What is a CFO anyway?
A Chief Financial Officer provides a strong financial foundation for a company. They are the key advisor to owners and understand the business risks of the company both financial and non-financial. Examples of non financial attributes include quality, employee engagement and satisfaction, and customer service. Choose a CFO that is strategic and visionary combined with significant operations experience to achieve the most value to your business.
We are experiencing insufficient cash flow and continue to dip into personal dollars…What would you recommend? Can you help us with this?
We recommend developing an easy to follow cash flow spread sheet that will help you plan to meet immediate and future needs while building a reserve. Creating collection policies to streamline payments and a strong credit policy is essential in todays economic climate. We’ve helped businesses like yours get on the right track.
Our financial Statements are too basic and we want a clearer picture on which service or product is more profitable. Is this something you could do?
A solution could be profit center or product/services reporting. Many small businesses fail to understand the financial statements are an essential tool for success. Generate financials that allow you to determine how successful an office, service area, or a product is. After you have the data, then implement strategies to expand on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses in your business.
We’re noticing that our staff has been unproductive and has poor morale lately. Can you help us?
We can help you determine where the problem is and develop initiatives that will increase morale. We can review your operational processes and develop efficiencies in many facets of your business. Do you have a performance review process and is it truly effective? Does your key management lack leadership or unsure how to develop staff?
I’m planning to retire in five years and am unsure how you exit in my best interest. Do you have experience helping in this area?
Yes, we will help you develop a strategy NOW and consider options available. Examples include key employee’s purchasing stock, existing partners purchasing your ownership, merger and acquisition options, selling your firm, etc.
My partners and I have major differences in how the business should operate and it’s impacting revenue and profits and most importantly our staff. Can you help reconcile this and what would you recommend?
As an independent business advisor we would assist with the communication process and develop desired outcomes that fit with your business model. This is a very common problem and no owner likes to deal with partner inequities and the confrontation involved in the process. An external party can bring a new perspective and open the lines of communication.
I want to grow my business but I’m unsure how to fund the growth and which service area I should focus on. Can you help with this?
Yes, we would develop a planning process around the core competicies of your staff, your clients needs, your capital funding options, with both short and long term goals and objectives. Having an independent advisor involved in the process will help you develop and define your goals more clearly.
Our profit is smaller each year even though your revenue continues to grow. Can you help us fix this?
Yes , we would dig into the financial reports and operational processes and figure out why and resolve the problem. Have you established internal controls to minimize fraudualent activity? It’s difficult to have segregation of duties with small businesses. Sometimes it’s a quality issue that impacts your performance and is hidden within the operations.
Our employee turnover is high compared to your counterparts. Can you help us?
Yes, we would figure out if you are hiring wrong, your compensation package is not competive, your review process is ineffective, your management lacks leadership, your staff don’t resonate with your vision, mission, and corporate culture. Employee turnover is extremely expensive and it’s difficult to measure how expensive the process to hire, develop, and train new staff costs.
Our company’s Board of Directors does not exist or is comprised of internal key management. Is this something you could assist us with rectifying?
Yes, we could act as the external board of directors and provide independent advice which achieves a higher level of corporate governance. Advisory boards maximize shareholder wealth and increase corporate governance. Small businesses are at risk more so than larger firms because they are typically not regulated nor required to have certified financial audits.
We need to make a major purchase and are unsure how to finance it. And we need to secure office space and want to make sure you get the best deal possible. Could you help us come up with a game plan for this?
Yes we often help our clients with this. Allow us to oversee your major purchases and expenditures process. Decisions like this are critical from return on investment to tax planning strategy. Capital budgeting should be an integral part of your business planning.
What is Strategic Planning?
It’s basically a formal process of developing short and long term goals with a strategy in mind. Developing your firms vision and mission and communicating it internally to staff and externally to clients are essential for your business. There are many approaches to strategic planning and we can develop a plan that meets the objectives of your firm. At a minimum your strategic plan should factor the needs of your existing clients and develop opportunities to generate increased revenues and client satisfaction. Hiring an independent consultant will bring a unique perspective and help facilitate the process.
What is a client satisfaction interview and why would I consider hiring an independent person to conduct it?
A client satisfaction meeting is typically a structured candid conversation with your client to determine satisfaction with past work and explore opportunities to increase satisfaction in the future. Some firms send their clients satisfaction questionnaires or have senior management follow up on the satisfaction of their firms services. However, hiring an independent consultant to meet with your clients provides an opportunity for your clients to be more candid. We believe you gather better information by outsourcing this process to a skilled professional that will modify the interview based on responses. It demonstrates to your client that you care about the relationship and are striving to improve your firms performance and their satisfaction. If you are not meeting their needs, your competition certainly will…