Not many things in life can be described as awesome and daunting at the exact same time.
Experiencing really fast growth of your start-up is one of those things. Trust us.
Mistakes made early in a company’s life can have far-reaching consequences – something that weighs on people’s minds.
57% of founders in one survey said the level of stress involved in running their fast-growing companies was impacting their ability to make the right calls.
And with something as important as expenses, keeping a tight grip might appeal to some bosses.
But business spending has moved on from the era of top-down oversight, mountains of expense reports and employees that don’t feel trusted.
Established companies know about these disadvantages but some continue to follow the same outdated processes… because that’s the way things have always been done.
Start-ups are smart enough to do business in a better way, right?
Of course you are!
When your employee gets a Pleo card, send them to get a coffee.
As soon as their card is scanned, you’ll get a notification detailing what was spent where, as well as any additional information the employee has added.
It’s real-time oversight and approval, rather than something that’s delayed until the end of the month.
Our Pleo tags allow expenses to be assigned to certain categories of spending (let’s say travel, software subscriptions, customer relations … or just whatever works for you).
That means you can be confident that your team is getting on with the work that’s going to grow your business.
Every second counts at a company that’s experiencing rocket ship growth. So why would you waste that precious time with exhausting expense procedures?
Pleo accelerates the whole thing. Our software captures and categorises a purchase as soon as it’s made.
The alternative is a serious drain on time.
Let’s say you decide to get one company card to handle all your purchases. Even that wastes time, as employees have to wait their turn to use the card.
Oh, and what happens when someone takes the card on the road, to get the word out about your start-up? Everyone else has to wait, or pay out of their own funds.
That’s not to mention expense reports, which take 20 minutes to fill out on average and another 18 minutes to correct if there are any errors.
Tick tock, tick tock.
Another key feature of Pleo that empowers managers and founders to be smarter about expenses are our spending limits.
You set the amount that individual employees can spend and can easily amend it if you need to.
Sales rep heading to a big conference with lots of potential to generate leads?
It’s easy to give them a bit more money to spend, if you think it could help land a killer deal.
Got a new hire who needs to buy a whole load of hardware? Increase their limit to help them get set up easily, then return it to a normal monthly amount.
And if the worst happens and a card is lost or stolen, you can freeze it at the tap of a button so your money won’t be at risk.
The staff turnover rate at tech companies is high — one LinkedIn study put it at 13.2%.
That’s higher than retail, media or non-profit companies. It shows that workers at start-ups are smart, savvy and not afraid to move jobs.
At the same time, trusted employees are 110% more likely to stay in a job than those who don’t feel trusted.
(Yes, that is a really cool stat.)
So how do you ensure your start-up superstars feel trusted?
Not with old-fashioned expense management that causes friction and makes them feel micromanaged.
Instead, think about the trust involved in handing over a Pleo card.
Suddenly they’re accountable for their own expenses, aware that you get a notification when they make a purchase. It’s building trust in both directions.
Of course Pleo isn’t the single answer to the issue of employees feeling trusted. It hurts to admit that.
But our cards can form a big part of an overall plan to show workers you value them.
Pleo also makes your start-up’s precious early investment capital safer from expense fraud.
It’s not a nice thing to think about (and the vast majority of employees are on the level with their purchases) but it is something that concerns some companies.
With Pleo, individual spending limits and the ability to freeze employee cards mean admins actually have much more oversight.
Rather than wait until month-end to realise there are transactions that need querying, they can request more information and act on it right away.
For a lot of founders, their start-up is their baby.
Before the parents reading this remind us that start-ups don’t cry at 4am, we should qualify that.
It feels like a baby because it’s growing, because time is precious, because you can’t imagine life without it.
And if it is your baby, the early hires who help you to develop the business are the people helping you raise it.
You get to know them incredibly well and share those crucial early wins and losses.
So why wouldn’t you want to build on those bonds? The confrontation and grind of traditional expenses management doesn’t let you positively shape your culture.
Knowing that their boss will see their purchases in real time means employees feel more accountable for what they buy.
Their own card makes them more responsible for business spending than borrowing that company card for ten minutes or paying out of their own pocket.
By offering that transparency, everyone is working together to do something awesome.
So, yes, a fast-growing company is both awesome and daunting.
But Pleo turns one of the most daunting aspects into something with awesome rewards for boss and employee alike.
Start-up founders often feel like they have 9,002 things on their to-list.
Book a demo with Pleo today and cross “get control of spending” off that list.
Our cards do a lot more, but that’s a great place to start.