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Archives for Coronavirus Safeguarding

6 Benefits of Outsourcing Accounting

Why outsource? Why now?

Cost-cutting through outscoring can save A LOT of money.

Plus, you get seasoned experts with years of industry experience without having to sort through not-so-great applications.

With a possible recession on the horizon, now more than ever, you need to save cash while still working with the best.

What services should you outsource?

As Forbes discussed in a recent article, there are several ways to discern if outsourcing will be beneficial for your company. Two of the biggest reasons to outsource include Specialized Tasks and to save on cost. Accounting and Financial Planning & Analysis tick both those boxes.

Ready to start saving?

If you’ve looked at the numerous advantages of outsourcing and realized it’s a good option for your business, now’s the time to make an action plan! Email us at to start.


Stay tuned to our Webinars News Page for the latest updates!
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LIVE April 28: Cash Flow and Emergency Capital Preservation

Office Hours: A Live Call-In Show with Food and Beverage Experts

Our Managing Partner, Jeremy Triefenbach, is joining Jeff Klineman, BevNET’s Editor-in-Chief, and Rob Leichman, Founder of The Lyric Group, to kick off Office Hours.

BevNET and NOSH’s new interactive streaming video series, Office Hours, will take place on Tuesdays at 3 pm ET. The one-hour live call-in show aims to help food and beverage professionals connect with industry experts for helpful guidance and strategic insights during a time of uncertainty.

Klineman will open up his virtual office, alongside experts who span the industry. The live experience will dive into a new topic each week, with the schedule listed below. Brands are invited to submit questions ahead of time and call-in via Zoom during the show, joining the live stream and the discussion to get the answers they need.

  • April 28: Cash Flow and Emergency Capital Preservation

Rob Leichman, Founder, The Lyric Group
Jeremy Triefenbach, Co-Founder, Stage 1 Financial

Upcoming Topics:

    • May 5: Category Reviews and Resets, New Directions for Retail, and Buyer Expectations
    • May 12: Strategy, Pivots, and Planning during the Pandemic
    • May 19: Changing Investor Screening Priorities, New Capital Raise Realities, and Pitching During COVID
    • May 26: Common Challenges from the AF Portfolio, Hard Choices for Brands and Investors, How Businesses Should Evolve
    • June 2: M&A Market, Brands that Last — and the Changes They’ve Just Made, and What to Show Investors

Visit Office Hours for more information.

About BevNET is the leading media property dedicated to the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Founded in 1996, BevNET provides comprehensive, cross-channel, up-to-the-minute information about the beverage industry and reviews of non-alcoholic beverages. BevNET attracts brands, suppliers, ingredients providers, service providers retailers, distributors.

About NOSH

NOSH is the leading source for informed, comprehensive coverage and context for the growing community of businesses with Natural, Organic, Sustainable, and Healthy packaged food. As the food-focused extension of, NOSH offers products in a variety of media that reaches engaged brands, retailers, investors, distributors, suppliers, and service providers.

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CFO, Lila Sharifian Speaks with Glossy

SBA’s new loans: VC- and PE-backed companies grapple with the fine print

APR 07, 2020

The passing of the CARES Act last week, that provides disaster relief for both individuals and businesses, is the first attempt that the U.S. government has taken to financially repair the current economic hit from coronavirus. For smaller beauty, personal care and wellness companies that have popped up in the Instagram- and DTC-boom, the most important elements of the CARES Act include the economic injury disaster loan through the Small Business Association (SBA), that offers up to $2 million on a 30-year loan, and the Payroll Protection Program (PPA), which is the CARES Act’s most recent addition.

The government has allocated $349 billion for the PPP, with up to $10 million in loans and grants per business. What is so attractive about the PPP is that it offers eight weeks of relief for employee salaries, rents, mortgage payments and insurance, provided that companies don’t lay off or furlough employees or slash payroll. However, as brands get more serious about their cash-management skills, one sticking point is how the SBA views affiliations. Under traditional SBA rules, a small business means a company with fewer than 500 employees, but if the company has raised venture capital or if private equity investors hold more than 50% control, its backers would be considered an affiliate, and their other portfolio businesses and employees would be added to that 500-person count. VC investors and angel investors can also be deemed affiliates of a company if said investor holds other status, like providing approvals or vetos as a board member or owning preferred stock…

…Stage 1 Financial colleague Lila Sharifian, who is the CFO to its personal care and beauty companies, attributed this to the banking industry “having PTSD” from the 2008 financial crisis. Stage 1 does not hold majority control for any of its beauty investments, and has started a digital question-and-answer series for partners to ask specific CARES Act questions. Triefenbach told all businesses the company works with to consult general counsel as “misinformation around PPP is making issues more complex.”

Continue reading:

Stage 1 Financial will continue to provide more information as it comes available, please share any information and we’ll be sure to disseminate. 

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Working Remotely – Spam and Network Safety

Many of our companies are now working remotely, which poses some threats to IT (Information Technology) security. Home networks are generally not as secure as our offices, so here are a couple of tips to help boost security during this crisis:

Shut it Down

After your workday is complete, make sure to turn off your work computer instead of letting it idle. This helps safeguard against viruses that continue processing during sleep mode and infecting your computer.

Prepare for Bandwith Issues

Due to the high influx of users on conference calls, online meeting platforms may begin to malfunction. Also, prepare for a lag in internet speeds. Start meetings with a heads up to your team, sit as close to your routers as possible or plug in directly. When in doubt record meetings directly to your computer and not the cloud.

If you want to test your network connection because you are experiencing slow connectivity visit and hit GO! Your connection should be above 50mb per second download and at least 20mb upload for a reliable connection.

Don’t Use Strange Wifi

Refrain from using any Wifi networks you’re unfamiliar with. No bumming off Joe Schmo’s unlocked network next door, or Starbuck’s “free with coffee” Wifi from your car. These public networks are easy to hack and can put your computer at risk.

Spam, Hackers, and Scammers – Beware!

With teams transitioning to working remotely, scammers have been making adjustments as well. There has been an increase in sophisticated spam emails, disguising themselves as fellow coworkers and clients.

Remember to ALWAYS check the domain of the email sender to verify identity. The display name can say from “Katy Trienfenbach” but the domain could say When in doubt, call the person in question before sending any personal information, clicking a link or downloading files.

Other examples of malicious spam emails may include:

    • “You have a voicemail waiting for your approval”
    • “You are reaching your Microsoft Mailbox capacity”
    • “Your computer has a virus!”
    • COVID-19 emergency emails
    • Emails warning a payment did not go through or the status of payment has changed 

Make sure your team knows these safety guidelines and reports any suspicious activity to your IT team immediately.


Additional Reference: Prepare Now for the Second Wave of Coronavirus Hacking

Stage 1 Financial will continue to provide more information as it comes available, please share any information and we’ll be sure to disseminate. 

In the meantime – stay tuned to our Webinars News Page (click here) for the latest updates.
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Coronavirus – Business Planning Webinars


Dear Friends and Partners,

In case you missed our live webinars or would like to re-watch, we have provided the recordings below.

You can also reach out to schedule a call with one of our CFOs to discuss your company’s needs in detail. We are here to support you!  

Additional Resources:

Employee and Staff Support

Loan Support

Tax Support


Webinar Recordings

*New government legislations are quickly changing, some information may now be outdated. If you have any questions, contact us.

Capital Raise During COVID-19

Live Recording: Wednesday, April 29

Stage 1 and FounderMade have come together with a panel of investors to give entrepreneurs a sense of what to expect and how to prepare. We discussed the current outlook with five investors from every stage of fundraising.


Office Hours: Cash Flow and Emergency Capital Preservation

Live Recording: Tuesday, April 28

Our Managing Partner, Jeremy Triefenbach, joined Jeff Klineman, BevNET’s Editor-in-Chief, and Rob Leichman, Founder of The Lyric Group, to kick off Office Hours.


Naturally San Diego: Finance Hot Topics to Help Strengthen Your Business

Live Recording: Friday, April 17

Jeremy Triefenbach, our Managing Partner, joined Naturally San Deigo suggesting approaches regarding the development of financial projections and planning tools for companies.


Government Assistance: SBA + CARES Act

Live Recording: Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

– Click here for speakers’ contact info and FAQs – 

Joined by a panel of experts, Stage 1 discusses the new government stimulus packages and disaster relief options.

Food & Beverage

Recording: Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Our CFOs experts, Pieter Theron and Jeremy Triefenbach discuss strategic tactics for food and beverage companies going into quarantine.

*Due to the unusually high volume of online meetings taking place, Zoom suffered tech issues processing the original live recording – we have re-recorded the presentation internally.

Personal Care & Beauty

Live Recording: Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Our CFOs experts, Lila Sharifian and Jeremy Triefenbach discuss strategic tactics for personal care and beauty companies going into quarantine.


Live Recording: Monday, March 16th, 2020

*UPDATE: New government legislation has made some information in this webinar outdated – please refer to the “SBA + CARES Act Webinar” at the top of this page for updated information. 

Our CFOs experts discuss strategic tactics for personal care and beauty companies going into quarantine.

Stage 1 Financial will continue to provide more information as it comes available, please share any information and we’ll be sure to disseminate. 

In the meantime – reach out with any questions or concerns.
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Safeguarding Against the Coronavirus

business stage 1 financial accounting risks

Good accounting alone will not protect your business, but great forecasting might.

With concerns escalating around COVID-19 (Coronavirus), our team at Stage 1 Financial wanted to address the potential impact of the virus on your companies, vendors, and customers. Our team of experts has identified a number of critical steps to help your company thrive in this unforeseen business climate.  

To develop a more indepth understanding as to the impact this might have on your company, please reach out to schedule a meeting with one of our CFOs to talk about this topic in more detail. We’re here to support you!  

Step 1: Understand The Changes Happening In The Business Environment 

Supply Chain: Supply from overseas manufacturers is likely to be disruptedMany companies are already feeling the effectsespecially those purchasing foreign-sourced input materials such as bottles and corrugate. For those of you lucky enough not to feel that sense of panic yet, put on your critical thinking hat – there may be some element of your supply chain that could be impacted in the coming monthsThe time is now to ensure you are thinking through contingency plans, including increasing safety stock levels and starting to engage with alternative suppliers. 

Those in the fashion and apparel industries will probably be hit the hardest in the months to come, given the traditional two-season model with long lead times. Supplies may last the quarter but dwindle for the next seasonal release. This means plans need to be made now, allowing you to respond proactively, instead of reacting out of desperation.  

Demand and supply planning will be one of the most important tools to help you through this time of uncertainty. Ensure your brand knows its next 3, 6 and 12 months demand forecast, allowing your operations team to properly plan for the purchasing of key raw materials and finished goods, including appropriate lead times to make necessary adjustments. In addition, maintain direct and constant communication with all your partners in your supply chain to ensure you are fully informed on timing and changes.  

Consumers and Customers: Based on consumer reaction to the SARS outbreak in 2003consumers tend to halt all non-essential purchases when they are fearful about the spread of a virus. According to aflash surveyfrom the CNBC Global CFO Council, demand from Chinese consumers decreased by 20% shortly after the outbreak. This pattern is projected to continue on a global scale as the virus spreads.  

Consumers are also expected to rely heavily on delivery type purchasing patterns (i.e. DTC, Amazon, Instacart) to avoid going into public locations for fear of exposure. This will greatly affect those with brick and mortar locations, those in the service industries and certain retailers where your products are sold. As the Covid-19 virus will likely affect sales across all industries, it is vital to revise all 2020 projections.  

That said, you may find unique opportunities during this time of disruption. For example, Costco, Target and Walmart have seen significant increase in foot traffic in the past few weeks, creating more opportunities for higher trial from these accounts.  Further, there are certain beauty subscription boxes that may have a shortage of products from their partner brands which creates opportunity for the brands who can supply these customers.   

Closely watch the changing behaviors of consumers and customers, including both the risks and opportunities this may present. Again, communication is key – talk to your consumers often and directly, and engage regularly with the buyers at your retailers so that they partner with you on win-win sales and marketing initiatives.   

Step 2: Raise Money! 

Companies may struggle to find financial support as lenders are already changing their credit standards and some investors may become more reluctant to invest during this time of uncertaintyOther risk-taking investors might become more active, which is another example of a potential opportunity. For those companies seeking fundraising, you must be pitching your A-game. If you can’t confidently say “This is the best pitch deck we can produce,” it’s not good enough or if your financial model does not answer all of the questions investors and lenders are asking, it’s a good time to talk to one of our CFOs for insights into this process. Their expert advice can be the difference between being properly capitalized or not during this turbulent period of the business cycle. 

The key is raising capital when you are already capitalized. If you have just raised a round of equity, it’s time to secure working capital financing to extend your runway. If you are in a lending process, it’s more than likely best to supplement debt with some additional equity. The smart balance of debt and equity will ensure you have a “war chest” to battle through the next 6 to 12 months. 

 Additionally, give yourself more time to raise capital. If youre thinking about raising capital in the next 6 to 12 months, we recommend starting the process NOW!  Give yourself plenty of time to work through the investment cycle. 

Step 3: Continually Re-Forecast & Respond – The Changing Environment Can Accelerate Be Prepared 

Covid-19 has kicked off an unpredictable windstorm of uncertainty, quickly changing the financial environment and sending your projections from three months ago right out the window. With a near pandemic on our hands, companies need to continually review their financials and respond accordingly. While we entrepreneurs love to plan for the longterm, right now, we need to focus on the months just ahead and be ready to respond accordingly.  

To ensure you are prepared, we recommend the following planning tools and processes are in place and operating effectively: 

    • Track sellthrough, as changes in consumer behavior can bidentified earlier by watching weekly and monthly buying behaviors 
    • Update revenue forecasts with any changes in sellthrough patterns, helping understand where sales are trending 
    • Reforecast the overall business monthly, ensuring you don’t keep leaning in on spend when you may be in a period of slowing growth 

This means staying on top of the changes in spending and consumer habits monthly. All smart business decisions are based on analytics, not assumptions. Panicking will help nothing, while preparing makes all the difference.  

Step 4: Tighten Spending!  This Is The Time To Review Expenses and Determine Opportunities For Cost Savings  

Its critical to review expenses to ensure your operations are optimized and non-essential spending is minimized to preserve liquidityTake a fresh look at your operations including: 

    • Categorize expenses by fixed (e.g. rent) and variable (e.g. raw materials) and understand which fixed costs may need to be reduced in the event of a decrease in consumer demand. Keep in mind that to pay for Fixed Costs requires a minimum amount of monthly sales, and that any decrease here reduces that pressure while increasing margin.  
    • Confirm your understanding of the Return On Investment (ROI) of promotional and marketing spending and align spending levels with forecasted changes in revenue. 
    • Optimize Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) by reviewing and benchmarking the pricing of input items (e.g. raw materials), labor, overhead, 3rd party manufacturing, and supplier pricing (e.g. payment terms and tier pricing). 

Our CFOs and Finance team can help you in analyzing your cost base to determine opportunities for improvement and support you in the process of renegotiating contracts with key vendors and suppliers.  

Step 5: Look for Help Everywhere! Government, Organizations… 

On March 5th the federal government passed the coronavirus funding bill, which included relief to small businesses, including $1 billion in loans for companies impacted by the virus. The current discussion includes additional relief through cuts in payroll taxes, small business incentives and support to hourly workers who become sick from the virus. As the business environment continues to change, watch for potential support provided by local, state and federal governments.   

There may be programs from your vendors, customers and non-profit organizations that support small businesses.   

Stage 1 Financial will continue to provide more information as it comes available, please share any information and we’ll be sure to disseminate. 

In the meantime – reach out with any questions or concerns.
We’re here to support you!
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