The decision to found a startup sets you on an unpredictable path. That's the difference between starting a small business and launching a startup: the former has a known business model with certain steps that must be taken (all with no guarantee of success, of course), while the latter is a temporary organization in search of a profitable, repeatable, and scalable business model.

In short, startups are chaos.

That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't information with which you can arm yourself to gradually master that chaos. In fact, there's so much information out there that it can be difficult to filter through it all and find what really matters at your particular stage.

That's why Spendesk and The Family came together to put together this guide to one topic in your entrepreneurial life: Startup Finance. Below you'll find a series of stages that startups pass through early in their existence, matched with resources to help you improve your financial operations as you move through each particular stage.

Note: We've built this resource using Notion because we want it to be a living document that can easily change over time. If you have suggestions of additional resources that could be of value to your fellow founders, don't hesitate to leave them as a comment!

Table of contents

A company is born

You and your cofounders are excited! There aren't many feelings out there like identifying a real problem and throwing all your efforts into solving it.

At the same time, it can find pretty lonely. There are just a handful of you at the moment, and there's probably not a ton of money flowing in. (If there is, congratulations! Feel free to skip to a section more adapted to your stage ;)

But there are still essential things you can do now to make sure your finance operations are working properly. It's already important, and will be invaluable as you keep growing and iterating on your product.

First funding & early product

You just raised your seed round! Which means you must have a pretty good business idea - or at least one that has real potential. You're going to quickly add people to the team and start creating work systems. The product isn't perfect - yet - but it's getting better, and you're getting feedback from your users. And hopefully there's more cash flowing in today than there was back in the Takeoff stage.

With some money in the bank, you'll need good processes in place to manage it. Remember, though, that the goal is to keep growing. So what should you be thinking about to keep track of spending, speed up growth, and expand your customer base?