Consolite, a lean (& mean) bit of software coming your way!

Consolite,

Your consolidated accounts, simply, quickly and fully spreadsheet-integrated.

Our own software development for financial consolidation (i.e. holding reporting) is slowly, albeit surely, getting to a marketable situation. My development partners in this Consolite-venture are currently adding the last two functionalities (minority interest and foreign currencies translation) and finalizing the underlying architecture.

For the interactive “Customer interviews” session of the Lean Startup Circle Brussels #leanbru, organized by Vladimir Blagojevic of GrantSnap some weeks ago, I presented our own approach and lessons learned to the audience.

The presented and discussed “Techniques used” were:

LinkedIn Q&A
Discussions/meetings
Round table

LinkedIn Q&A
is really, really powerful! Next to good answers by knowledgeable people, I remember it got me talking to (and learning from) a software reseller in Canada about his local market specifics and how we could possibly accommodate Consolite.

Discussions/meetings
with an independent ‘auditor-revisor’, our own network, big4 auditors, resellers and a potential beta-customer.

A Round table
was organized, with the possible participation of a software development company (that was before I teamed up with my current free-lance development team), the potential beta-customer and a financial personnel HR agency.


Next up were the “lessons learned” from these techniques, elaborated and freely discussed with the audience:
Knowledgeable persons
Clear agenda / topics
Own input – Own team
Bottle-necks
[development is only 1/3 of your value proposition ]

To close my presentation, I mentioned the final resulting steps we took, being:

“Small pivot” market
(budget/forecasts)
In order to expand our potential market and users base, we decided to also cover the (sales) budgeting and forecasting procedures/rounds with our Consolite software. This feature was easy to include in our original larger and more complex set-up for financial consolidation.

“Bigger pivot” application
(SaaS – cloud)
For pricing reasons and the current increasing “self-service”approach (capex-opex) in relation to software purchases, Consolite will only be offered in “a cloud” version.
(I found the small book Software by Rob quite inspiring lecture when deciding about these two above-mentioned pivots)

Subsidies! Grants!
Whereby the US trademark for “Consolite” was partially subsidized last year, I had not ask for financial assistance previously for the EU trademark. We are not talking about a huge sum here, but I wish I would have been more pro-active at that time. At this stage, subsidies have been requested for the development of our prototype to validate the pre-defined technical and functional aspects.

Once the software will be ready (remember, that is only 1/3 of the whole process), I shall surely get back in touch with the authorities to check their sales promotion assisting programs.

FUTURE STEPS: After gaining some additional ideas and fresh concepts from the great interactions with the participating audience,  we are now looking forward to the finalized prototype (estimated by March 30th) and to continue ‘building’ Consolite, according to lean methodology or other.

About MvanWunnik
Independent Project Manager for Financial projects (Consolidation, Control & Reporting) at ARSIMA Projects, Financial Strategist for starters/SME's at FinanceCoach24.com

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