly immediately. Fast forward a few years and I sold that business, then turned my attention to Dryrun.
Today, we equip financial professionals with software that helps them manage cash flow and build financial models that deliver critical isights to their business clients and management teams. Dryrun is simple-to-use, yet incredibly powerful and uniquely customizable, keeping them our of spreadsheets and in the boardrooms where key decisions are made.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Blaine Bertsch: Heading into the unknown looking firmly in the rear-view mirror is a recipe for disaster. Change happens faster than ever before. The world is more volatile, unpredictable and the affects on business are extreme. While some businesses tread water and try to survive another day, others struggle to meet the demand of the market as they grow at a frantic rate.
Keeping an ever-vigilant eye on the future, both near-term and a longer view, is critical for success. Now, more than ever. From this months cash flow through to planning for the quarter and the year, management teams need at-the-moment data on-hand and a way to clearly model their options. Forecasts will never be 100% accurate but the insights and direction they provide lead to decisive, informed decisions.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Blaine Bertsch: At a fundamental level, keep a close eye on your cash flow and cash reserves. For startups that are burning cash every month, maintain the longest runway possible, aiming for 24+ months. The bearish investment market may require a long wait until a round can be raised. Better yet, use your cash on hand to grow to profitability, albeit much slower than the typical frantic growth many startups envision.
For established businesses, keep a careful eye on your cash. If you expect to fall into a the red, seek out capital to build a strong cash position that you can use to weather the storm. Ensure that you’re staying on top of your accounts receivable as not only do you need the cash flow but your customers may struggle to keep up with payments more than the norm.
I both cases, having access to critical, forward-looking data is essential. Make use of modern, cloud-based tools to stay on top of your finances. If you don’t have internal resources that can maintain and deliver the information you need, seek out a financial pro that can stay on top of your finances and forecasts. Outsourced CFOs and CPAs with a strong foundation in advisory services are a great place to start.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Blaine Bertsch: The pandemic has changed our industry at a fundamental level. Companies are moving to the cloud, for both business and financial management tools, at a much faster rate. The benefits of such systems are helping businesses continue operations with largely remote teams, allowing them to hire further afield, and they are experiencing the efficiencies, productivity, and security that the cloud has been delivering for years.
We’ve also seen a much larger percentage of businesses moving to use outsourced CFOs, accounting and advisory services, to gain the benefits while reducing the associated costs. Even with businesses reducing costs at every turn, we are seeing an uptick in our sales as businesses see the value of a tool such as ours, in their ability to operate with a clear line-of-sight, make decisive decisions and prepare for any and all eventualities.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Blaine Bertsch: I wish I had known how long the pandemic and its impact on business would last. Initially, we were picturing months of upheaval, but we’re now speaking in terms of years as the negative affects continue to hit businesses and the market hard. Business owners and management teams are faced with increasingly unpredictable outcomes that are taking a toll on their customers, their staff, and the future of their businesses.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Blaine Bertsch: Even with many people returning to the workplace, years of functioning primarily online will have permanent and fundamental affect on the business world moving forward. Many may settle into a hybrid state of work between remote and in-office but many of the tools, processes and habits will remain to a large degree. The pandemic, in many ways, simply sped up the adoption of digital tools and the impact of a remote workforce.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Blaine Bertsch: Too many hours are spent in front of a screen. Essentially my entire work day and I’m on devices in the evening to some degree as well. Finding ways to get away from screens in the evenings and on the weekends is important for my health, my energy and my effectiveness. I rely on maintaining a disciplined schedule and activities outside and away from both screens and the ever-present business.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Blaine Bertsch: One of the key areas where we use stories is through sharing the success of our customers. There is no better way to both engage our team, as well as our market, than sharing the wins of others. All of our team members spend time every week talking with customers to gain both insight on their struggles and understand how we can provide solutions. These stories are shared back with the team to give another tool in their toolbox.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Blaine Bertsch: Reaching a busy and distracted market is the key challenge for us . Many businesses are understaffed and underperforming. We strive to get in front of them and show them a way to work more efficiently, effectively and deliver massive benefits to their clients and to management teams.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Blaine Bertsch: On a business level, I am spending more and more time learning about systems and processes that will help equip us to scale rapidly. On personal level, I am diving into crypto at a much deeper level to better understand the opportunity, the barriers, and how it may affect our business going forward.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Blaine Bertsch: A company culture built on respect, collaboration and tolerance is essential for maintaining a healthy, happy and effective workplace. Everyone on the team needs to be heard, feel part of the wins, shown responsibility and be given the space to make decisions.
Systems and processes for engaging every single team member, running effective meetings, tracking progress and fostering a culture of success is critical. A terrific company culture doesn’t happen by accident and can erode quickly if it’s not actively nurtured.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Blaine Bertsch: If I could pick a business super power I’d want to be able to see different futures and pick the best path forward. Coincidentally, that’s our goal at Dryrun. We want to give every business owner the power to visualize their future.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Blaine Bertsch: Our mission in 2022 is to rapidly scale to help many, many more businesses weather the current storm and make decisions that will lead them to success and growth in 2023.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Blaine Bertsch for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Blaine Bertsch or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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