As a small- to mid-market business owner, it’s not unusual to feel as if you are at your wits end. When you started your company, you had a true passion for what you wanted to do. It may have been to make the best widgets in the world, provide the best websites possible or deliver the best service anyone has ever seen.
The good news is that your business gained traction and became successful. The bad news is that your business gained traction and became successful. As the business grew, you found that you spent so much more of your time in areas for which you had no passion. You would rather have a root canal than meet with your banker (to discuss a new loan), your CPA (to discuss a tax issue), or your insurance broker (to discuss expanded coverage). As unpleasant as these meetings may be for you, the result of these meetings can be critical to the continued success of your company.
How can you, as the owner of a successful company, take your business to the next level while still focusing on your areas of interest? Once the company successfully moves beyond the startup phase the complexity of managing it will increase. Issues that initially were considered “down the road” begin to crop up almost daily. Issues related to banking/funding, taxes, human resources and legal start to take up a significant amount of your time. Not only are these issues unrelated to your passion, they are likely outside your skill set as well.
In order to take your company to the next level you must rely on a team of trusted advisors. Many business owners find that a successful approach is to engage a part-time or full-time CFO to be the “quarterback” of your outside professional advisory team. The CFO will coordinate the services provided by the advisory team members such as your banker, CPA, lawyer and insurance broker. The increased level of communication among the outside professional service providers can bring creative solutions to the problems faced by your company. Having the CFO interface directly with your trusted advisory team frees up your time so you can get back to doing what you do best and are most passionate about. At the same time, the issues that are critical to the on-going success and growth of your company are taken care of by the “quarterback” of the team, who is in frequent communication with you so you are both on the same page.
Is your business at the stage where it would be helpful to bring in a quarterback?