Spend to Survive Video: CFO of Trussle

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Philip Kelvin

Philip is the CFO of Trussle, having previously held a number of roles at the company. Prior to Trussle, Philip worked at Bain & Company and Rothschild. Trussle is the new hassle-free way to get a mortgage.


When managing company spend, visibility on cash outflow is key. Philip, the CFO of Trussle, explains how they have extended their cashflow visibility over a rolling 90-day period – allowing them to assess even the smallest amounts of spend. 

Planning to make it through

Philip was fairly new to his CFO role when COVID-19 hit. He focused mostly on Trussle’s existing investors, especially early on. They helped him understand what the impact of the crisis would be. At a time like this, securing investor buy-in is a huge deal.

The housing market was no exception to the setbacks of the pandemic. The CFO spent a lot of time comparing company performance and market needs, and crafting a realistic plan with Trussle’s Head of Finance and CEO to keep the ball rolling. 

On the bright side, Philip told us, there’s so much you can learn from hard times – and Trussle never stopped helping its customers during the most important purchase of their lives. 

Understanding cost base

It’s essential for startups to have a good understanding of their cost base – and Trussle is no exception. The ownership mindset across the business is a great driver for this. When businesses adopt zero-based budgeting (ZBB) without considering cost base, it’s a recipe for budgeting failure.

Trussle’s CTO went for another big measure that matters well past surviving a crisis: undertaking a full vendor review and ensuring they had not acquired more than they needed over the years.

Knowing which metrics to track

Before COVID-19 crashed the party, Trussle kept an eye on several key metrics across volume, profitability, cash burn, and customer satisfaction. 

Now, they’re not keeping a closer eye on these metrics than before, but they have seen wider engagement – especially on profitability metrics. They’ve got a regular steering group examining and confirming this.

Even better, they crossed the 3000 reviews mark on Trustpilot back in May with a gloating five-star review. Huzza!

Slashing precious costs

When getting through a global pandemic as a business, disappearing costs are more than welcome.

At Trussle, Philip points out that weekly team lunches at the office, as well as the beloved weekly shops, were the first expenses to go. COVID-19 also put an end to the recurring tragedy that ensued each time they ran out of coffee.

These things add up, even if they seem small. It was harder to cut back on hiring, which so many companies had to do. Trussle followed through with their hiring pipeline, but were wary of expanding their engineering team.

Recruitment fees are lower now, but you do what you must to survive.

Change your direction, not your destination

In a crisis, don’t cut costs at all costs. See how financial leaders keep spending in check without compromising long-term growth in our playbook.

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