Every company, no matter how large or small, needs a strong and steady economic compass. Fractional CFOs can save the day, week, month, or year for companies dealing with acute and chronic financial challenges.
Owners of smaller, growing companies can get bogged down working IN the company rather than ON it. It’s hard to steer the ship when you continually find yourself in the galley, the engine room, or swabbing the deck. You might find yourself wishing you could delegate more tasks to a rock-solid first mate.
Mid-size organizations may be stuck between a trusted advisor rock and a cash flow hard place. They need experienced fiscal guidance and strategy implementation, but it’s hard to generate the capital to hire a full-time CFO worth their salt.
Finally, giant corporations may struggle with CFO team turnover, leaving empty the seats most needed to keep revenues improving, navigating audits, and managing significant capital and everyday expenditures.
Romain Berg has the insider track on everything you must know about Fractional CFO’s. Let’s take a look at how these crucial and temporary helpers can improve your company’s outlook while keeping the financial end of your business running like a well-oiled machine.
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What is a Fractional CFO?
Every owner may have different goals for a Chief Financial Officer. The size and scope of your business are primary factors in how you might use a CFO team.
A fractional CFO is a specialist. They work on a temporary or project basis to help you achieve a precise set of financial goals, or help you overcome a singular financial challenge.
Here are several ways to use a fractional CFO effectively:
- Shepherding your company through an audit
- Overcoming cash flow issues
- Improving gross margins
- Evaluating and replacing outdated or ineffective systems
- Partnering with your existing CFO on special projects or huge capital undertakings
- Temporarily scaling up your CFO team to match your business scale initiatives
- Vetting and recruiting key financial staff
- Strategic financial team restructure
Professional Financial Strategic Planning
Though your existing financial staff like bookkeepers, controllers, and accountants may have a solid handle on your present and past revenue and expenditures, CFO’s look ahead to what the company can or will become.
Fractional CFOs can work in a specialized niche to provide targeted strategic financial services to your company.
Any CEO knows that staying creative, innovative, and forward-thinking is a hallmark of the C-Suite. “Doing innovation” is exponentially easier when you can share the load and focus on your areas of strength.
A fractional CFO is a “two-heads-are-better-than-one” scenario for virtually any CEO. Plus, you can call in this specialized professional when you need help, and then let them move on to other clients once they’ve met your goals.
Bridging the “Scale” Gap
Start-up companies notoriously have a “move-fast-and-break-things” mentality. They can bootstrap their way through launching and the first couple of years in operation with minimal staff and balls-to-the-wall work ethic.
Once you settle down and gain a foothold in your sector or region, you’ll need to think about scale. It’s impossible to maintain the singular intensity of start-up excitement indefinitely.
You’re going to need some help to keep growing your footprint, break into new markets, manage different currencies, improve production efficiencies, and make more stuff for more people. Fractional CFOs can help you bridge the gap between start-up and established success.
All you have to know today is that you want to get bigger, move faster, and do more. A fractional CFO can help you select the areas where growth and big dreams can manifest reliable and successful scaling, and implement the strategy required to get there.
Customizing Your Fractional CFO Services
Before hiring a fractional CFO, determine the following:
- Financial goals. In other words, what do you want your fractional CFO to do for your organization? Will they join your team as a helper for your existing CFO team? Will they spearhead a singular project or tackle multiple and pressing financial challenges? How will you measure their success or the success of the project?
- Length of commitment. How long do you anticipate needing a fractional CFO? Your term of service may parallel audit or budgeting season (a few months). Or, you may want to keep your fractional CFO on long enough to see the trajectory of your work together (a year or longer.)
- Type of relationship. Some fractional CFO’s complete their niche-based project, and then you don’t need them anymore. Other fractional CFO’s maintain continual relationships with their clients and see them year after year for help, guidance, and innovation with predictable business cycles, strategic networking, and other resources.
- Your project budget. Be realistic about what you can afford to pay a fractional CFO. Get several quotes from fractional CFO’s in the niche you desire. Be sure to include any additional expenses like travel and per diem that your fractional CFO may require.
Use your network for referrals. Check with other owners and leaders in your network to get referrals on the best fractional CFOs for your goals in your region. They will know the local business market more intimately and have industry or sector-specific CFO leadership experience.
Every Business Needs a Dream Team
Regardless of your business size or scale, having an array of resources, guides, experts, and collaborators means the difference between business longevity and start-ups that fizzle in the wake of burn-out and overwhelm.
Romain Berg is your go-to source for tools, events, and partners that can help you succeed in an increasingly uncertain business landscape. We’re here to see you SUCCEED. Visit our website for exciting and innovative events, blog posts, business partners, and tools you can use this week.
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